‘I don’t believe in diets,’ Mairlyn Smith confided, ‘I believe in lifestyle changes.’ As a professional home economist, cookbook author and Cityline celebrity, she knows a thing or two about healthy living. Mairlyn shared her suggestions for setting yourself up for success with your New Years resolution to eat healthier and become more active.
- Make your goals attainable. Break them into easy, achievable steps. This will help you create momentum and allow you to build on your success.
- Be specific. ‘Get fit’ and ‘eat better’ are lofty goals. Setting specific goals helps you know when you have reached them.
- Set a reasonable time frame. Instead of trying to lose fifty pounds in a month, try losing it over a year. Losing a large amount of weight quickly makes regaining the weight more likely down the road.
- Pick things you enjoy. If your planned dietary change includes foods you don’t like to eat, you probably won’t stick to it.
- If it’s not on your plan, don’t buy it and don’t keep it in the house. This isn’t about willpower. It’s about setting yourself up for success.
- An apple a day…is a great first step to getting more fruit in your diet. Apples are inexpensive, healthy, and portable snacks. It’s an easy way to fit 1-2 servings of fruit.
- Make substitutions. Swap out foods you are trying to cut out of your diet and replace with healthier options.
- Eat more intentionally. Sit down at a table. Celebrate each meal and have respect for it. Take the time to look at it and enjoy it.
- Size matters…when it comes to your plate. Try serving your food on smaller plates to help with portion control.
- Get a buddy. This builds in accountability and can make changes a lot more fun with good company. You don’t have to go it alone. There’s nothing wrong with asking for help.
- Let go of perfectionism. Nobody’s perfect, just get up more times than you fall down. Don’t give up just because you’ve had a slip up. Don’t give in to all or nothing thinking.
- Exercise self-compassion. Treat yourself like you would a friend to help silence the negative voice in your head. Be nicer to yourself.
- Maintain perspective. Wellness is a journey, not a destination. The process can even be fun when it becomes part of your lifestyle. v
- Focus on building habits. It takes 2-6 weeks to build a new habit. The key to lifestyle change is developing lifelong habits. Don’t stop at two weeks—keep going and it will become part of your life.
- Practice moderation. On special occasions, put flavour first. When you deprive yourself, you crave “forbidden foods” and think about them all the time.
- Talk about it. Tell supportive people in your life about the changes you are making. Say it out loud! When you are struggling, give them a call for moral support.
- Prepare. Pre-pack your gym bag or pre-portion out your snacks. Planning ahead makes for fewer excuses or barriers to reaching your goal.
- Show up. If you don’t feel motivated to go for a walk, start small. Just go for a walk around the block and if you find you’re really tired, go home and take a nap. If you feel better (and you probably will), keep going.
Mid-January generally marks the turning point for those setting New Years resolutions. Taking a longer view and focusing on healthy, long-term habits can help you achieve the goals you set to improve your health, fitness and overall wellness.
If you’re among the 88% of Canadian women resolving to increase physical activity or the 87% who want to eat healthier, these ideas might be just what you need to avoid joining the 55% who give up in less than a year. You don’t necessarily need a ‘new diet’ with the New Year, but you can achieve a positive lifestyle change.
Eating healthy-ish, a simple way to get more sleep, and the most-read articles of the year from our SavvyStorytellers. That’s what caught our attention this week.
Let’s Be Healthy-ish
Our food editor Jan wants us to eat more cake. We feel strongly that we should listen to her. But really, her anti-resolutiony new eating philosophy to eat healthy-ish, aka eat healthy most of the time, with occasional treats, sounds right on the money. You can read more about her rather refreshing philosophy here.
The #1 Trick to Falling Asleep
Tossing and turning with to-do lists running through your head? This week, we read about a simple life hack for tuning off your brain and drifting off to sleep. It’s so simple, we had to share.
SavvyStories: The Best of the Year
From showing us how to create quick protein-packed breakfasts and on-the-go snack solutions, to getting fitted for the right bra and crafting the most adorable Frozen hat for preschoolers, our Storytellers were busy in 2015! Here were the most-read articles of 2015.
- East Coast Mommy created the cutest printable for all the Frozen fans out there.
- Lindsay from RecipeGeek came up with a quick, easy and protein-packed breakfast families loved.
- Erika from The Linden Life shared one of her most challenging days as working parent.
- Sweet Potato Chronicles showed that some of the best on-the-go snacks can be prepared well in advance.
- Rebecca from Playground Confidential shared the tales from her second-ever fitting, 24 years after her first, and vowed to never, ever guess her bra size again.
Have a great week!