Tips for a successful journey to a healthier you

Eating healthy 100% of the time is hard, life and daily activities get in the way, but there are some tips i want to give you to keep it simple and realistic… don’t get frustrated and please, don’t expect perfection…. some days will be easier than others…. just keep going and implement these tips:

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1. Set Clear and realistic Goals: Write a list of things you want to change about your current diet. also consider goals regarding your body and plan your diet around those goals. I recommend setting present goals, short term goals, and long term goals. If you try and do everything all at once you can be overwhelmed and want to quit. Take it one goal at a time,one day at a time, this isn’t a race. You may also want to write reasons why you want to make a change in your eating habits. You might share your goals with others who will help you meet them. You can put your goals where others can see them like on your phone, on the fridge, at work, your bathroom, your closet…. to remind you constantly and to keep you motivated. As you achieve your goals, check them off. This will give you a sense of accomplishment and add excitement leading to your next goal.

2. Have Realistic expectations: Any diet plan needs to work with you and not against you. You need to be realistic when setting up your new diet. Your plan needs to work for you and your situation. It needs to fit your schedule and your budget. If you don’t follow your budget, your cooking costs will get too high and you will have to withdraw from the diet you set up. If you don’t cook for your schedule and your eating times you will find yourself without food and scrambling to find a healthy choice. So be realistic with time, and give yourself extra time to prepare food, or have food pre-packed. Also know that obstacles can and will come into your path from time to time to derail you and your progress, so don’t think that everything will be easy and will just happen. It takes work, specially in the beginning it may seem a little more overwhelming but with time, it will soon become a habit and you do it without even thinking much about it. Repetition will be your best friend.

3. Be Proactive: Make a list of a few of your favorite healthy foods.  In my case it would be chicken, salads, fruits like apples, berries and bananas, almonds, peanut butter, Shakeology, carrots, hummus, cucumbers...for example.  Can you make a list of some that you could have handy to take with you to work, the car, school, etc. Always have something available for you to eat, no matter where you are, when you are supposed to have a meal. Always keep healthy foods on hand. If you don’t you will probably eat whatever is available at the time whether it be fast food, chips, sodas, lots of empty carbs, etc. This will throw off your diet plan and get you in the habit of making bad food choices. When you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

4. Be Consistent: It will be your guaranteed ticket to success. Make a plan and stick with it. Try to eat at around the same times daily and keep to the same portion size and caloric intake. Your body will recognize this pattern and in turn keep your metabolism burning and your energy levels will stay high. You will feel better, and get in a healthy routine. The time you spend on planning and consistency is a true investment that will benefit you for the rest of your life.

5. Be flexible: Of course, even the best plans fall short at times. Life can sometimes get the best of all of us. Sometimes your eating routines need to change. Where you can, try to plan ahead for these events and have items on hand you can take with you when you’re in a rush or are eating out. Example: small bag of almonds, a high protein bar or shake, fresh fruit like apple or orange. And of course water.    Also educate yourself on nutrition through the internet, books, and magazines. Do your homework.  Understand why it is important, how our body works, what are the best foods to help our bodies function better… The more you know the more resources you will have.

6. Don’t be hard on yourself: Nobody is perfect all the time. If you mess up, miss a few meals, or even have a bad couple of days, it’s ok, we all have those days.  Pick yourself up and get back on track. You’re doing this for you, and the added stress of not living up to your own expectations can lead to a total catastrophe. Being healthy and eating healthy does not mean you can’t enjoy foods not on your meal plan. So don’t be so hard on yourself. Enjoy yourself with a lot of moderation!

7. Stick with your plan: Be patient. It takes time to develop healthy habits. After about a month of eating better consistently, you will have developed a habit. You will find that everything you initially may have had a hard time doing becomes more effortless and be a normal part of your day to day life.

8. Have fun: Eating right takes dedication, commitment and sacrifice. Don’t stress over small bumps in the road. You have the power to change any negative into a positive, and you have the choice to have a positive outlook regarding any situation you find yourself in. Find fun ways to keep yourself motivated. Get friends and family involved. Get a couple of new workout outfits. How about a new pair of Nikes and sweat bands!! New workout gear motivates me! Set challenges at home, with friends, or at work to start eating healthier. Take the time to cook and try new and interesting recipes. You are making change for the better, so why not make it enjoyable.  This is not a punishment. enjoy the ride!
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9. Celebrate your own Accomplishments: No matter how strong one person is, changing eating habits can be a challenging task. Just think how long you have had your current habits and know that changing those habits will not happen overnight, but with time. Congratulate yourself on any healthy changes you make, you deserve the praise. Praise builds confidence and makes you feel good about the healthy choices you are making, and in turn help keep you on your path to betterment.  You’ll find some people around you will support and compliment you but you’ll also find some negativity and lack of support…. it happens and don’t take it personal.  It’s not about you. you are not doing anything wrong.

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10. Don’t rush it: People always start with the best of intentions and will try and do everything at once. They get overwhelmed and quit before they really even started. Small changes add up and can make a huge difference. Work on one thing at a time and add little by little. Before you know it you will have many healthy habits and those that weren’t so healthy will be long gone. Enjoy the journey and focus on today! Make the best out of each day!

11. Find a support group: Accountability is gong to be such a key compoenent. Find yourself a support group, or invite your spouse or friend or coworker to do this with you or at least hold you accountable. And if you find yourself with no support whatsoever, it's ok, don't worry.... I am here to help you stay accountable and I will help you reach your goals.

paula chavez, motivation, fitness tips, coach

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