3 Ways To Stay On Track with Healthy Living

Diagram of healthy lifeA few months ago, after watching a series of documentaries and doing a lot of reading about health and wellness, I made some pretty big lifestyle changes. I swapped out my normal diet for a high concentration of fresh vegetables and fruits; I got off my butt and started moving more and noticed some huge differences in my energy levels, appearance and even attitude. Things were looking up.

I still make a huge effort to live a healthy lifestyle, and perhaps even a healthier lifestyle than most people. I’ve always been a vegetarian but I now eat a more balanced vegetarian diet. My intake of greens has increased by at least 300% and my body is responding to the positive changes.

It’s not always easy, though, to maintain the lifestyle that I’ve built. I’ve noticed a few common denominators when I slip up.

Stress Causes Unhealthy Choices

It’s funny because while we are often told that stress is unhealthy in and of itself, I never realized just how much of an impact stress can have on the choices I make.

Even if I am not seeing other indications of stressors in my body (ie tense shoulders, emotional), if there is something big going on that can be thought of as a stressor, I start to crave unhealthy food and want to stay on the couch and “relax” instead of getting up and working out or going for a walk.

Just knowing that stress can cause these cravings is quite helpful. Instead of giving in, I’ll remind myself that I am stressed and push myself to do something that will relieve the stress other than binging on comfort food, such as going for a walk, or having a relaxing bath.

Don’t Tempt Yourself

My mom was over last weekend and made a cheesecake for my brother’s birthday. Most of it ended up in my fridge after she left, and I of course ate it all over the span of about a week. That’s 4 pounds of dairy that I just didn’t need.

Just because I’ve made some huge changes doesn’t mean that I don’t still get cravings or enjoy unhealthy foods. Who doesn’t love cheesecake or some french fries every once in awhile?

When the food is out of sight, it’s out of mind. I don’t generally ice cream like a mad woman unless I know it’s in my freezer. Why tempt yourself like that?

My fiancé is not as committed to healthy living as I am, and while he has increased his fruit, vegetable, and nut intake, he still buys potato chips and junk food. I have to ask him to make sure I don’t know about their existence in the house.

Try New Things

Boredom is the biggest enemy of healthy living. Doing the same things over and over again will make them a lot less enticing. Mix it up to keep yourself interested in being healthy!

Don’t eat the same things all the time. Diversity in your diet will protect you from relapsing back into unhealthy ways. Don’t do the same activities all the time either. If you run every day before work, try hiking one day after. Diversifying your workouts keeps you engaged and challenged, and also uses different muscle groups, creating a stronger foundation.

Open your mind to new things before you slip back into old habits. Healthy living shouldn’t be a phase.

It’s not realistic to think that you will only ever make healthy choices from this point forward. It’s just not the case. Everybody slips up, everybody enjoys something decadent every once in awhile. These things have helped safeguard me against falling off the wagon completely, though.

How do you ensure that you stay on track with your health goals?


Comments

3 Ways To Stay On Track with Healthy Living — 12 Comments

  1. I really want to change to a healthier me, having a healthy lifestyle, going to the gym regularly, eating more vegetables and fruits and sleeping with the right time. By releasing stress and smiling more often, would also help us to be healthy. 🙂

  2. I joke that I am the world’s worst vegan. I really believe in it, but just have trouble in the execution. Like you, my significant other can be a source of temptation. I really don’t like meat, but the smell of bacon is ah-maz-ing. He was also raised on a diet of junk food and will routinely ask me if what he’s eating is healthy (usually the answer is no). But when I’m able to keep the junk food out of the house – I don’t miss it at all!

    People can really make huge improvements in their diet by just cleaning out their cupboards and buying healthy items they already enjoy.

    Good post!

  3. I agree about boredom being bad for your health! We are always tempted to eat junk food after the kids go to bed, mainly because we are bored and they won’t be there to ask for a bite. It’s okay in moderation but a bad idea to do every night.

  4. I used to love baking, but I realized it was because I would sit there and eat all the dough while I was prepping the food. Every time I baked I was tempting myself, so I stopped and get into healthy cooking instead. I can eat all the veggies I want without feeling guilty 🙂

  5. Whenever I have a party/potluck or something of that nature, I always make the guests take everything home with them…or anything that is too tempting for me, like cheesecake. 🙂 I know myself and if it’s in the house…! I think for me, boredom can cause me to overeat. I have to be very careful of that and stress since my office IS my kitchen table!

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