We made it! 8 weeks to a healthier lifestyle. Our cupboards have been overhauled and our refrigerator has been purged. From here on out, it’s about maintenance. Maintaining these habits are going to require several things: commitment, determination, and forgiveness.
To continue on this path means making a commitment to yourself and to those you love, that you will be as healthy as is within your power. It will take determination and willpower to not give in when others are eating, yet another birthday cake, at the office this week. And you will need to be able to forgive yourself when you totally lose control and eat the entire pint of ice cream, because the day was just that bad.
Here is a guideline of what we have learned. Post it where you can refer to it when you feel yourself slipping, or just need a reminder.
1. Eat breakfast – it is the most important meal of the day.
2. Eat 3 meals and 2 snacks every day.
3. Meals and snacks should contain both carbs and protein.
4. Eat 6-9 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Eat a rainbow of colors to help absorb a variety of nutrients that protect against diseases and aging.
5. Drink 8 glasses of water and/or unsweetened tea daily.
6. Add some good fats to your diet every day in the form of olive or other plant based oils, ground flaxseed, avocados, nuts, or salmon.
7. Replace white and refined foods and flours with whole grains.
8. Keep processed foods, such as crackers, frozen entrees, and boxed dinners to a minimum.
9. Limit fast food, and choose broiled, baked, grilled and other healthier foods in restaurants.
10. Limit sugary drinks to the weekend only, as a treat.
11. Have a serving of dairy daily.
12. Limit starches after 6:00pm, we use less energy in the evenings and therefore do not require as many carbs at that time.
13. Allow yourself a small treat a couple of times a week to help you stay on track.
14. Perform some type of physical activity daily; minimum guidelines are 30 minutes of moderate activity a day.
15. Involve your children in making healthy choices and being active.
Choosing to make healthier food choices isn’t just about losing weight, it’s about living a healthier lifestyle and improving your quality of life. You’ll sleep better, have more energy, and will feel better than ever!