Let’s play a game.
Think of the first word that comes to mind after these cues:
Sherlock Holmes and…
Peanut butter and…
Beauty and the…
You probably got 100% because dynamic duos ARE memorable.
In most cases, they accomplish together EXPONENTIALLY MORE than they can alone.
This holds true for another exceptional pair: Exercise and Healthy Eating.
Just like the combinations above, this pair produces the best results when coupled together.
Last week’s tweak looked at the power of little steps that lead to a healthier version of you. But the focus was on exercise.
This week, let’s take a look at the healthy-eating piece of this dynamic duo.
But before I dig into the actual tweaks, I told you I would keep it real and personal. So here is my confession.
Eating healthy has always been the harder piece of the puzzle for me.
I like to exercise.
I enjoy “training” for an event.
And sweating has always been a great stress reliever and way for me to express myself.
I use to think that I could out-exercise any bad-eating habits. And for a while that was true.
But with growing older, it no longer works.
When I finally came to this realization, some bad habits had already developed.
And unfortunately, I still regularly sabotage my efforts to be healthy with things like:
- Snacking late at night
- Feeling that I have to end every meal with a dessert
- Pigging out when I go out to eat or have company over
- Drinking wine and eating chips too often
- Eating fast and continuing to eat, past feeling satisfied
Can you relate to any of those?
As a personal trainer, working with a variety of clients, I have discovered two things I can count on:
- Most of us are resistant to changing our eating patterns
- Diets don’t work long-term
That is why the power is – once again – in the “little steps.”
Slow and steady wins the race if you want to “clean up” your poor food choices and possibly lose weight or just feel better.
Here are 8 easy-to-start little steps you can take in your nutritional choices:
- Add a healthy protein to one meal each day (eggs, turkey, almonds, chicken, fish) For a bigger list see these 20
- Take one day a week that you don’t have bread, pasta, or rice. Replace with veggies
- Cut out one dessert a day or week depending on what is your norm
- Cut your added sugar in coffee by ¼ – ½ of what you usually do. For example, 2 Tbl of sugar goes down to 1 ½ or 1 Tbl
- Focus on adding fiber to one meal each day (veggies, fruit, avocado, nuts, whole grains) For more see this list
- Stop eating by 7 PM
- During one week (or one day) try to get all the colors of the rainbow, in fruits and vegetables
- Try intermittent fasting on one day each week. Admittedly this may seem like much more than a little step, but it can be done very creatively and slowly. Check out this 15 min video explaining the great benefits
Just like with last week’s exercise tweaks, you should only focus on 1 of these. And if all of these sound too overwhelming, then cut the expectation in half.
Remember that the idea is to make it so easy, that it is almost a no-brainer.
Progress may seem slow, but it WILL be forward momentum if you keep your efforts doable and sustainable.