As a Mom of six, I give instructions. Every. Day.
Sometimes they are received well and other times, not so much.
I admit I have been called “bossy” on occasion – usually by a friend, sibling, or my hubby.
But it’s hard to switch out of “Mom mode.” And this week’s tweak may sound like that’s where I am coming from.
I hope you can view it more like helpful suggestions – in tweak form.
Here’s 3 of them – I have a few more for next week – hoping something resonates for you.
1) Don’t Go on a Diet, Do Eat More Whole Foods
In my experience as a personal trainer, diets just don’t work for the long haul. And the more complicated or restrictive it is, the higher your chance of a quick fail.
Keep it simple.
An easier way to improved health and weight loss is to include more whole foods in your daily nutrition.
The majority of your snacks and meals should be food that is in its natural state. Think fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, fresh meat, seafood, eggs, beans, and legumes.
By the way, there are a lot of good choices in that list.
Pro Tip: Make it easy on yourself. Aim for 80% of your purchases at the grocery store to be whole foods. Limit your processed meals and snacks to only 20% of what you buy – and what you eat.
If this seems overwhelming, begin by replacing one processed snack with one “whole-food” option every day. For example, replace an afternoon granola bar with a piece of fresh fruit.
When that step seems easy, do it again but with a meal.
2) Don’t Do Exercise You Hate, Do Physical Activities You Enjoy
If working out was limited to Zumba, aerobics class, or Pilates then I have to admit I would struggle with getting it done.
They’re not my favorite.
But give me a pair of running shoes, a bike, or swim goggles and motivation will never be an issue.
Let’s be honest. If you are doing something you don’t like because you know you HAVE to work out, then you won’t stick with it.
There are a lot of choices out there. Here are some to consider:
- Walking or hiking
- Roller-blading, ice skating
- Group fitness classes
Strength training, flexibility, balance
- Body-weight exercises
- Workout bands
- Dynamic stretching
- TRX straps
- Battle Ropes
- Lifting weights
Pro Tip: Choose more than one option from both categories. Variety will keep it fun AND work different muscles. A few effective but gentle combinations from each group might be:
- Walking and Yoga
- Swimming and workout bands
- Biking and Kettlebells
Remember the best combination is the one that you LIKE.
3) Don’t Set Unreasonable Goals, Do One Thing Better This Week
I love BIG HAIRY GOALS.
Living outside of comfort zones is what causes each of us to grow.
However, the best way to go about accomplishing great things is by breaking the task into doable chunks.
It needs to be small enough that it is almost a no-brainer.
Pro Tip: Write your goal down. Then underneath it write down at least 3 smaller action steps. Focus on just one each week.
Here is an example:
I have a client who wants to lose 15lbs before an upcoming wedding. She has two months. Instead of focusing on the overwhelming task of losing 15 lbs, she could focus on any one of these 3 smaller steps each week:
- Replace her late-night snacking with a healthier food choice or a relaxing activity
- Cut down on her sugary drinks and be purposeful to drink more water
- Add 10 minutes of intensity to her 4 weekly workouts or add one more day of physical activity each week
Now It’s Time To Take Action
These tweaks won’t do anything for you unless you apply them.
If you have heard them all before, remember my intent in sending them is to put them “on your radar” so that you become just a little bit healthier, stronger, and more purposeful about your choices.