Counting calories. . .
Hours at the gym. . .
Never eating ice cream. . .
Macros. . .
No carbs. . .
Salads for lunch. . .
Writing down every bite. . .
For many of us, these are the images that tumble through our heads when we start thinking about getting healthier. We feel like we have to completely overhaul our entire lives to feel better in our own skin. Does this sound familiar?
In reality, changing everything all at once rarely works. It's just too darn hard and rarely sustainable. As a nutrition coach, I have 7 basic actions you can slowly implement into your life to start improving your overall health without feeling overwhelmed:
Eat mindfully and calmly at every meal. Try to avoid distractions like tv or your phone, and pay attention to your food. If you are able to enjoy your meal with your family or friends, even better! When you are satisfied, stop eating.
Choose your foods wisely and thoughtfully at every meal. Focus mostly on foods that nourish your body (like vegetables, lean proteins, healthy carbs, and healthy fats) and occasionally foods that nourish your soul (like the chicken and dumplings your grandma loved to make.)
Move your body every day. You don't have to run 5 miles or spend an hour in the gym, even though both of those activities have tons of benefits. Walking, biking, gardening, pickle ball, playing ball with your kids, hiking. . . it doesn't matter what you do as long as you move your body.
Rest and recover every day. Sleep is one of the most underrated health hacks in our world today. Rest and recovery are JUST AS IMPORTANT as what you eat and how much you move.
Get fresh air and natural light every day. Even if you can only get a few minutes here and there, your body and mental health will thank you.
Drink plenty of water. Our bodies need water to function properly. You will be surprised how much better you feel when you are hydrated.
Balance meaningful work and joyful play every day. Yes, this is easier said than done, but at least attempting to balance work and play is really important. Give it a try.
To build these habits, pick one today. Just one. Focus on incorporating that one habit into your life for a few weeks. When you feel like you have that one mastered, pick another. If this sounds like too much, break a habit down into smaller parts. Instead of eating mindfully and calmly at every meal, start with lunch. Focus on just on lunch. Then slowly add another meal until you are eating slowly and mindfully throughout the day.