It takes roughly 21 days to make a habit. Though that in itself does not seem difficult, we can all agree that when you toss children, work, and quite frankly general life into that mix, it suddenly makes it darn tough to maintain a lifestyle makeover. When prioritizing family, career and a social life it’s hard to carve out time to sit down and reevaluate your entire dietary routine. While body types and metabolisms vary, here are three simple changes to implement in your day to day life to kickstart your journey to a better you.
Cut Down On Liquid Calories
Let’s be honest. A lot of beverages on the market are inherently good for us; coffee, tea, and smoothies have their nutritional benefits. Unfortunately, a handful of places that dish up these drinks on-the-go load them up with artificial sweeteners and additives. Yes, the surge of energy that the refined sugars in sodas, energy drinks, and our go-to coffee concoctions put into our bodies is satisfying. However, what I’m sure everyone has learned to loathe is the blood sugar crash that follows and has us ready to toss everything from our desks, hop into sweatpants, and take a nap. This sluggish afternoon drag can be avoided. It’s a tough habit to kick. Try amping up your water intake as you lower the liquid calories to avoid dehydration. By removing simple processed sugars from your diet, you’ll see an improvement in your mood as well as your waistline. Your body will feel refreshed and function better with increased hydration levels.
Tackle Your Biggest Monster First
Everyone is guilty of a habit that they’re aware is detrimental to their health. It may be swinging through the fast food drive-thru on your daily commute home. For some, it’s sweet treats during breaks. And for others, it’s half a dozen soft drinks to make it through the afternoon. Pick the one aspect of your diet that you think is making the heaviest impact on your health and decide on a game plan to change this. Focus on this single habit and make a conscious effort to improve this focus dietary change. Make a promise to yourself to cut down to half or a third of the amount of your regular routine and gradually phase it out as the month goes on. It’s a process that will be much easier if you are slowly finding substitutions you enjoy to replace your guilty pleasure versus depriving yourself. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Be Prepared To Fight The Hunger Battle
We’ve all been victim to hunger striking at an unexpected hour of the day. As cliche as it may seem, if you’re needing an afternoon pick-me-up, try opting for fruit or a healthy fat. Though it still contains sugars, fruits are natural sugars which make them easier to digest in your body, and the carbohydrates in an easy to grab a snack like heart-healthy nuts will also give your body the fuel it needs to work through the afternoon. Choose two or three snacks over the weekend to bring to stash at your workspace. The variety will add excitement and make it tougher to fall into a rut.
Not only will all these simple swaps be beneficial to your health, but things that you can share with your kids. As busy parents sometimes we because guilty of a “do as I say, not as I do” and that’s no fun. Spending time tackling these bad habits now will lead to healthier times with your family in the future.