In the coming weeks, you can expect a new tip in this blog.
Tip 1: Motivation
Set a SMART goal. Change efforts are more successful when they are SMART. That means specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-based.
- Choose a Specific goal, e.g. limit eating moments to 3 a day
- Measure your progress daily and record it in a logbook.
- Ensure that it is Achievable. Is it too hard, make your goal smaller.
- Your goal should also be Realistic. This will help you build self-confidence.
- Time-based. Choose a date and time to start and check regularly in your logbook how you are progressing and if you need to make changes to make it feasible.
What kind of lifestyle goals can you choose from? Which little steps will you make towards a bigger goal, such as weight loss, recovering from pain, chronic complaints or illness, improving general fitness, elite sports, being fit and aging fit. Whatever it is start your change with 1 achievable goal. One small step can make a big difference. So choose “smart”:
- Number of meals: 3 or 2. Vary with that.
- Intermittent fasting: 12, 14, 15, 16 hours of fasting. Again, think about variety.
- Food choices and quantities
- Exercise: sitting breaks, strength and endurance training, outdoor and indoor exercise, duration of activity
- Stress mangement: doing something you love, mindfulness, yoga, meditation
- Breathing techniques
- Cold or heat stimuli
- Sleep rhythm
If you can’t figure it out yourself, ask me to coach you. Online or live in the clinic.
Tip 2: Eating better
Where does that start?
Keep track for yourself for three days:
- When you eat and what you eat. Really every time you put something in your mouth.
- What you are doing while eating
- Are you eating with your plate on your lap, out of hand, at your desk or at the table
- Alone or in company
Eat more unprocessed food
You may think there is little to choose from and therefore boring. Try something new.
Challenge yourself to eat as many different products as possible within one week. You can count anything: any kind of vegetables, fruits, herbs, nuts, seeds, fish, meat, grains…. Every kind counts for 1. Variety also provides a wider spectrum of anti-inflammatory nutrients and a wider spectrum of good gut flora.
Think of fluid intake like a “normal” glass of water. All body cells need fluids and it protects against constipation. Don’t sip throughout the day, but drink when you are thirsty and then a good amount. This is less stressful for your kidneys.
Keep your protein intake limited. Laps of meat or plate full of beans will stress your system. As an indication: piece of meat and fish the size of a package playing cards and beans the size of a golf ball
Start eating fish twice a week, but with MSC label. Farm-raised fish ASC often contain hormones and antibiotics
Avoid impulse eating. If you want to snack, plan healthy alternatives.
Tips for eating out:
- Don’t choose fried things or anything with heavy sauces
- Go for chicken, fish or good meat: baked, poached or grilled.
- Go for vegetables and salads as a side dish. Ask for the sauce separately, then you can choose if and how much you want to take. You can also ask for olive oil instead of the sauce.
- If you don’t want or can’t eat some things, specify that when you make your reservation. These days, the chefs love the challenge of making something tasty for you. Allow them their preparations.
- Portions too big, don’t feel obliged to eat your plate empty.
- If you are still hungry for dessert, share it with someone.
- If you are eating with friends or family, make them aware in advance. That way, you may also encourage them to eat more consciously.
Tip 3: Smart shopping
- In the supermarket, start at the fresh section. Here you will find the healthiest and least processed products. Fill your trolley with fruit, vegetables, healthy proteins such as organic dairy products, non-prepacked meat and fis and if you wish whole-grain bread products. Concentrate on your shopping list and resist the urge to walk past the unhealthy shelves with chips, biscuits, sweets, soft drinks and other pre-packaged and processed foods.
- Don’t shop on an empty stomach
- Get organised: make a list of what you need. Plan your menus for the week and do your shopping once a week. This will prevent you from rushing to get something in between and being tempted to buy something you don’t need.
- Decide which ingredient is most important for you to find or avoid in your diet. Whether that is salt, sugar, calories, additives, fibre or healthy fats and then get the best based on label reading. You probably won’t find the perfect product, but you will definitely start making better choices by comparing labels.
- Most healthy and real foods, such as fruits and vegetables, have no packaging and no label. Packaged foods do, so reading the ingredients list will help you choose the healthiest option.
- Enjoy your trolley full of healthy things and go make some delicious meals with them. This will increase serotonin, your feel-good hormone.
- Need recipes for your shopping list? Take a look on my site https://flexhealth.eu/en/blog/menu-of-the-week/