This is one of my favourite holidays as I get to dress up and showcase my silly side…and I may even sneak a few mini chocolate bars/candy/chips while I am at it, anyone else guilty for this?? Hopefully you didn’t go TOO crazy this weekend with Halloween parties and such but even if you did (I may have had an extra beer or two and a piece of cake at a staff party on Saturday) don’t let it get you down!! We are all human! BUT what better time to get your eating/drinking habits under control than the beginning of a new month!!
My mom has been constantly watching what she eats and is very consistent with keeping her weight down but one thing I have learned from her and really resonates with me is that TOMORROW IS A NEW DAY!! In other words, if you have a bad day/weekend/week of eating you can change things around the next day!
My boyfriend and I did a 21 day challenge with the following rules: all our meals must come from our own kitchen (NO EATING OUT), eating every 3-4 hours (proper timing of meals), drinking lots of water and NO ALCOHOL (stay hydrated) and NO JUNK FOOD/unhealthy snacks! We measured our waists at the beginning of each week and after about 4 weeks of sticking to our rules we both lost 3-5 inches around our waists, reduced our body fat 2-3 percent and even lost weight (5-7lbs) on the scale! And this was only after 25 days of being very conscious of what we were eating. Not only did we slim down but we also saved a lot of money….eating out (even if it is healthy) and drinking is very expensive. Planning your meals and making frequent trips to the grocery store is much more cost effective (and better for your waist line).
Now 21 days may seem like a lot for some…so why not try it for 1 or 2 weeks…and keep it simple…for example, try not drinking any alcohol for 2 weeks (this could be hard for some!) and then if you are successful try for another 2 weeks or vice versa (if unsuccessful try it again!) Or try bringing your own lunch to work instead of eating out. How about no snacking before bed? For some maybe you need to start eating protein at breakfast? These are just a few ideas…fill me in on what your challenge will be and what are you going to do to practice healthy eating habits for 1 week, 2 weeks or 4 weeks…and remember if you break the “rules” one day you can start over the next day!
Here are some suggestions to help you get on track and use for the next 7,14,21 or 30 days to form a new healthy eating ‘habit’:
1. Be clear what your challenge is. Do you really want to go without McDonalds? or was this just something told you you should do…pick something that YOU want to do not what someone else tells you you should do!
2. Once you are absolutely certain what you want to do WRITE IT DOWN. And keep it positive…ie I will eat all fresh, whole foods from the grocery store, not I WILL NOT EAT JUNK FOOD…also write down “why”…why do you want to eat more vegetables? To increase the amount of fiber and antioxidants in my diet, help me lose weight etc. The bigger your conviction, the easier it will be be for you to follow through.
3. Create diversions to help you stay on track. If there is a specific weakness you battle that stops you from progressing and following your challenge every day, try to find ways to distract you from the negativity. For example, if you are craving chocolate or food give yourself 5 or 10 minutes to think about if you really need it, or drink water instead or how bout get rid of all bad food in your kitchen? It will help to keep you on track.
4. Celebrate each step, regardless how tiny it is. You need all the help you can get to keep motivated. Tell others about your ‘challenge’ and they can help keep you on track. It also helps to pick a date when your challenge is over…celebrate with a friend or anyone else who knows you are doing the challenge…it will give you something to look forward to!
5. Stay clear of negative people or anything else that may trigger you to ‘cheat’. There will be people who try to sabotage you. This doesn’t even have to be intentional. Just remember you are doing this for YOU and do not let anyone else tell you that what you are doing is wrong or stupid or crazy…they are probably jealous because they could NEVER do what you are doing!
So next time you catch yourself saying things like “yeah I really need to start eating healthier” or “wow I WISH I was as disciplined as Les is” or “I would really like to lose the last 10 pounds” or “I should really stop spending so much money on eating out”…well now is your chance!! Take responsibility and pay attention to what you are putting in your mouth for a few weeks and get ready to be happy with the result! And who knows, maybe it will become a habit?? Remember it takes 21 days to form a habit…
What better time to start then now!!??
Good luck! Keep me posted on how your challenge goes. Feel free to message me with any ideas/questions/comments/concerns.
Another tip…have extra Halloween candy left over? THROW IT OUT!!! It is much better for you in the garbage where it belongs than sitting in your belly and hips. It will be much less tempting to grab a chocolate bar if it is sitting in the garbage instead of a pretty container on your counter…just a suggestion 🙂