These days, social media is definitely seen as a platform for aspiration to set goals in terms of diet and exercise. Facebook and Instagram have millions of healthy quotes, pictures, and food ideas that feature every few seconds. And somehow a specific post sparks an interest and we jump on the bandwagon to start eating healthy once again and to start some sort of exercise. Our motivation is extremely high and we get super excited to make healthy lifestyle choices. However, not too long after seeing that sparkly post, we lose track and motivation. And we fall back into our old behaviour of skipping meals, drinking six cups of coffee per day and over-eating at supper time.
So the golden question is …How do we stick to healthy eating and exercising? I am not the world’s expert, however, I do know what works for me and this is something that I find working for a lot of people as well. Forming a habit is the answer, and of course not to focus on too much at once.
By this I specifically refer to dietary goals. For example: Start with eating regular balanced meals, drink a sufficient amount of water daily and start exercising three times a week. Continue doing this for more or less two months (eight weeks) – this is usually when certain behaviors start to become a habit. And this is only the start of achieving a new healthy routine. Look at specific bad dietary habits and try to adapt and change them slowly.
Obviously there are a lot of factors that do tend to come in the way; i.e. emotions, social events, work schedules and food addictions are just a few to mention that can hinder success. But ultimately in order to achieve success, is to identify the pitfalls and work around it and always keeping the ultimate goal in mind; whether it is losing weight, getting more fit or controlling blood sugar levels.
It is not an easy task, but I always say you have to be 100% committed to reach that specific goal. Otherwise forming a habit will not be on the cards.
Motivation comes in various forms and once you have been motivated, find a support system (family, friends, work colleagues) to support and motivate you whilst on the behavioural journey. It honestly just makes the journey so much easier.
Never rush the process of habit changing. Be patient and always remember how far you’ve come. Progress and working hard is so much more rewarding than perfection