Even when you might think you are doing everything right, the scale refuses to budge. You might be tempted to take up the next fad approach or quick fix that promises miraculous results. But if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Or, at the very least, it's unsustainable and unhealthy.
If you want to shed that tummy fat, have more energy, have glowing skin and generally be healthier, then you need to shift your mindset from short-term dieting approaches to making long-term lifestyle changes.
Adopting #healthyhabits may not be easy, but Rome wasn't built in a day, and most things that are worthwhile take time.
Your #health is definitely one of those things that is worthwhile taking care of...you will be stronger in yourself, be providing a good example for your kids and when you take care of yourself, everybody else around you is indirectly taken care of and happier too. And there are lots more benefits, such as you will have more energy to play with your kids and get out during your leisure time (rather than being tired on the couch).
With all the opinions out there, it's easy to get overwhelmed and confused. Not to mention, misled with non-scientifically proven information.
I want to help you sort out scientific fact vs fiction and give you simple everyday approaches to reach your goals. So I have listened to everyone of you that come through my clinic door and noted the most common everyday mistakes that are sabotaging most people's ability to lose excess tummy fat and be as healthy as they can be. These same mistakes are also more often than not preventing you from achieving your weight loss goals in a healthy way that will be maintainable in the long-term.
Common complaints I also hear are:
"I eat healthy so why am I tired all the time, have excess tummy fat that wont budge, and just don't feel quite right"
If this resonates with you, take a look at the list below and see if you are regularly carrying out any of the following unhealthy habits.
UNHEALTHY HABIT: Food shopping whilst hungry, tired or upset. This usually results in unhealthy food choices. CHANGE TO: shop when you are fed, alert, and otherwise in a good mood.
UNHEALTHY HABIT: Whilst out shopping, putting junk food in the trolley just in case you might feel like it later. CHANGE TO: only put food in your trolley which you intend to eat. When it is late at night and you want a snack if there is no chocolate around well then you just wont eat it. Make sure there are healthy snack options in your house instead such as frozen fruit, Greek yoghurt (not icecream)
UNHEALTHY HABIT: Going food shopping without a list – you will end up buying food that you don’t need. Households throw out on average 30% of food because it goes off or is out of date. CHANGE TO: At the beginning of the week take time to plan you weekly meals and write a list. Check your pantry to see if you already have a particular item before re-buying it.
UNHEALTHY HABIT: Putting more food on your plate than you need. CHANGE TO: Use a smaller plate (if you can not help but fill it up) and only put on your plate what your body needs for energy. A good place to start is 1/4 plate lean meat + 1/4 plate starchy veg or grains + 1/2 plate non-starchy vegetables. #portioncontrol (Read more in my article on my 4 Principles of Nutrition)
UNHEALTHY HABIT: Using a plate which is much larger than the amount of food your body needs – we eat with our eyes, and we can not help but fill up a plate with everything yummy that we see before us (especially if eating out). CHANGE TO: Use a smaller plate and fill it for your bodies needs (see above point). If you are really hungry fill up on non-starchy vegetables.
UNHEALTHY HABIT: Going back for seconds, or adding food to your plate after you have started eating (1/2-way through) – one of the signals to stop eating is emptying your plate of food. But your plate won’t be empty if you keep filling it. CHANGE TO: Portion out an appropriate amount of food on to your plate. Pack up the leftovers for lunch the next day before you sit down to eat.
UNHEALTHY HABIT: Drinking calories when you are thirsty. There are so many 'healthy' smoothies and other "good for you drinks" on the market now. Yes, they taste good and often have some nutritional value but they are often loaded with unnecessary calories. Then, of course there are drinks that have no nutritional value that are also loaded with calories, such as alcohol & soft drinks. CHANGE TO: just drink water when you are thirsty, and save the calories for when you are hungry and need to eat. #eatrealfood #nourishyourbody Our bodies are 60% water, so the benefits of drinking adequate water are huge such as more energy, glowing skin.
UNHEALTHY HABIT: Opting for fast food when you are time-poor and haven't planned ahead. CHANGE TO: You are human, it is normal to not be so planned and organised for every single meal or you just might feel like a lazy night, so take-away may be the easy option. But lets be smart about the "fast-food" option. Instead of pizza, Chinese food, McDonalds or something equivalent (which are loaded with excess calories, fat, sugar & salt), drop in to the supermarket on your way home, pick up a #roastchicken, a bag of ready-to-steam #vegetables, and a microwaveable bag of brown rice and dinner will be ready within 5 minutes of walking in the door.
Note the unhealthy habits that you do regularly. Start with one and think about how you could change it for a healthier habit, then once you have incorporated this new healthy habit in to your lifestyle move on to another. Before long you are certain to reap the benefits of adopting these new habits. You will also be able to teach your kids how to manage their health as they grow up.