Mind Over Matter: How to Adopt a Healthier Mindset for a Healthier Life

woman stretchingAre you stuck in a pattern of yo-yo dieting? Have you reached a weight loss plateau you can’t get past? Do you want to have more energy and finally fit into clothes sitting in the back of your closet? If so, it may be time to focus on making realistic, permanent lifestyle changes.

Instead of longing for a skinny body or being able to fit into a dress size, create goals related to your health and wellness. While weight loss might be a desirable result of focusing on good health, it cannot be the main focus, as there are many other important indicators of progress and success. Realistic goals that you can reach daily are ideal and a good place to start. For instance:

  • Eat at least 20 grams of protein at breakfast
  • Consume five servings of non-starchy vegetables
  • Get 7 hours of sleep

Finding small attainable changes and sticking with them regularly is the core to developing a healthy lifestyle. While focusing on your weight and the number on the scale is tempting, it is more important to see how you feel, how clothes fit, and your body composition. Lifestyle change is about progress, not perfection!

As you find strategies and behaviors that work for you, continue to keep those while tackling new ones. For example, if you’ve been able to find 30 minutes to exercise at home on Monday, Wednesday and Friday regularly, try adding in one extra day of resistance training to get your most metabolic benefit.

Increased activity is vital to your health and metabolism. Choose your activities and expectations wisely. If you’ve been inactive for years and work at a sedentary job, start slowly to incorporate low-volume activity on a regular basis.

If meal planning is a challenge, start one day at a time. Take a few minutes on the weekend to choose a breakfast, lunch, and dinner meal that fits within your eating plan. Be sure to always have these ingredients on hand so that there are healthy options available at home. Some good options include eggs, nuts, frozen vegetables, portioned proteins, and canned tuna fish. As you fall into a routine, use a weekly menu to enjoy a variety of your favorite foods while staying on track.

Additionally, your body needs fuel throughout the day. Eat healthy snacks high in protein every few hours to keep energy levels high and appetite under control. String cheese, peanut butter, protein shakes, Greek yogurt, and almonds are all easy on-the-go foods.

Don’t forget to make sleep a priority. Even if you’re eating healthy and exercising regularly, lack of sleep can sabotage your results by affecting your hormones and appetite control. Try to create a bedtime routine and limit screen time before bed.

You deserve to look and feel your very best. Committing to make changes to improve your overall health is a great place to start. However, excess body fat causes many metabolic abnormalities that often require further medical intervention. It’s important to have a multidisciplinary team that includes nutrition and exercise counseling, behavior specialists, and a physician that understands these changes and are best able to tailor a plan customized for you.

With developing new healthy habits, you’ll be able to make lasting changes for long term results. For more information contact Dr. Shawna Purcell to book an appointment today and learn what methods are best for your lifestyle.

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