A healthy lifestyle is not only about how much you eat and exercise, but also about your attitude. Your thoughts and your emotions have an important influence on what you do. When you feel good about yourself, it is often easier to live a healthier life. At the same time, a healthy lifestyle can also help you feel better about yourself.
For this article we collaborated with Healthsplein.nl. There you will find many more articles on health, checked by doctors and medical specialists.
What is your motivation?
Healthy eating and exercise is important for everyone, but a clear motivation makes it easier to keep up with your new eating and exercise pattern. Do you want to gain more confidence? Do you want to get fitter so that you can play better with your (grand) children? Whatever your reason, remembering why you started can help you through difficult moments. Make your reason specific, write it down and possibly stick it somewhere you see it often.
Many people use (unhealthy) food for comfort. For example to deal with stress or sadness, but also out of boredom, loneliness or even happiness. You do not eat because you are hungry, but because food seems to make you happy at that moment. After this you can feel guilty.
Some tips to unlearn emotional eating:
- Think and recognize why you eat: are you tired, are you under stress, are you sad, are you bored or are you fed up with the lockdown? If necessary, write down the reason so that you recognize it next time.
- Then find another way to deal with this: go outside, call a friend, or exercise.
- Recognize which foods you are ‘sensitive’ to during a binge and take this into your home as little as possible. Make sure to prepare healthy snacks so that you can take them when you get hungry.
- Avoid hunger. Do not skip meals and eat plenty of healthy snacks.
Not being able to resist temptation is a common problem of weight-loss people. That is not surprising: every day we make about 200 unconscious eating choices. We are easily tempted by unhealthy choices from smelling or seeing food, as well as offers and commercials. Nearly half of dieters cite such temptations as the main reason for their diet failure.
Some tips for resisting temptation:
- Make sure you always have healthy snacks on hand and train yourself to eat one of these snacks when you are hungry.
- Don’t go shopping when you are hungry.
- Make it easy for yourself: good preparation is half the battle. When you are tired, it is often tempting to quickly reach for something unhealthy. Make sure you have a healthy meal at home (in the freezer) for these moments. A weekly schedule can also help with this.
- Do you really fancy something tasty? Take a small portion. One cookie or a small piece of cake instead of a whole package or a large piece.
- Do you eat with others and don’t want to overeat? Then tell them this so they don’t tempt you to eat more.
Healthy habits play an important role in a healthy lifestyle. Your habits determine an important part of your daily life. The advantage and disadvantage of habits is that you often don’t think about them. With good habits (such as brushing your teeth) this is an advantage, with bad habits (eating chips while watching TV) this is a disadvantage.
Healthy habits make a healthy lifestyle a lot easier. If you are used to working out every week on a Wednesday evening, you will not easily skip this. If you don’t have a fixed sports moment, it is much easier to linger on the couch in the evening. This also works with (un) healthy snacks. You can teach yourself to eat a piece of fruit or vegetables in between. Once you get used to this, you will do this at some point without thinking about it and the chances are much smaller that you will reach for chips, candy or biscuits at that point.
Do you want to teach yourself new healthy habits? If-then plans can help. Formulate clear rules for yourself in certain situations, for example:
- If I still feel hungry after dinner, I eat a piece of fruit.
- If I still feel hungry after dinner, I have coffee or tea instead of dessert.
- If I don’t feel like exercising, I go for a walk for at least half an hour.
- When I feel a binge, I go outside for a moment.