WESTFORD — The following column was submitted by member Cheryl Major for publication and distribution by WestfordCAT.
Two of the most important improvements you can make in your life are healthy eating and getting your energy back. Let’s discuss each topic and what to do about them.
Finding the Motivation to Eat Healthier
Healthy eating is often made to be much more complicated than necessary. There is so much conflicting evidence about what a “healthy diet” even consists of, let alone finding the motivation to follow through with it. Here are some easy ways to eat a healthier diet without the unnecessary struggle.
Take Weight Loss and Aesthetic Goals Out of it
While your long-term goal might be to eat healthier in order to shed a few pounds, it’s best of this isn’t focused on as your first goal. Put that aside for now so you can focus on eating a healthier diet. Don’t detail-track your food relative to things like calories and macros. Instead, focus on making small, sustainable changes to your diet. Changes like adding more fruits and vegetables, eating whole grains instead of refined grains, and making sure you have enough protein and healthy fats in your meals.
Focus on the Changes to Your Physical Health
Instead of thinking about aesthetic goals with eating healthier, start by thinking about how it can change your physical health. Make a list of all the ways you want to improve your health, such as having more energy, increasing your fiber intake to help with easier and more regular bowel movements, reducing any gut issues you experience, or improving your cholesterol levels.
By keeping these in mind, you’re focusing more on eating nutritious foods, and less on just trying to restrict your foods for weight loss purposes. You can move gradually toward eating healthy and getting your energy back
Healthy Eating Also Impacts Your Emotional Health
By switching to a more nutritious diet, it can also make huge, unexpected changes your life on an emotional and mental level. I know this from personal experience, as switching my diet helped me “disappear” my chronic depression. This is another great thing to focus on as you try to eat healthier. For some people, their anxiety is increased by eating poorly, especially with high levels of junk food, caffeine, and alcohol. Perhaps you’ve noticed you feel more stressed when you don’t eat a healthy diet, or that it lowers your self-confidence when you aren’t eating as healthy as you know you should be.
Stay Motivated with Smaller Goals
Think about small goals you can reach with your healthy eating that will help to keep you motivated and on track. Again, these are not weight loss goals or aesthetic goals as you switch to a healthier diet. Think of other goals you can set, such as:
Drinking at least 8-10 glasses of water a day
Adding fruits or vegetables to every meal
Reducing your snacks and eating more nutrient-dense meals
Consistent goals, like eating a type of healthy diet for a certain number of days in a row
Cooking more meals at home
Eating out less
Think of some goals related to healthy eating that will encourage you to take action to treat your body a little more kindly.
Tips for Getting Your Energy Back
Getting your energy back after taking time off or not being as active, such as after a long illness or even when on a vacation, can be a major struggle. Your body and your mind are not used to so much activity, and going from zero to 100 on day one is never going to work. But it is possible to work toward getting your full energy back.
Prioritize Getting Better Sleep
To have more energy, you need to have better sleep. If you’ve been staying up late for a while, then expecting to wake up early ready to take on the day is unrealistic. People often think more sleep leads to lack of energy, but the opposite is usually true. Unless you’re sleeping more hours than your body needs, rest is crucial to being more alert and focused throughout the day.
If you struggle with sleep, start getting a good amount of exercise, eating a healthy diet, and relaxing before bedtime without the TV or your phone in front of your face. You should have a nighttime ritual that allows you to slowly get ready for a restful night of sleep.
Reduce Your Daily Stress Levels
Stress can actually consume a lot of your energy, so the less stressed you are, the more energy you will be able to hold on to. Try to find small and simple ways to reduce your stress throughout the day. Maybe you need to take a relaxing walk in the afternoon after work, or you need to hire some additional help at home or work. Find some stress-relieving practices to reduce your stress and help you maintain your energy levels.
Develop Healthy Habits
Some of your daily habits will help give you energy, while others can zap it rather quickly. For example, eating a healthy diet full of protein, fiber, and healthy fats will help you feel satiated and energized throughout the day. However, if you rely on a lot of processed, high sugar, and low nutrient-dense foods, they will probably make you feel tired and sluggish.
While sleep is important, afternoon naps may make it harder to sleep at night and may have the potential to make you hit a slump after you wake from your nap. Try skipping the naps and getting some light exercise instead.
Conserve Your Energy
If you had a recent illness or injury that is causing your lack of energy, you’re best advised to take it slowly as you go back to your normal activities. Don’t try to do it all right after you’ve recovered from your illness. Conserve your energy and set yourself up for more probable success by making this a gradual process.
I hope these suggestions for healthy eating and getting your energy back are helpful. Remember to focus on the big picture and be patient with yourself. You can do this; you can eat to feel better and regain your energy!
This article originally appeared on my blog: https://ThinStrongHealthy.com
Helping You Achieve Major Wellness!
Helping You Achieve Major Wellness!
Cheryl A Major, CNWC
I’m author, health coach, and entrepreneur Cheryl A Major, and I would love to connect with you! If you’re new to the world of creating better health, both mental and physical for yourself, please check out my training on how to get sugar out of your diet. Crack Your Sugar Habit is where to check it out. Learn how sugar, as yummy as it may taste to you now, affects your mental and physical health and how to go about reducing or eliminating it from your diet.
Be sure to follow me on Twitter so you won’t miss my daily postings for health, wellness and mindset!
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