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Making Healthy Lifestyle Changes Stick

Apr 4, 2008
Many people try crash diets, or exercise for two weeks before a big event in order to look their best. If they had decided to make a lifestyle change instead of a temporary one, then they wouldn't be so disappointed when their goal isn't met.

Lifestyle changes are permanent changes - nothing temporary. People make mistakes when they go for something drastic, like losing 25 pounds in one month. Setting a goal like that is just setting you up for failure. Setting small, attainable goals will bring you more realistically to your overall goal. You can even take your healthy habits and turn them into part of your lifestyle.

There are three big areas that can be moderately changed with a big result. By making these small changes, your lifestyle will be healthier and you can be proud of yourself when you achieve your goals. In no time, your friends who can't seem to figure out why crash dieting isn't working for them will be asking you how you did it!

Diet and Nutrition

-Make small goals. Don't make a goal of not eating any sweets the first week. Make a goal of only eating one brownie a week instead of four, or make a goal of eating four smaller brownies instead of the usual size.

-Add more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to your diet. Choose to add one fruit as a mid-afternoon snack instead of raiding the vending machine. Or add a vegetable to your dinner - instead of chicken and pasta, make chicken, pasta (whole grain, of course!), and tomatoes.

-Change to a fat-free or lighter version of the foods you enjoy. Instead of a regular pudding cup, change to one that is fat-free. Choose a fat-free salad dressing over a regular one.

Workouts

-Don't go from not exercising at all to telling yourself you're going to workout 6 days a week for 2 hours. This goal has failure written all over it. Instead, make a goal of working out 2 days a week and parking further from the door at work.

-Make a goal of taking the stairs at work instead of the elevator. If you work on the 20th floor, go five floors the first week (or less, depending) and ride the elevator the rest of the way; add one more floor each week until you make it to 20!

-Invest in some weights. Use 3-5 pound weights during a television commercial, or even during your favorite show.

Mind/Spirit

-Your lifestyle will not be completely healthy until your mind is clear. Stress creates chaos, and may prevent you from reaching your goals because your mind is focused elsewhere.

-De-stress. Find an activity that relieves stress and do it often. For a lot of people, their workout is their stress reliever.

-Organize your time. Schedule time for workouts and meals. This will also help relieve stress because when you wake up, you already know that you are going to do your workout from 12pm-1pm. You won't be stressed trying to find time to work out. HyperStrike has a great article on how to find time for fitness.

-Find some friends that will support you in your quest, or even join you! Having a buddy is very important, and it gives you someone you have to be accountable to. Talk to your spouse about making changes together, or even involve your children!

When you reach your goals, make sure you reward yourself! It is important to celebrate your achievements - by doing so, you gain more respect for yourself. Just make sure your reward for finally walking up 20 flights of stairs is not eating 20 brownies!
About the Author
Michael Greeves, CEO and founder of Hyperstrike, wanted to develop an affordable fitness program for individuals and athletes that could be customized to their personal abilities and goals, and be delivered to any one, any where, any time. Learn more about HyperStrike workout programs.
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