There are two types of people out there: divers and waders. And I’m not talking about swimming right now. I’m talking about how we change our habits.
Divers tend to take a challenge or change head on, give their everything and go full force. If they want to lose weight, they overhaul their diet and exercise plan at once, and give up their bad habits cold turkey. If they are trying to change career paths, they quit their current job and work 24/7 to get their foot into the right door.
Waders take a slower approach. They make small changes over time to help them reach their ultimate goal. They find the thought of a life overhaul overwhelming and uncomfortable, so they’d rather break it down into pieces. They may start a weight loss plan with cutting back on desserts or by starting to exercise two days a week. And if they want to change jobs, they may take some time over the weekend to search for jobs and apply, while maintaining their current job and lifestyle.
Neither approach is better than the other. Whatever fits your personality best is the one you should choose.
It has been my experience that most lasting health and wellness changes happen with the wader group, however. Small changes over time can lead to huge results.
And during the holidays, we may need to make a few small changes to maintain our current health and weight state, and still be able to enjoy our pumpkin pie and Christmas cookies!
Some easy, small swaps in your diet can make a lot of difference over time. My challenge to you is to choose one or two of these changes a week and incorporate them into your diet. You won’t even notice the changes in your food, but you will definitely notice that your pants aren’t tighter come January 1st!
Choose Healthier Snacks
Instead of chips, crackers or cookies for a snack, choose a piece of fruit, non-fat or low-fat yogurt, or air-popped popcorn.
Buy (or make your own) 100-calorie snack bags of your favorite snacks instead of eating out of the bag or box.
Instead of buying fruit-flavored yogurt, buy plain yogurt and add fresh fruit.
Dip celery, carrot sticks, red pepper strips or cucumber slices into salsa or hummus instead of chips.
Eat fresh fruit instead of dried fruit.
Make a Healthier Meal
Eat just one strip of bacon with your breakfast, or have Canadian Bacon instead.
Add more vegetables to your sandwiches instead of extra meat or cheeses.
Choose low-fat mayo or mustard instead of full fat mayo.
Chose a 10 inch tortilla instead of a bagel for your breakfast or lunch sandwich.
Use herbs to season your vegetables instead of butter, margarine or cheese.
Eat a side salad or piece of fruit with your meal instead of fries.
Use nonstick cooking spray instead of butter on your pots and pans.
Eat 1/4 cup less of pasta or rice.
When cooking or baking, choose low-fat or non fat products instead of full fat.
Choose the Right Beverage
Instead of a soda with your meal, choose water.
Drink a small glass of soda (in an 8 ounce cup) instead of a full 16 ounce glass.
Drink 1/2 cup of juice instead of a full cup.
Drink skim milk instead of whole milk.
Dining Out the Smart Way
When ordering pizza, go heavy on the vegetables and light on the cheese.
If having a burger or sandwich, only eat half the bun.
When eating a salad, dip your fork into the salad dressing instead of pouring it onto the salad. (Ask for the dressing on the side.)
Skip the pre-meal bread and butter (or chips and salsa).
Choose a salad, steamed vegetables or broth-based soup as your side dish.