Small Changes for Big Health Benefits

There are two types of people in the world: all-or-nothing people or gradual change people.  People who either are the best at something or they don’t do it at all, or people who practice every day, gradually trying more and more to achieve.

This way of thought can be applied to weight loss as well.

All-or-nothing people are the one’s who jump in head first, overhauling their entire lifestyle.  They start a cardio and weight training routine, change their diet and eliminate all bad foods, only eating nutritious meals.  Everything they do is healthy and they have no time for unhealthy habits.

Gradual change people tend to focus on one or two things at a time.  They may start exercising twice a week, and start cutting back on sodas and sugary sweets.  Then in a few weeks they may add another day of exercise into their routine and start trading out their chips and crackers for veggies and fruit.  The changes are small to build up towards a completely healthy lifestyle.

small changes

Both ways have their pros and cons.  It ultimately depends on your personality in which method works best for you.

I tend to have all-in moments maybe once or twice a year.  I get motivated enough that I can do a complete overhaul and not give in on day 2.

But most of the time I’m a gradual change girl.  And right now I’m in the gradual change mode.

I told you I am getting back into a healthy lifestyle after a few months of over-celebrating.

Last week, I started by making the easiest change for me: adding in daily exercise.  I love to exercise.  And while yes, there were a few days I didn’t feel like exercising, it was much easier to convince myself to go to the gym or go for a run than it was to not eat that piece of chocolate.

So for those of you starting out, my advice is to start with the easiest change for you.  Do you like to be active?  Then start exercising first.  Do you dread the gym but enjoy fresh fruits?  Swap out your afternoon snack for a piece of fruit instead of going to the vending machine.  Pick one thing and focus on that for the week.  There will be days you will have to motivate yourself and call on your willpower, but it’s one small thing – so you can do it!

Then the next week, keep going on your first week goal and add in another small change you can make.  This week I’m focusing on eating fruit and protein for snacks instead of crackers and pretzels.  Though I miss my crackers and pretzels, by the end of the week I get used to having my yogurt and fruit as a snack instead.

Small changes over time make a huge difference.  And when you feel overwhelmed and less motivated to make a change for better health, you can always find one thing you can focus on for the week.

Here are a few other ideas:

  • Swap out one soda or juice for water
  • Switch from eating whole eggs in the morning to egg whites.
  • Choose a whole grain cereal instead of a sugary cereal.  Good examples include Kashi, Barbara’s and Whole Foods brand.
  • Instead of having a dessert every night, have dessert 3 nights a week and have a piece of fruit or a graham cracker after dinner to ease your sweet craving.
  • Take a 10 minute walk every lunch break.
  • Go to the gym and do some weight training twice a week.

What are some other small changes you make to better your health?

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