29 life-changing health habits you should adopt (that won’t make you feel deprived):
I get it – ‘Quitting sugar’ is simpler than ‘eat everything in moderation’.
You follow rules. You have a list of foods to avoid. You don’t have to think. And it makes you feel trendy. But that’s a diet. And diets don’t work.
Do you know how I lost 20kg for good? Not by quitting sugar or ‘eating clean’. But by adopting healthy habits.
Adopting healthy habits (not restrictions) is the only proven way to lose weight – and not regain it.
So instead of jumping on yet another diet bandwagon (that will suck the joy out of eating and drive you to binge eat the pantry), why not adopt one of these incredibly simple, lifestyle habits.
29 healthy habits (that won’t make you feel deprived):
1. Stop making crappy ice-berg lettuce, tomato and carrot salads. They suck because they’re boring. And who wants to eat boring food?
2. Try tomato, cucumber and onion salad. Try rocket, pear, parmesan salad. Try mango, avocado, onion salad. Still three ingredients. But actually tastes good.
3. Don’t put salad dressing on the side. It makes salads taste good. This is important. Because it makes healthy eating enjoyable.
When you enjoy eating healthy foods, you want to do it. Naturally. No hassle. So make sure you make healthy food that tastes amazing.
4. Cook at home one more night each week. That’s doable, right? Schedule it in your diary. Here are some delicious, healthy recipes.
5. When you cook, make twice as much for a healthy lunch the next day = less take away = more $$
6. Stop eating ‘six small meals a day’. Eat when you are hungry – not by the clock. Because Pringles were right! Once you pop, you typically… can’t stop. Less frequent meals = Less worry = More satiation = Winning at life.
7. Get 10,000 steps each day. Get a fitness tracker like a Fitbit. You’ll sleep so much better.
8. Aim to eat 2-3 pieces of fruit every day. And no, fruit is not fattening.
9. Quit that gym membership you hate. Do exercise you actually like. Go for a weekly walk with a girlfriend so you can spend the whole time talking about the latest Bachelorette episode. See… Way more fun!
Sophie Monk approves of this healthy habit because it doesn’t suck. Exercise should be fun. Like Sophie. Don’t take it too seriously.
10. Stop scrolling on social media. It makes you anxious and sad and feel not good enough. This isn’t motivating. It’s depressing. Use Moment app to track your addiction.
11. Eat less meat. Aim to eat meat once a day or less.
12. Unfollow nut jobs on social media. Especially all the crazies in the wellness world who pretend superfoods cure cancer.
13. Stop weighing yourself.
14. No seriously. Stop weighing yourself. Your weight doesn’t define you. What does the number actually mean if you’re never satisfied with your body regardless of your weight?
15. Accept your body as it is. Accepting your body doesn’t mean you ‘give up’ and go downhill. It means you become motivated by taking care of yourself, not fixing yourself. And that kinda willpower is WAY more powerful. Try it. Go on… It works.
16. Turn off the TV when you eat a meal.
16. Make an appointment with a counsellor or psychologist. I proudly see one regularly. It’s gym for your brain.
17. Swap soft drink (including diet) for water.
18. Crowd in more vegetables instead of avoiding carbohydrates or sugar.
19. Eat carbohydrates – if it makes you feel good. Bread isn’t fattening. Choose wholegrains and eat legumes.
20. Buy one new veg each week that is outside of your comfort zone. Try a new recipe like one from Back to Basics.
21. Normalise forbidden foods by eating them as part of your diet. Eat ice-cream with friends or eat a slice of wholegrain toast with peanut butter for breakfast. As long as your restrict foods, you will continue to crave them or binge eat them.
22. Add legumes into your diet. Perhaps try chickpeas or butter beans.
23. If someone else is beautiful, it doesn’t mean you are not. Don’t comment on other peoples weight. You never know if they have an eating disorder, an illness, grief or depression…
24. Charge your phone in another room. Put it on aeroplane mode.
24. Always order veggies when eating out.
25. Find excuses to walk. Walk to buy your groceries, to post a letter, attend a meeting.
26. Get to sleep 30 minutes earlier.
27. Prioritise a healthy grocery shop at least once a week. Or order online.
27. Learn to say “NO” when people ask too much of you. Do you really WANT to do it? Do you even have time? Saying “No, thank you” is like exercise. The more you do it, the easier it gets…. and you always feel better afterwards.
28. Fill your shopping trolley with 50% veg and fruit (and you will eat 50% veg and fruit!)
29. Stop trying to lose the last few kilograms. Focus on being healthy. Your healthiest weight will follow and reflect your inner balance.
How to make healthy habits that stick
Simply pick a couple of healthy habits that resonate with you. Adopt them. But don’t pick more than 1-3 at a time.
Once the habits feel easy and effortless, pick another and repeat the process. It could take a few days, weeks or months until it becomes a habit. Be patient. If the habit doesn’t work out, ditch it and pick another. Simple.
Want to eat healthily without dieting or obsessing over food this year? Join Back to Basics – it’ll take the stress, guesswork and confusion out of food and making cooking simple and fun. Check it out here.