How to change your lifestyle for the better and keep it that way.

So you’ve come here looking for that quick fix to change your lifestyle? You want to improve your diet so your kids don’t pick up your bad habits? You want to stop having that sugar hit after dinner,’ because that’s what you enjoy?’ You wish you could find the time to do some exercise? You’ve been told it’s good for you. When do I have the time? I’m in the office all day, and after a mentally draining day sitting down the last thing I want to do is exercise, I just want to sit down and relax.

Sound familiar? Thus confirming the vicious cycle in inactivity.

We are starting to realise how much sitting is actually deadly, unfortunately sitting, will be the smoking of the current generation. But more on these two later. (If you want to get a head-start click the links to the sitting and smoking data).

TV shows like ‘The Biggest Loser’  or the next fad diet that tells you, you’ll lose 10kgs or your money back, (some even promote a healthy way while using  ‘not doing any work” as the deal sweetener), have given us a false sense of what is really possible, and what’s actually good for us. Yes it’s possible,’ it’s also possible to put that same weight on (and then some) after you stop two weeks later. We can all change the world for two weeks, then when we ‘fail’ to do EVERYTHING we said we would, we fall off the wagon and think ‘it’s all too hard’ and stop doing any of it. Sounding familiar again?

We need to focus on both activity and some small realistic dietary changes. We now know that fitness is just as important (if not more important) than absolute weight for overall health. To read how important, just click here to read my article on that exact point.

What if I said it was possible to do it and keep it off? And I wouldn’t need to go on daytime TV to prove it! It would just take a normal amount of time but it would then become part of ‘what you do?’ How long have you been trying to change your lifestyle, but keep yo-yo’ing? (yes it’s a word) 1 year? 2 years? 5? The better part of a decade? Let me know if I need to keep going higher? Well 3-6 months of progressive changes doesn’t seem like so much after all, does it?

It’s like the story of the tortoise and the hare. (The turtle and the rabbit doesn’t have the same ring to it.). We’ll it would be like the story of the tortoise and the hare. Only if when the hare stopped, and stopped so long they got fat, the years went by, the hare looked in the mirror and wondered who that person looking at them was? The ‘diet’ industry would want you to believe their new product is somehow a super-food. Goji berries or coconuts might be great for you, but they’re not exactly the  all-cure ‘superfood’ they’re made out to be. They taste good and provide some benefit in moderate amounts. They also have a great marketing campaign behind them. All it’s designed to do, it drain your wallet from repeat business and create confusion which the ‘faux-health’ industry thrives on.

Whats the solution? Hold on. I’m going to let you in a the secret formula to change and keep it that way. Are you sitting down for it? Yes? Well get up; it’s healthier!

Simple small progressive changes, over time, only taking enough actions at one time to be able to actually do them, allowing you to get used to them before adding more. This applies to both dietary and exercise habits.

 

Ok so how do I do that?

 

Well put simply, small sustainable changes, with only enough changes done at any one time to ensure they can be done together. (Feel free to stay at any one step for as long as you need to consolidate it). Make a plan, make sure you write it down and create sub steps that help you achieve the overall goal. You know what? It’s OK to have a few speed-humps, it’s a normal part of change. If you have a bad day, it’s OK. The next morning just go back to what you were trying to achieve and remind yourself again why. Reaffirm that motivation.

Write down the ‘WHAT,’ and also the ‘HOW.’ What small steps help me to achieve that overall goal? What will remind me to do it? What are my reasons for doing this? Too often we see our health as a lower priority, maybe we should consider parts of our health ‘not optional.’ I think this is part of the problem. Just like we go to work, because – it’s just what we do, or feed our children – it’s not optional. It needs to be done! Perhaps that’s how we need to see our health?

Seeing a qualified health professional is a great start. ASK Health Solutions will help you differentiate the fact from fad, eliminating that confusion once and for all, and ensure you get to your health goals in a sustainable way. An Exercise Physiologist is a great motivator to help you along your journey and can guide you in the process, ensuring that you leave with the tools to take control of your own life.

 

Call ASK Health Solutions on 1300 EXPHYS for an appointment. How important is your own health to you?

 

ASK Health Solutions, provides both face to face lifestyle changes and telephone support, both packaged and as separate interventions.

 

Aaron King

Accredited Exercise Physiologist

ASK Health Solutions

 

*ASK Heath Solutions are a group of Exercise Physiology Clinics located in Cremorne on the lower north shore of Sydney and Liverpool in South West Sydney.