Most of you know what is generally "good" or "bad" for your health. We should get about 8 hours of sleep. We should exercise, we should eat more fruits and vegetables, we should limit sugary snacks. You already have the knowledge, its just a matter of acting upon it. Many of the crash/fad diets and exercise plans get us tripped up on a bunch of restrictions that make it impossibly hard to follow or implement. You're expected to do this massive overhaul of every aspect of your lifestyle and it is not sustainable. So how do we make sustainable changes? We have to look to our systems and we have to look to our habits. You have a pretty good idea of what is good for you, there is no secret pill. Adding small positive inputs with CONSISTENCY, will deliver big positive outcomes over time. Ask yourself some questions (these can be used as ideas for habits to improve), how could you start to incorporate one healthier item into your diet? What is one way to improve your routine before bed? How can you get more steps in this week?
I would highly recommend you to use the habit tracker to improve one habit over the next two weeks. Here's an example: Do you keep eating a whole bag of Doritos every time you sit down on the couch after a stressful work day? Give yourself a new system to follow.
Rule 1: No snacking while sitting down with the TV on.
Rule 2: pour yourself a serving of Dorito's into a bowl and then put the bag away.
This is the example of a small change. We are trying to stop the cascade of negative choices and push the needle in a more positive direction.
Even as a health and fitness professional I get into the rut of poor lifestyle habits. We have fruit in the fridge, I know it is good for me, but I choose a different option because my brain wants easier calories, often in the form of some hyperpalatable food. To fix this, I have been challenging my self to increase the grams of fruit and veggies that I eat. The easiest way to implement is to choose fruits that I genuinely enjoy. For me it is bananas, apples, and tangerines. Furthermore, if I can prioritize the healthier option my chances of eating a whole bag of Dorito's is decreased. Even if I do not hit my goal every day, I am feeling better because I am getting more micronutrients.
It is fun to talk about all the ways we can improve, it gives us a dopamine rush, it feels good because all responsibility is on our future self, but when it comes time to act how will you hold yourself accountable? I challenge you to use the habit tracker, it will force you to see how often you are actually putting an effort into improving yourself. If you can walk a little more and eat a little better in a few weeks, the positive cascade will begin. Best of luck.