Fall is officially here. It’s a time of year to get back on track with healthy habits post-summer and before you find yourself too deep in holiday treats. But what happens when you finally get into a routine, and then something derails progress? Chances are, you might feel frustrated and defeated.
Let’s discuss three of these common obstacles and how to overcome them with healthier habits.
Obstacle one: I don’t have enough time.
I believe we can all relate to this one. How often have you heard yourself say you don’t have enough time for [fill in the blank]. It could be healthy, home-cooked meals, a workout, or even taking some time out to rest.
When it comes to getting healthier meals in your day, there’s no doubt that home-cooked is going to be your best bet. The benefits are endless, including more control over your plate, an increase in fruit and vegetable consumption and healthy weight management. But yet, the average American is spending an average of $8 more per meal to go the convenient route – grab and go.
Unfortunately, we can’t add more hours into the day, but we can spend that time more wisely. How? Meal planning and prepping. Carving out a few hours on the front end of your week can help save countless hours when things get busy and you really don’t have the energy to think through your next meal.
For an in-depth guide to how to get started planning ahead, check out this post – 6 Steps to Mastering Modern Meal Prep.
Obstacle two: I experience uncontrollable food cravings.
With the holidays fast approaching, you might find that you’re subconsciously bracing yourself for the increase in sweets and treats that are likely going to be lurking around the office and in your kitchen. So what are you to do?
Focus on the perfect trifecta at every meal: protein, fats and fiber. Protein will satisfy hunger, healthy fats can help curb cravings and fiber is going to slow down digestion and keep blood sugar levels stable which as a result, can help manage cravings.
Another way to control cravings is by finding other ways to increase dopamine, the very hormone that is released when we also consume sugar. This could be through exercise, quality sleep, meditation or taking a walk outside.
Obstacle three: I don’t have enough willpower to make this new habit sustainable.
Good news! Healthy habits aren’t all about willpower. Many of our choices actually start with our thoughts. If we can shift our outlook, we can then begin to shift what’s on our plate.
Instead of restricting by telling yourself you can’t have something, focus on the healthy foods you enjoy. Save a little room for indulging along the way so that it doesn’t become an all-or-nothing scenario that often leads to defeat and negative thought patterns.
When willpower becomes the driving force behind action, there’s too much pressure put on emotional energy and capacity. Instead of saying “no” to cravings through willpower, focus on creating and maintaining healthy habits to increase consistency in your routine and on your plate!
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