Four elements of success with the Better Health Challenge
Just as with any project you tackle, you have to have the right tools in order to be successful. For the Better Health Challenge, it’s no different. You’re already set up with a cache of tools to help you that we discussed earlier – the kits, the programs, and the support. But beyond that, there are four key things that are so important for you to focus on, that will impact how successful you are in your health journey. Keep these four factors top of mind as you’re working toward your goals.
First element: NUTRITION
Dr. Wallach has said it a million times – you can’t outrun your fork. This is a fundamental truth. You can’t just work out more, to make up for poor diet. It doesn’t work that way, and further, it sets you to perceive workouts as a punishment for eating poorly. Remember, the food you eat should nourish your body, not harm it. And we know that processed, sugary foods can be disruptive to one’s health.
Fortunately, we’ve got over 25 years of knowing what kind of nutrients our bodies need, coupled with nourishing recipes and helpful tips to keep your nutrition in great shape! Get to know those Good Foods and Bad Foods. Until you know them by heart, print out a copy and bring it with you when you shop for groceries.
Nutrition Tip: While grocery shopping, try to spend very little time in aisles and spend most of your time in the produce and fresh foods sections.
Second element: MOVEMENT
It seems like common sense, but movement is key to sustained weight loss. In basic terms, the more physical activity you get the more calories you burn.
There are literally thousands of books, routines, programs and experts you could choose to follow for physical activity. Every time you turn around, there’s a new “latest-greatest” thing. So we get overwhelmed. Here’s the real-deal, and it really IS fairly simple: just move more. That’s it! If you’re just getting started, or even if you’ve been at it for a while – just move more than you normally do. If you walk for 30 minutes…increase to 40! Remember, your body was made to move!
Movement Tip: Try walking for three 15-minute episodes throughout the day. Studies have found that it’s just as effective as if you walked all 45 minutes at once!
third element: Sleep
Did you know that 60 million Americans report sleep problems? And nearly 1 in 3 adults don’t get enough sleep. Sleep deficits can be linked to the cause of numerous health issues, and can be especially problematic if you’re trying to lose weight.
When you’re not getting enough sleep, you’re often too tired to work out or get in some movement. Additionally, you’re also more tempted to get take-out for lunch or for dinner. At night, it can become hard to resist snacks and comfort food cravings. Then you go to bed not feeling well, and the whole cycle repeats itself.
Basically, being sleep deprived sets up your brain for bad decision making. It leads to increased cravings for energy-dense, high carb foods, and more of them. If you’re trying to improve your health, and especially if you’re trying to lose weight—you must get good sleep.
Fourth element: miNDSET
There’s an agreed-upon universal truth in weight loss: your mindset is your biggest asset, or largest hurdle. You can have the best nutrition, great sleep and proper movement—but if you don’t have the right mindset, chances are, you won’t succeed.
Fortunately, our minds are flexible—so it’s possible to improve your mindset to help keep you on track to reach your health and weight loss goals. And it takes a certain amount of WILL to maintain a focus on your goals, and to follow through with your plans. It takes WILL to get up and move, to eat the right foods, and to make sure you’re doing all you can to get a good nights sleep.
It also takes WILL and a positive MINDSET to keep a positive attitude going when you have a setback – as everyone does.
Here are a few basic tricks and techniques to help keep a positive mindset:
- Be kind to yourself. Often times we assign a certain virtue to our weight. If we’re overweight we feel less worthy…sometimes less accomplished. Keep reminding yourself that everyone, at every weight, has value. Improving your health IS a virtuous goal…but your position in the journey doesn’t dictate your value. We celebrate the whole journey – not just the end! And everyone is on their own personal journey so don’t compare yourself to anyone.
- Break your goals up. If you think you want to lose 50 or even 100 pounds—that task can seem insurmountable when you’re just beginning. And that doubt leads to a negative mindset. Instead, map out your goals into smaller, attainable achievements. Maybe the first one is to fit better into your jeans, or lose 10 pounds, or even to have a particular fitness goal – like get up from a position on the floor without using your hands! Whatever it is – if you break your ultimate goal up into smaller parts, you will feel accomplished more often – and have more to celebrate!
- Find your positive people. If you hang around people who are optimistic and positive, it’s going to rub off on you. The opposite can also be true. In a weight loss journey you want to find people who will cheer you on, who will support your goals, and who model the kind of mindset you want to have. Don’t forget that our Better Health Challenge community is full of people ready to encourage you!
If you’re ready to stick to your health plan, join us at ygybetterhealth.com.