5 Strategies to live a Healthier Happier Lifestyle

When it comes to exercise and diet it can be a little confusing sometimes even complicated. Diets can restrict food groups, vital nutrients and are not sustainable for the long term. People don’t fail diets, diets fail people for these reasons. How can you lose weight and keep it off? How can you live a healthier lifestyle and be happy? Here a 5 Strategies to help you achieve your goals and live a healthier, happier lifestyle in 2019….

 1. Keep it Simple – When it comes to making healthy food choices it can be a little over whelming choosing the right or the best foods to eat. We hear through social media, around the gym, from other people what we should eat but does it really suit our lifestyle or taste buds. I like to keep things as simple as possible to avoid all the confusion, save time and less thinking. Having two options for breakfast with a variety of nutrients. I have a weekday breakfast which consists of a gluten free muesli with chia seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds and a Brazil nut (great for thyroid support). I have this with a small banana and a Vanilla Yopro Yogurt (15g of protein). My weekend breakfast consists of scrambles eggs or egg whites on Thins Tip top bread (low in calories and delicious). When it comes to snacks have 3 or 4 options to choose from, Nuts, Fruit, Vegetable sticks, protein bar or shake, snacks you can prepare or have in the cupboard/fridge to grab and go.

If your a 9 to 5 worker and need quick easy healthy meals for lunch having pre-prepared salads in the fridge is a convenient option or healthy frozen meals. There are so many to choose from in the supermarkets today there is no excuse why you can’t have variety. 

In general, look for meals that include one or more servings each of vegetables, whole grains, and lean meat, fish, or poultry. These tend to be lower in calories and higher in vitamins and minerals as well as fibre (which helps fill you up). Skip frozen dinners with cream sauces, gravies, or fried foods. Here are the guidelines for choosing a healthy frozen dinner. Keep in mind that some healthy meals will meet some, but not all, of these recommendations: 

* 300-500 calories

* 10-18 grams of total fat, or less that 30% of total calories

* Less than 4 grams of saturated fat

* Less than 600 milligrams of sodium.

* 5 grams of fiber or more.

  • 10-20 grams of protein
  • Avoid meals that have processed carbohydrates like pasta and rice dishes

A few good brands to try are: Michelle Bridges Healthy Nutritious, Healthy Choice, Weight Watchers and Lean Cuisine.

So now we have covered breakfast, snacks and lunches what about dinners? Dinner is when we want to variety, we want to eat something different. Being prepared is the key here. Planning the meals in advance, shopping for what you need and sharing the cooking with the family can make dinner time less stressful. 

Start of making a menu of all the foods you and your family like to eat. Go through the list and see if there are any meals you can swap ingredients to make them a healthier option for example Spaghetti might be a regular meal you cook. Try a different pasta (wholemeal, legume or konjak pasta) to make this meal a healthier choice. Portion size is also important when modifying recipes.

Once you have gone through your menu, pick 7 meals you will cook for the week, plan who will cook what. Once this is done you can go shopping and buy what you need. The key here is consistency. Doing this every week will get easier and you will feel in control because you are  organised and have planned your week.

2. Consistency – When it comes to losing weight, getting fit and wanting to live a healthier lifestyle it comes down to consistency. Being consistent with meal planning & prepping. Have a specific day you do your groceries, a day to sit down and prepare your weekly menu (get the family involved), set time to plan your exercise for the week. Put your exercise sessions in your diary as appointments. If someone asks you to do something at the same time as your exercise session you can say “sorry i have an appointment at that time, can we do it later” Don’t tell people your doing exercise especially if they are not into it, they will try and talk you out of it. Show up! When you have made appointments to train make sure you show up. Set reminders/alarms in your phone. If you find yourself making excuses find a solution for all your excuses and just do it! 

3. Goal Setting – Writing down what you want without a date is just a dream. Add a date and this becomes a goal. When it comes to goal setting you need to be specific about what it is you want to achieve, why you want to achieve this and how do you plan on achieving this goal. Ask yourself five times WHY you want this goal and this will help bring clarity and motivation. 

Your goals need to be realistic and with in a certain time frame. A goal to lose 30kg in 3 months is not realistic. A more realistic and achievable goal would be to lose 5kg in 3 months. Take some time to set your goals and get as specific with them as you can. The next step after setting your goals is to set action steps to achieving your goals. Most people will write their goals down and then forget them. Having an action plan to achieve your goals will lead to success. 

4. Attitude – The old formula for losing weight use to be as simple as ‘Eat less Move more’ now this just doesn’t cut it. Yes we need to eat less and move more but we also need to change our Mindset, our attitude towards exercise and diet. How we speak about food ‘good food’ ‘bad food’, how we speak about exercise, ‘it’s too hard’ ‘I can’t do that’, how we speak about ourselves and what we believe ‘It’s too hard to lose weight’ ‘I can’t lose weight’ ‘It’s too expensive’. Our attitude and beliefs will either limit us or empower us. If you find yourself thinking or speaking negative about exercise or food then change it immediately. What you think and feel will become your reality. Surround yourself with positive people, a positive attitude and a can do a approach you will achieve everything you desire and more!

5. Accountability – How do you be accountable? The definition of accountable is ‘Someone who is  completely responsible for what they do and must be able to give a satisfactory reason for it”

I find the best way to be accountable is to have a personal trainer who will support you, give you advice and keep you on track. Having to answer to your trainer every week as to why you didn’t do this or that will keep you accountable.

Joining an exercise group with a friend, seeing a dietician will also help keep you on track. But most of all be accountable to yourself. Check in with yourself everyday, write a journal of how your going with your goals, setting small daily goals and ticking them off.

So to live a healthier happier lifestyle in 2019 follow these simples strategies and you will achieve everything you desire and more! Have an amazing year and remember it all comes down to you!