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How to avoid the most common pitfalls in changing your lifestyle this year?

Thinking of weight loss? Starting a new lifestyle?

Have a look at this list to avoid the most common mistakes and pitfalls.

changing lifestyle

Most of the people think of changing their lifestyle in January. It is understandable, as we are full of guilt after the indulgent festive period and there is an artificially induced hype about healthy eating and healthy lifestyle in the media in January.

However, I do not think that media generated guilt is enough. There must be a better reason, like health or beauty reasons, or just responsible thinking. And in this case, there is no need to wait for January to make positive changes in your lifestyle.

Healthy eating habits - changing lifestyle

Related post: Why would you bother with healthy eating?

Health industry works with full power in January, and there is a lot’s of noise, but the success of your weight-loss or lifestyle change is on you.

Here are collected the most common pitfalls in changing a lifestyle – I do really hope, that this list will help you to succeed your goals this year.

The most common pitfalls in changing lifestyle

#1 Irrational expectations

Changing lifestyle is not equal to a weight-loss diet. It is more than that. Instead, of following a temporarily restricted diet, you have to change your eating habits. Everybody want to see a result as soon as possible but do not forget that your body needs time to get used to a new habit. And if you want a real long term improvement in your health and weight than you have to go for changing your lifestyle.

Also, I would warn you to expect too much from it. A healthy diet and regular exercises can improve your mood, give you more energy, better health and a beautiful body, but it does not resolve every problem.  If you think: “When I will reach my dream weight and my life will be perfect.” –  Then probably you lose weight and you will see, your life is far from perfect. You have to face your difficulties in your relationship or at your workplace even if you have managed to lose weight or transform your lifestyle. It is only easier to get over these problems if you are healthy, strong and positive.

#2 Waiting for the right time to start

There is no perfect time to start a new lifestyle. Waiting for the time when the work is less stressful, when the new workout equipment is available, when the kids are more relaxed… it is just an illusion. The perfect time for a lifestyle change is NOW. Do not wait for a certain, pricey sports equipment, a certain day of the week when you will have time to go to the gym, or a certain mate who will go with you. Start it today, with equipment what is available now

Start with a good plan and go step-by-step. Even if there are fallbacks, do not stop saying yourself you are just having a break or give up saying you have messed it up anyway… There is no such thing that perfect lifestyle transformation.

The key is endurance. Just carry on and stick to every little achievement stubbornly.

Are you a constantly tired Mum?

Follow this free action plan

to get your energy back!

The Best 7 Nutritional Swaps To Be an Energetic Mum

With a printable reference.​

#3 Too big changes at the same time

The biggest problem with the new-year-resolution inspired healthy-life kick-offs that they are usually too radical and for this reason, they need too much sacrifice from you. Doing so, it is more likely that you give up and go back to your old habits shortly.

Make little, sustainable changes what you can adjust to your lifestyle. It does not make sense to set up irrational goals then just let yourself down. If you are a busy mum, how much chance to have to go to the gym 3 times a week?  If you don’t have any, look for other options, for example, fit in 10-minutes exercises 3 times a day into your daily routine. Do not underestimate this, it can add up 120-180 minutes physical work out for a week!

I would recommend making little step-by-step changes in your diet as well. Make healthy swaps – like look for healthy alternatives for cream, ditch saturated fats and use healthy fats etc. Eat fish 3 times a week, reduce the consumption of red meat to the minimum and choose lean cuts. Learn and watch your portion sizes. These little changes will stay with you in the long term.

#4 Too expensive/ fad diets

Magic solutions, diet pills and fad diets all promise us quick result without sacrifice. It sounds very attractive, but they are very often far from a balanced, healthy diet: their target is to loose weight as soon as possible, it does not matter what is the price. And the price is usually our health and/or the fact that the result is just temporary. Not to mention their effect on our energy level. They usually lead to yo-yo effect in weight management – or in worse case to eating disorder. So it is better to avoid these.

Replacement diets, where you can replace one meal with a low-calorie but filling shake or soup sounds better, but they provide again just a temporary result and they are expensive. The biggest problem with these that we are not encouraged to eat a balanced diet and learn healthy eating habits. It is inevitable that when we stop taking replacement meals and go back to our old diet, its result melts quickly.

Are you a constantly tired Mum?

Follow this free action plan

to get your energy back!

The Best 7 Nutritional Swaps To Be an Energetic Mum

With a printable reference.​

Anyway, they diet pills, fad diets and replacement diet cannot be base of a healthy lifestyle.

Get to know your own body instead of expecting magic. It is a hard work, but it is for a lifetime. There is no recipe fit-for-all; your age, your gender, your lifestyle, your circumstances are all special. There are guidelines, but you have to find out what works for you.

#5 Focussing on only one element of a weight loss

It is a common mistake, but I can see it so often. The successful weight-loss diet has 4 important elements: less calorie intake, regular exercising, adjusted fluid intake and regularity in bowel movements. Missing just one of these can endanger the result: exercising more without changing our diet, no workout and eating less, ignoring fluid intake or concentrating on calories and missing fibre intake. If you want to lose weight and keep it off pay attention to all 4 elements.

#6 Dieting alone

When you share your home with others, you cannot avoid their influence on your lifestyle. Ideally, changing lifestyle is only your decision, but realistically you cannot change your lifestyle or lose weight without the support of people who you share your home with. I already wrote about this in an earlier post: Family meals – bring us together? and pointed out the benefits and the challenges of dieting in a family. The secret is thinking of family as a unit in nutrition and making plans for the unit not only for an individual.

Family: peas in a pod - changing lifestyle

Related post: Family meals – bring us together?

How to start a new, healthy lifestyle?

If you feel now that all these are too complicated – or even impossible… well, they just sound very complicated – like when you try to explain exactly how to do cycling. But when you are doing it everything comes naturally. Do not let yourself persuade by media to buy expensive life-changing products. It is not true, that the more expensive is the more effective help. 

So, regarding changing your lifestyle the most important messages from me:

Make all changes feasible and adjusted to your life

Always look for more options and choose what you can fit it into your weekly routine and gives you energy and fun. Only this way you will be able to keep up with the new habits.

Get to know and trust your body  

Only you can find out what works for you, we all are different. Learn to recognise your body’s reactions and dare to follow them.

Do not forget to clarify your realistic goals and motivation

Clarify your goals and motivation, put them down and keep them in your sight. This helps you focus and keep on going even in difficult times.

Be conscious and plan ahead

Schedule your workouts and targets in your calendar – taking into account your circumstances. Plan your lifestyle changes too – like sleeping and eating routines, finally make a habit out planning meals ahead.

receipts - healthy food on budget - changing lifestyle

Related linkHow to Master Meal planning?

Go by step-by-step – little but sustainable changes

Make only little but sustainable changes at the time, do not want to turn your life upside down overnight. 

 

Are you a constantly tired Mum?

Follow this free action plan

to get your energy back!

The Best 7 Nutritional Swaps To Be an Energetic Mum

With a printable reference.​

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