Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Day 3 - Forming New Habits - The Four Day Rule

First we make our habits, then our habits make us.
- Denis Waitley

    Whether it comes down to picking up a new exercise routine, or acclimating yourself to a new diet, I have found that the difficulty in forming a new habit comes within the first four days. Once you are over the four day hump your new routine starts to becomes exactly that, a routine. Old habits have emotional and physical ties to them that will take time to rewire. These first four days will be the most difficult because your mind will question your new actions and want to revert back to what it's used to. But once you get over the four day hump your new actions wont be as mentally draining and you will begin to see the positive benefits that your new routine is starting to build.

    I have heard the first four days of building a routine compared to walking up a flight of stairs in order to reach your goal. It's difficult, tiresome and draining. But as you continue with the routine, and make it over the hump, those feelings begin to ease and the flight of stairs becomes an escalator, taking you on much more pleasant and rewarding journey to your goal.

Tips to making it over the four day hump
  • Take it one day at a time.
  • Think of each day as an accomplishment.
  • Plan your course of action the day before and write it down.
  • Keep telling yourself you're going to make this change and why. It is all mental.
  • Make yourself accountable. Tell someone what you are trying to accomplish and report to them at the end of the day. You don't want someone to see you fail.
  • Find a buddy to embark on building a new routine together.
  • Keep your eye on the prize. Constantly remind yourself why you want this change.

NOTE: Once you're over the four day hump it does not mean that you can stop trying. Your will start feeling/seeing results and the habit will become more routine, but in order to keep the habit you need to stick with it.

Tomorrow: Avoid Diets

Monday, February 13, 2012

Day 2 - Control your Eating

Tell me what you eat, I'll tell you who you are.
- Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

Goal: To feel more satisfied by eating several smaller meals throughout the day
1. First, find your calorie goal for the day. Here is a good website to figure it out
  • You don't need to be looking to lose weight right away, maintaining is fine. Just work to build the habit.
2. Split up your total calorie goal up evenly across the day(ex: 2500 total calories: 500 calories  at 7am, 10am, 1pm, 4pm, 7pm)

3. Plan what you are going to eat for these meals ahead of time. When you plan on doing something you are much more likely to follow through with it.
  • IMPORTANT: Try not to skip a meal, and especially don't skip breakfast! I'm sure you have heard breakfast is the most important meal before and its true! If you start skipping meals it will not only lead to your pigging out(and overeating) at the end of the day, but it's not healthy.
  • TIP: Bringing snacks to work will save money, give you something to look forward to, and keep your energy level more consistent throughout the day.
4. Start thinking about some healthier replacements for your current meals
  • This may seem like an obvious statement, but eating healthier food will make you feel more satisfied throughout the day. The more nutrition that an item has will the more it will keep you from thinking about your next meal
5. Allow yourself one freebie day a week
  • WHAT'S THAT: A freebie day is when you free yourself from the restraints of the routine your trying to build. We are only human, and when starting something new were are likely to make mistakes.
  • IMPORTANT: Don't look at the mistake as a failure! New habits take time to develop. Phase your new habit in, but try to keep it to one freebie day a week. If you crack and have an unexpected freebie day, don't sweat it. It happens. Just make sure to get back on track the next day.
  • TIP: I have found freebie days are best saved for Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, when things aren't as scheduled as the are during the work week.
Sample Plan
    - 7 AM: Whole Grain Cereal with Milk, a Banana, coffee
    - 10 AM: Energy Bar, Dried Fruit(ex: Raisins), water
    - 1 PM: Peanut butter sandwich, Apple, Iced Tea
    - 4 PM: Almonds+Cashews, a few Jolly Ranchers/Mints, Crackers, water
    - 7 PM: Bean salad and soup, tea
  • Obviously your plan doesn't need to be the same, but think about the food you like, what you have around your house and make a plan for the next day/week.
Here is a sample chart to get started:

Tomorrow: Forming New Habits - The Four Day Rule

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Day 1 - Introduction

Honest Healthy Living is designed as a one stop location for those looking for simple and easily integrable tips to get their mental and physical lives back on the healthy track. I will post tactics that I learned over the years to get myself back into a healthy lifestyle as well as ideas and examples that have worked for others.

I will get started tomorrow and while it will not always be easy, if you are honest with yourself, the results will begin flourish and you will see the fantastic results that come along with a healthy lifestyle.