Developing Healthy Habits
I heard somewhere that it takes 20 days to develop a habit… at least I think that’s correct. Either way, that’s usually how long it takes me. Starting new habits of health takes time. It’s not something that can be achieved over night. There is a small amount of preparation that is involved. You have to prepare your mind for the changes you are going to pursue.
For me, I had to get things in order at the house as well. This meant getting rid of the stuff that I knew I shouldn’t eat in the house. Things like chips, sweet tea, chocolate and anything else that would hinder my success in my journey to a healthier life. At this moment I began questioning the reason I was doing this. I loved all of those things… I mean yeah it wasn’t good for me, but it was quick and easy to grab when I got home from work and was just too tired to cook. Couldn’t I just have a few in the house just in case? NO! I had to quickly end the debate with myself and just go through with what my wife calls purging.
We eliminated almost everything in the pantry and started over. We mainly focused on vegetables and for snacks we would get things like almonds, sugar free popsicles, pickles and other healthy things you could grab fairly easy. So, starting fresh at home… CHECK!
Then enters the task of going out to eat. Part of living a healthier life is not being afraid to go out to eat. Just because you are going to a restaurant doesn’t mean you have to pig out and order the biggest item on the menu. Also, you don’t have to have an appetizer with your meals either (just an FYI). Matter of fact, most of the appetizers you order are actually the correct portion sizes you should be eating. I started off by just ordering an appetizer when we would go out. Obviously, it would be something healthier than the fried cheese sticks at Applebee’s. Training your brain to understand that salads are not your enemy was one of the hardest hurdles I had to overcome. However, once I did, I now crave salads more than anything else a majority of the time. For me, that’s a huge change in itself. This was definitely a habit that I had to develop over time.
Another habit of health that is extremely important, is your daily water intake. How much water do you drink in a day? I was barely drinking maybe a total of 36oz daily. That’s nothing compared to what you should be drinking. A good rule of thumb is to make sure you are drinking at least 64oz of water a day… but for optimal health it is best to drink half your body weight in ounces of water a day. I know that seems like a lot… trust me I was downing 158oz a day when I started. However, once your body gets accustom to drinking the amount of water it should have, you find you are more hydrated and aches in your body seem to be less severe… if not gone altogether. I used to have serious pains in my knees. When I decided to go healthy and began drinking the amount of water I should have been, my knee pain went away. Its really amazing how a simplistic change like that can make such a huge difference in your body.
The nutrition program I am on has helped me to learn the proper portion sizes as well as which vegetables I should be eating to lose weight and to maintain a good healthy weight, as well as the importance of properly hydrating your body. I have incorporated all of these healthy habit lessons into my everyday life, and its made a huge difference in how I feel and look at food in general.