Tips for Jump Starting Your Journey
1. Rid your Pantry and Refrigerator of “Junk”
The beginning of a wellness journey is a great time to clean out the old and bring in the new…so do it with your pantry, food cupboards and refrigerator! If you’ve got “bad-for-you” stuff in the house, you’re more likely to resort to it when you’re feeling vulnerable. You know what we’re talking about: the quick-grab, bags and boxes of processed foods that are so tempting to eat when you’re hungry and low on time (e.g., chips, pretzels, cookies, etc.). Do yourself a favor: grab a large garbage bag, go through the places you store food, and trash that stuff. We know it may be “hard to say Goodbye,” but in the long run, it will be worth it to your health and your waistline.
2. Stock up on the Good Stuff.
It’s just as easy (and inexpensive) to buy as the bad stuff…really. Along the same lines, replace the bad with the good. If you don’t have good foods easily available to you, you’ll be more likely to resort to those bad foods when you’re vulnerable. Sample items on your weekly grocery list could include: proteins such as Greek Yogurt, Eggs, lean meats and fish for grilling or baking (e.g., Chicken, Bison, Tuna, Salmon, Cod), starches/grains such as Potatoes, Yams, Beans, Brown Rice, Oats, etc., fruits (Apples, Oranges, Berries), vegetables (Broccoli, Spinach, Kale), and nuts such as Almonds and Walnuts.
3. Remember, H2O is your Friend.
And it’s free!! Hydration plays a critical role in our overall well-being. And while many of us start out strong at the beginning of the challenge by getting enough water each day, we often let our diligence slip as the weeks pass. So make sure you have your water with you at all times: in the car, at your desk, in front of the TV, and at the gym. Aim for six to eight 8 oz. glasses of water each day as a simple rule.
Get yourself a couple of canteens specifically for work and for your travels. The more you are prepared, the better you’ll stick to your water goals (and not to mention you alone with those canteens will save the fate, and the environment, of a few hundred plastic water bottles).
4. Establish your “Food Prep Day.”
PREPARE! PREPARE! PREPARE! It’s no secret, eating correctly is tough! First and foremost, we have to say adios to the stuff we’ve come so accustomed to…the cookies, chips, fried foods, gravy, etc. (See Tip 1.) And it seems like we’re surrounded by temptation everywhere we go. At work, someone brings in cake for a co-worker’s birthday, or orders pizza for the project team…not to mention, that convenient vending machine is constantly lurking. If you haven’t been diligent about your food prep day — start now! You have to choose one day (or days) of the week to shop, prepare, and package your own food in a healthy way for the week. Then you are more likely to bring good food with you to work — making it your “convenient” food — and making the bad food not as tempting.
5. Secure an At-Home “Fitness Territory”
aka: Fight for your right…to exercise! The gym at work as well as your local gym can be terrific places to workout. But sometimes our demanding lives make getting there more than challenging. So as a backup, designate a spot in your house where you can perform your exercise routine. Yes this may take time, energy, discipline, and not to mention a bit of a battle with the rest of your household. But marking your territory will help you stay on schedule.