Written by Hannah Dykstra
Whether your goal is weight loss, muscle gain or overall health, a sure answer to reaching that goal is to understand the difference between “diet” and “lifestyle.” A diet usually has a start date and an end date and is associated with a feeling of restriction whereas a lifestyle change is simply the ability to make wise choices because you want to be healthier for life. A lifestyle change with food is easily the most sustainable way to look, feel and perform at your highest potential. Instead of starting a new fad diet, start new lifestyle habits by using these few simple tips as a guideline:
Know Your ‘Why’
Why are you choosing this lifestyle? Whether it’s weight loss, gut health, body composition, or performance, you must have a reason behind this choice in order to maintain consistency. Write down a list of your why’s, place it somewhere where you have the ability to see and read it daily until it becomes engraved in your brain.
Before making any changes write down your priority list for your lifestyle at this time. Work, kids, school, gym etc… where is your health on this list? If it’s not there, put it at the top. Your body is all you have for your entire life, if you don’t have a healthy body, you cannot work, perform or function at full potential nor give your best to your relationships. Is it a priority to be the best you can be at your job? Well how do you expect to perform well if you aren’t nourishing the guts and the brain?
Since your health is at the top of your list, then you should explain your budget around
the health of your body. Keep it simple; organize your macros by listing the carbs, fats and proteins of your choice. Do your best to go Ayurvedic, choose seasonal fruits and veggies as your main source of carbs, then add in low glycemic carbs such as sweet potato or quinoa!
Failing to prepare is preparing to fail! There’s a few methods to the madness of meal
prepping. You can either dedicate a day to prepping your food into individual containers and labeling when you will eat that meal and the portion sizing. This Is the best way to stay on track with your exact macronutrients. I personally like to prep everything into bulk containers, this way you can spend a few minutes every night dividing your food into correct portions for the following day. I have found this way to be less time consuming and I use less dishes.
Love Your Gut
Take your time through each meal, get an understanding of how these foods affect your
mood, gut, performance and brain. No matter if you’re adjusting for body composition or gut health, always chose foods based on how they affect your body. Intuitively nourish yourself and only eat when you’re hungry and listen to your body and don’t starve yourself! If you’re hungry, feed that hunger!
It’s easy to fail at something when you lose sight of what’s important – we are all guilty of
becoming consumed by outside noise that doesn’t feed us. If that happens to you, it’s not the end of the world! After all, we all need a little bit of balance and mess ups to appreciate what matters most. So you fell off the wagon for a night or maybe even a weekend, THAT’S OKAY, just get right back on it the second you can, don’t let bad choices become a habit. Accept it and move on.
I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to prioritize your health, this is the one thing you have been given for your entire life. Eat to live a sustainable healthy life while looking good naked for your whole life, don’t eat to look good naked for a week