Learn how to reach your goals as an act of self-love versus sabotage.
You’re ready to prioritize nutrition and start feeling your best – go you! Rather than falling into the pattern of making unrealistic goals or expectations, what if you cultivated kindness through balanced nutrition? Learn how to reach your goals as an act of self-love versus being too hard on yourself.
We live in a world overwhelmed by differing health and wellness information. Diet plans and people are telling us how we should eat, look, and act. But everyone’s bodies and minds respond in different ways, and what works for you may not work for someone else. Tune into the needs of your unique journey as you balance nutrition with kindness.
First and foremost, to have a balanced lifestyle, you must make sure that you’re feeling well. This means getting rest, activity, and nourishment with nutritious foods. Studies suggest that not getting enough quality sleep can drive us to eat more and store more fat (1). Prioritize adequate sleep every night, and take time to recharge your battery by unwinding with a book or an easy walk.
Nutrition is a critical part of our physical and mental health. It helps keep us safe from disease and helps us function optimally, so we can do the things we love most in life. When we think about improving nutrition, focusing on adding something versus taking it away will help promote long-term change (2). One of the best ways to increase our nutrient intake is by adding fruits and vegetables. For a fun and easy way to ensure you get enough vegetables, try the vegetable tracker in the Lifesum app - it will encourage you to include more vegetables in your daily meals.
Discover more: How To Build Healthy Habits Eating Fruits And Vegetables
Another way to easily boost nutrients is to focus on whole foods. Whole foods have not been through too much processing or are close to their natural form. Think about fresh fruits, vegetables, eggs, whole grains, nuts, or beans. These foods contain plenty more nutrients than highly-processed ones. They also tend to have fewer preservatives, flavorings, added fats, and sugar.
When we go to extremes, it ends up programming to be rigid and “break.” You can have that great intention to go for a complete overhaul but without allowing yourself to mindfully enjoy a treat from time to time, you may be left unmotivated and depressed. Try to adopt the 80/20 mindset instead. Eat nutritious foods 80 percent of the time and allow yourself to have foods you like that aren’t as rich in nutrients 20 percent of the time.
Black-and-white, or dichotomous thinking, refers to evaluating experiences or situations as strict categories. (3) Say, for instance, you tell yourself that you have to cut out sweets on the weekdays in the New Year. Then, if you end up eating a scoop of ice cream on a Tuesday with a friend, you tell yourself you failed and may as well eat ice cream every day for the rest of the month. Instead of stressing yourself out, enjoy your scoop of ice cream, and tell yourself, “it's ok!” You’ll get back on track the next day.
Think about when you learned to tie your shoes. Some days were a success and you got on your feet, while some days your fingers just weren’t working the way you wanted them to. But after many trials, you now tie your shoes without even thinking about it. Adopting a healthy lifestyle doesn’t happen overnight; it’s every little step that counts. So, assess your progress from the big picture versus small setbacks.
To help guide you along your nourishing journey, the Lifesum app focuses on a holistic approach. Decide which nutrition approach works best for you while building healthy habits, learning how to reconnect with your body, focusing on daily movement, and including foods that are filled with nutrients. It’s all about being kind to yourself because you deserve it!
All of the content and media on Lifesum is created and published for information purposes only. It is not intended to be used as a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Users should always consult with a doctor or other health care professional for medical advice. If you have or think you are at risk of developing an eating disorder, do not use the Lifesum app and seek immediate medical help.