Change can be tough when it comes to planning, executing, and sustaining healthier lifestyle habits. So, as you approach the end of 2014, I want you to think more so in terms of creating your “new normal” just in time for your new beginnings in 2015. To help you get started, take a moment to think about your new daily normal consisting of at least four or more of the following:
- Eating the right number of calories based on your age, sex, height, weight, and activity level.
- Reading the labels of food products to determine the nutritional value for good health and maintenance.
- Selecting and eating a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables at least twice a day.
- Preparing home cooked meals at least three times a week.
- Reducing your intake of sugary products like pastries and beverages (e.g., sodas, teas, fruit juices, etc.) every day.
- Aiming for at least seven hours of sleep every night.
- Engaging in 30 to 45 minutes of physical activity on 3 to 5 days a week.
- Identifying specific activities (like meditation) that will help you to better manage the stress in your life.
In considering item #1, once you have figured out the right number of calories for you, your “new normal” would consist of you reviewing and analyzing the number of calories in a food item you are thinking about eating. For example: a sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit. Your review and analysis could also be expanded to include content such as grams of fat, milligrams of sodium, milligrams of cholesterol, and grams of sugar to help you further determine if it is a healthy choice. All of this information can be found on most company websites and various food packages.
Now, to expand our example, let’s research the regular size sausage biscuit with egg at a well-known fast food establishment. After researching the information on their website, you discover that this food item consists of 510 calories, 1170 milligrams of sodium, 33 grams of total fat (14 grams of saturated fat), and 250 milligrams of cholesterol. If you compare it to the establishment’s fruit and maple oatmeal, the difference in content is huge. The fruit and maple oatmeal consist of 290 calories, 160 milligrams of sodium, 4.5 grams of total fat (2 grams of saturated fat), and 10 milligrams of cholesterol. Which would you consider a healthier option?
The key to healthy living success is in your hands! Find a way to execute healthier lifestyle choices which will form habits. Finding a way must become a mindset and an attitude that you embrace. When you make a decision to embrace this mindset and attitude you will find a way to review and analyze the number of calories you are consuming. You will find a way to eat more fruits and vegetables. You will find a way to cook more meals at home. You will find a way to reduce your intake of unhealthy fats, and unhealthy levels of sodium and sugar. You will find a way to exercise for 30 to 45 minutes on 3 to 5 days a week. You will simply be more passionate, creative, and committed to finding a way to execute and sustain healthier lifestyle habits.
Now, it’s your turn. Do the math on what you really consume daily? Let me know your plans for finding a way to create your “new normal” in the last three months of 2014.
Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? (Isaiah: 43:18-19 NKJV)