Holidays are over, the tan is fading, and you’ve collected new memories and pics. Have you lost your good, healthy habits? I get you, and you are not alone.
Nowadays, following healthy habits isn't that easy. And even more so during the summer break. Holidays, friends coming over, extra events, longer nights,…all this is pushing us toward unbeneficial, for too many days in a row.
Having breaks from our lifestyle is totally healthy, so, don’t lose time feeling guilty.
Here are some easy steps to restore your healthy habits after the holidays, in no time.
1. START WITH A TRANSACTION WEEK
You don’t have to start cold turkey! Give yourself a week, a soft week, in order to control your habits again. Start small, by cutting off a few treats, in a painless way: that extra cookie after dinner, the third glass of wine after work, extra creamer in the coffee,…
Then, introduce specific goals, gradually. For example, drink more water, cut down on processed food, exercise more, eat fewer sugary products. You don’t have to achieve all these targets from day 1 and all together. But, work on doing your best and find your balance, the one that makes you feel great.
Small steps are the key to surviving the first week. After the transaction week, find your priorities and revisit your goals accordingly.
2. CLEAN UP YOUR PANTRY FROM THE WRONG FOOD
Full of processed products after the Summer? Replace the wrong products with the right ones. Clean up your pantry from all the unnecessary temptations, plan a big grocery shopping, stock up your favorite products.
If you live within a big family, most likely the sugary treats will always be in your house. Use this trick: reserve a space in the cabinet only for the treats you don’t want to eat. Have, at the same time, a personal place where you can stock all your good, healthy stuff!
It’s common to deal daily with unhealthy foods that don’t resonate with your lifestyle. You cannot control this, but you can control your actions. Remember that you can eat tons of good stuff.
3. INVOLVE YOUR FAMILY, FRIENDS AND COLLEAGUES
Inform the closest people in your life about your intentions to get back on track. Why?
Well, first of all, they will think twice before they come over with a family pizza and a “6 pack” of beer.
Secondly, expressing your intentions will put you in the right mindset to sustain your motivation even more.
Take a step further, not only talking about your clean habits but involving them. Drop a challenge (for example, no processed foods for one week), organize a healthy lunch, send them a package with your favorite sugar-free products. Good habits are not only healthy, but they are also contagious.
4. CLEAN UP YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA FROM TOXIC PROFILES
Start a social media detox: unfollow all the profiles that are not sustaining or helping your motivation. Research the people and influencers that get along with your goals. Are they inspiring you and motivating you? Follow them, interact with them and share with them your experience.
No, you are not the only one skipping the tacos and the popcorn at the movies!
This step will help your healthy journey, by discovering you are not alone in this.
5. KEEP IT HAPPY
Instead of focusing on what you can or cannot eat, focus on what you want to eat. Start by remembering all the times you exaggerated with useless, processed, unhealthy meals. You felt bloated, sleepy, with no energy, and with an annoying stomach ache.
You are in control of your body. Convincing yourself that you want to eat healthily, will do the trick and encourage good choices.
Play with all the nutritious foods you have available, make something creative, colorful, show it and share it with your family. It doesn’t have to be sad and boring. Make something fantastic with it!
6. MEASURE YOUR PROGRESS
If you don’t track your progress, you won’t be motivated in the long run. We tend to forget how we felt when we weren’t committed to healthy choices. If you are trying to lose some weight or tone up, take a picture and/or measurements of yourself. Trust me, in a few weeks, you will love it.
The progress you are tracking is not visible on a photo? Use a journal (or a phone app). In this way, you will be able to track energy, mood, productivity, and much more.
Tracking your progress is your reward: you need a comparison to keep your motivation high and keep living healthy every day.
7. STRIVE FOR PROGRESS, NOT PERFECTION
Remember: living healthy is a marathon, not a sprint. I like to think living healthy is more like walking. We walk at our own pace, we enjoy it, we listen to our body and we do some breaks from time to time.
Don’t strive for perfection. Your nutrition doesn’t have to be flawless, every day.
Some days we exercise, drink 3 liters of water and eat super healthy foods.
Some days we wake up late, drink more wine than water, and eat more than we should.
To sustain our health and wellness, we need, of course, healthy eating and living habits.
But we also need imperfect days.
We need temporary breaks. We need lazy days. And we need to get back on track.
I hope that these steps will help you get closer to your goals and restore your healthy habits after the holidays!