Though many of us share the desire to be healthier, we don’t all go about it in the same way.
Some people are very rigid in their thinking and expect perfection in their health behaviors. However, this is unrealistic and hard to maintain.
Others are more flexible in their approach to losing weight and getting healthier, able to moderate their goals to better fit their lifestyle.
Studies show that being flexible in your approach to eating and losing weight is associated with a healthier body weight, more success in keeping weight off, less psychological distress and improved well-being.
Here are some examples to help nudge you toward more flexibility and better health:
1 – Instead of denying yourself all dessert-type foods, you find some treat options that are satisfying enough where you only need 100 to 200 calories worth.
2 – Instead of giving up all alcohol, you enjoy a glass of wine on your nights out, one or two times per week.
3 – Instead of squeezing in going to the health club on your busiest days, you take time to get in brisk walking and use your wearable activity tracker to get credit for putting your body in motion.
4 – Instead of foregoing your exercise time because your walking buddy is sick, you adapt by listening to a podcast or watching a favorite TV show at home while riding your indoor bike.
5 – Instead of skipping meditation because your class was cancelled, you still take time to meditate, using your smart phone meditation app. Self care is an important part of your healthy lifestyle journey.
I hope these examples give you more ideas as to how to adopt and maintain health behaviors that are realistic and doable for your lifestyle. Remember – think progress, not perfection.
Enjoy your health!
Robert Kushner, MD