It really is the little things, dahlinks!
When it comes to improving our health, it is not enough to know about nutrition and exercise. We really NEED to know how to actually effect meaningful and sustainable behaviour change.
I wrote about one of my tips, Improving your nutrition CASE by CASE here.
And today I'm sharing one of the simplest, yet most effective, strategies, for meaningful behaviour change:
We are hard-wired to stay in our comfort zones. Change is difficult and uncomfortable and notwithstanding our willpower and our resolve, there are big, primal parts of us that will fight change every step of the way.
So we need to find smart work-arounds. And this is one of the smartest you will ever see:
Instead of a big overhaul, look for the small, seemingly-insignificant tweaks you can make to your nutrition and lifestyle.
Tiny changes you will hardly notice, that won't set off the change-resisting alarm bells embedded deep in our psyche.
- Enjoying a glass of water with a squeeze of lemon or lime juice instead of a sugary soda.
- Take one less sugar in your tea or coffee (and then one more less!
- Adding in an extra vegetable with dinner (And lunch! And even breakfast!)
- Swapping highly refined carby breads, crackers and baked goods for less refined, more fibre-rich choices (I have a super-helpful guide to help you do this HERE!)
- Instead of snacking on sugary cookies or pastries, have a piece of fruit and a handful of nuts
- Reading the labels when you are at the supermarket and swapping your usual sauces and seasonings for ones that are lower in sugar and salt.
- Snacking on veggie sticks and hummus instead of potato chips and other deep fried snackfoods.
- Swap a refined "filler carb" such as white rice, noodles or couscous for veggies, brown or black rice or a legume. Try zoodles (zucchini noodles made with a spiraliser) or a mix of brown rice and lentils
- Swap out that glass of wine or mixed drink for a glass of mineral water with a slice of lime.
These tiny changes, if you embed them as a consistent habit, will accumulate and when added together will deliver big positive changes to your health and wellbeing over time.
But don't sabotage yourself! Think "more turtle, less hare".
We are all hungry for big, spectacular changes, and we want them NOW. Resist that urge, and choose one tiny change at a time, and apply it for at least 3 weeks. Only move on to the next tiny change when the preceding one has become so natural that you are now doing it automatically. That way you won't set off your change-resisting alarm bells.