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Ten Tips for Making Healthy Lifestyle Changes

By Kathi Head, ND, USA Hockey, 01/14/19, 12:00PM CST

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Goals focused around healthy living are more sustainable than those driven only by weight loss.

Tips for making meaningful change and sticking to a program
 

I don’t know about you, but now is the time I start getting nervous that any weight I managed to shed over the summer might start creeping back.

This is a good time to take steps to assure that doesn’t happen. In order to be successful with any weight management plan, it is important to determine what your goals are. Are you trying to avoid health problems, feel better, have more energy, take part in a sport, be able to play with your children or grandchildren, sleep better, decrease medications, or live longer?

Whatever your reasons, once you’ve identified them, you will have an easier time sticking to a program.

Here are 10 tips for making meaningful change:

1. Focus on healthy lifestyle changes

Healthy weight management isn't about depriving yourself of calories. Consider what else you can do to help with weight management. Are you exercising regularly? Getting a good night sleep? Engaging in other stress-reducing activities? Stress is not your friend when you are trying to shed some pounds or inches, because it results in increased levels of the hormone, cortisol, which results in increased carb cravings.

2. Set realistic and achievable goals

Setting unrealistic goals will only result in disappointment and may cause you to give up on your journey. If your goal involves pounds lost, one to two pounds weekly is a reasonable weight loss goal.

3. Set one goal that has nothing to do with weight

For instance, you might want to fit into a particular article of clothing that has historically been too tight. Or maybe you want to keep up with your dog when you're out for a brisk walk – without getting winded. Goals focused around healthy living are more sustainable than those driven only by weight loss.

4. Engage in daily structured activities, including exercise

The more exercise becomes part of your daily routine, the easier it will be to get it done. If you have time, exercise first thing in the morning before you have time to come up with excuses not to do it. Laying out your exercise clothes the night before can be a very helpful morning motivation.

5. Make healthy eating a daily activity

Thorne has made the obstacle easier for you to tackle by providing you with our Thorne Weight Management Program, including recommended food lists and healthy recipes. Healthy eating doesn't have to be boring – mixing up your meals is a big component to sticking with your program.

6. Be sure you're adopting habits you can keep

As you embark on a weight management program, keep in mind those changes you would feel comfortable about continuing as a lifestyle. The problem with most diet fads is that they simply aren't sustainable for the average person. Maintaining a balanced diet of healthy whole foods while still enjoying some of your favorites will make you more likely to stick with your new lifestyle long-term.

7. Adopt new habits slowly

For instance, if you know you can't give up your morning latte, then try having it with non-fat milk and no flavoring. It might seem boring at first but in a few weeks, the old flavored latte would probably taste way too sweet. Once your taste buds get used to not having artificial sweeteners, naturally sweet foods will taste even sweeter.

8. Enlist support from family and friends

This is probably the most important tip for success. Even if your family is not going to participate in the specific diet plan you have in mind, you want to be sure they are supportive and not trying to coerce you into going out for pizza or ice cream every night. If you have a family member or friend who will be participating in a weight management program with you, so much the better. You can give each other encouragement and hold each other accountable.

9. Stock your kitchen with the foods you need to get started

Check out our weight management program now available. Included are specific food lists you can adopt as grocery lists to get started on your journey.

10. Set a specific start date

And there's no time like the present.

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