The start of a new year is often seen as a new beginning. In January, the gyms are flooded with people and magazine hand out tips about the newest and best way to lose weight. The start of a new year feels like the start of a new phase, in which you can start with a blank sheet. But, any moment is a good time to decide it’s time for a new phase, like when it comes to healthy living. The key is to make a habit out of healthy living. The following tips can help you with this!

Conscious eating

Maybe you spend every evening on the couch with a cup of coffee and a cookie, watching Netflix. You don’t consciously think about this, but you automatically grab the cookie jar when you turn on Netflix and smell the scent of coffee. This is called a habit; without really thinking about it, you grab the cookie jar. Just because you always do, you are used to it.

When you want to change your behaviour, you need to learn new habits that you can easily maintain in the long run. Take the Netflix example; you want to eat less cookies, so you start consciously thinking about this. When the show starts, all you take is a cup of coffee and no cookie. When you keep on consciously repeating this behaviour, you’ll eventually notice it has become a new habit. You don’t even think about the cookie anymore!

You can start by consciously thinking about your eating habits. What does your eating pattern look like and what can you improve? You can use the following tips as inspiration:

  • Replace soft drinks with water, tea or black coffee.
  • Eat smaller portions.
  • Consciously do your grocery shopping: write down the things you need before entering the store, and don’t deviate from your list. This prevents you from bringing home unnecessary snacks.
  • Try to snack less. The idea that you keep your metabolism going with snacks is a myth. Especially at night, your body needs rest and there’s no point in snacking. Unless you just had a work out. 
  • Enjoy your food. Try to make a mindful moment out of eating, by making homemade meals, getting inspired by new recipes or enjoying going out to dinner and drinking a glass of wine. If you have a healthy base, it doesn’t hurt to go out to dinner every once in a while. In fact: it will give you a boost!

When you know what you want to change, you can start changing things step by step. Give yourself time to get used to your new habits. Each change is one in the good direction! New and healthy habits will give you a healthier mindset in the long run.

Exercising

The same trick applies to exercising: you can teach yourself to exercise more. Working behind the computer all day; take a walk during your break. Taking the bus to work; get out a few stops early to walk the remainder of your trip. Brought your kids to school; take a walk around the block before you head home. Haven’t moved all day; take an evening stroll. 

When you start walking more regularly, you’ll notice your body gets used to it and you start feeling better! It can also be motivating to monitor your steps and to set a goal for yourself. Most phones have step counters, or can be downloaded as an app. You can also monitor your steps with the NiceDay app!

Besides your daily exercise, it’s also good to work out. By working out your body produces endorphins, which make you feel happy. In addition, working out is also taking a moment for yourself.

Share your plans

Finally, it’s important that the people around you support your choices. Try to imagine staying away from snacks, with chocolate and chips laying around all over the house. If you seriously want to change your life, it’s important to discuss this with your loved ones. This way they can support you in the choices you make. 

Share this post! If this post was insightful for you, share it with your loved ones so that they can better understand what you are going through.
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Maaike van der Kaaij

My name is Maaike and I am a psychologist at NiceDay. During sessions with my clients I find it really important they feel free to tell me everything. I am interested in people's behaviour and enjoy helping people gain new insights! Besides my work, I love my family, travelling, working out and going out to dinner.

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