Congratulations on completing the HFG 30-Day Reset! We hope our program has helped you start leading a healthier life and you’re on your way to achieving your health goals, whatever they may be.
Whether you found more energy, took your nutrition to the next level or shifted some stubborn kilos, we hope you learnt how to create healthy new habits that will last a lifetime.
And even though the 30 days are now over, you don’t have to stop here! To extend your commitment to leading a healthier life, follow these five tips for keeping up the momentum:
1. Listen to your hunger
Your appetite is an inbuilt weight management system. While dieting teaches you to ignore or fear hunger, a non-diet approach helps you get back in touch with your hunger, an innate bodily cue. Diets make it hard to eat intuitively and listen to your body’s internal wisdom because they cloud your brain with rules and restrictions.
The aim is to eat when you’re hungry and stop when comfortably full. Instead of eating by the clock, tune into your body. Some people thrive on eating six small meals a day, while others feel best having three larger meals a day. Discover what works best for you by getting back in touch with your hunger cues and your appetite.
2.Make health (not weight loss) your motivator
Ask yourself, “Am I doing this new healthy activity to lose weight or to feel good?” If you’re adopting new habits for the sole purpose of losing weight, you might be more susceptible to falling off the bandwagon. Weight loss is not linear and often takes longer than you’re led to believe. If weight loss is the reason you’re adopting new habits, when you don’t lose weight as you expected, or temporarily regain it (as often happens), then you might be tempted to abandon all healthy new habits in the belief they’re not working. On the flip side, if feeling good and being strong is your goal, you’ll have more resilience when your weight doesn’t track as expected.
3. Practise crowding
Most diets have a list of forbidden foods, which is a guaranteed way to crave them. Instead, try ‘crowding’. Focus on what you want to eat more of, such as vegetables, fruit, legumes and whole grains. By eating more of the healthy foods, you’ll naturally crowd out the less healthy options, without feeling deprived. Fill your fridge with healthy options and find easy, tasty recipes to enjoy them.
4.Ditch all-or-nothing approaches
Cutting out whole food groups (for example, quitting sugar, avoiding carbohydrates) is unsustainable for most of us. Do you really want to spend the rest of your life missing out on pasta or a flaky pastry? While you might be happy to forgo these indulgences temporarily while on a diet, eventually you’ll want to eat them again. There’s always going to be another birthday, family dinner, long weekend, holiday, wedding, work party or Christmas event on the horizon. Better to adopt an approach without extremes. You can achieve healthy eating by cooking more nutritious meals at home, adding more vegetables to recipes and enjoying food mindfully.
5. Rekindle the joy
When you enjoy doing an activity, it feels easy. Instead of feeling like a punishment, it feels like a choice. If your healthy new habits feel like a chore, they’ll be hard to maintain and require too much willpower to get done. If going to the gym sounds torturous to you, then find an exercise that actually appeals to you. Maybe dancing or yoga. While you might burn less energy doing these preferred activities compared to going to the gym or running, you’ll be far more likely to do them consistently as you enjoy them.
Ultimately, the key to good health is consistency. And the key to consistency is enjoyment.