Why talk about 10 tips for a healthy lifestyle? Several times a year, we are inclined to push the reset button and begin anew. It might be a new year, your birthday, the anniversary of a significant date (like the date or your diagnosis or the day you finished your treatment), or the start of a new school year. I love the feeling of reflecting on the past year – with a focus on my accomplishments and looking ahead to the next year with a renewed sense of purpose and taking some time to set goals for a healthy lifestyle for myself.
When I look back the past year, I am extremely proud of the fact that I completed my Cancer Risk Reduction Guide. That was a major accomplishment that was years in the making. I’m proud that I stuck with it and created something that I think has the potential to really help people to make better choices with their health and nutrition and have a real impact on their lives.
My new book The Complete Lymphedema Management and Nutrition Guide is out this year too and I’m so pleased that people with lymphedema can start using nutrition to help them manage their condition.
I also want to reflect on my lifestyle goals. I started some long overdue rehab for a shoulder and neck injuries. I got back into swimming on a regular basis and the kids and I put some meal planning structure into our week. I would like to help you to set some goals for yourself as well, so I have put together my 10 tips for a healthy lifestyle for you.
How Do I Use the 10 Tips for a Healthy Lifestyle?
First read through the list. Decide which item is easiest for you to implement. Write a goal for yourself based on that and set yourself up for success by getting organized to make it happen, then get started! When that tip becomes habit, choose the next item to focus on. By doing this, you are creating new habits that can last you throughout the year…and beyond.
10 Tips for a Healthy Lifestyle
1. Eat Mindfully.
So many of us were raised to ‘finish everything on your plate’. Unfortunately, what this did was make us eat according to our eyes and not according to our stomachs. Ideally, you want to stop eating when you are satisfied, or when the hunger is gone, and not eat until you are full – or until the plate is empty. Help yourself to do this by serving yourself a smaller portion, eating more slowly and checking in with yourself throughout the meal to ask ‘am I still hungry?’
2. Manage Your Hunger.
Don’t let yourself become too hungry. If you describe your hunger level by saying ‘I’m starving’, then you’ve let things go too far. Feeling like you’re ‘starving’ will lead to overeating and loss of impulse control.
3. Shop Regularly.
If you want to eat healthy, you need to have healthy foods on hand to make that goal as easy as possible. This also avoids those last minute trips to the grocery store when you’re over-hungry and end up giving in to unhealthy impulse purchases.
4. Allow Indulgences.
Your eating doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be better than what it was to achieve results. So, if you are currently giving yourself 14 treats a week, then scale it down to 10, then 8 then 5 etc. until you get to a number that allows you to get the results you are after. When you become more discriminating about how you ‘spend’ these indulgences you choose the treats that you enjoy the most and avoid the ones that just happen to be available that you don’t really enjoy.
5. Ask Yourself What is Triggering My Craving?
I believe that a craving is your body’s way of talking to you. What is it saying? Are you bored, tired, stressed? If so, treat the underlying trigger with what your body really needs and don’t treat your craving with unhealthy food that will only make you feel worse afterwards. Keeping a food record and recording how you feel as well as what you eat can help to identify your triggers.
6. Be Active Throughout the Day.
While a good workout in the morning is a great way to start your day, the benefits don’t carry you through a fully sedentary day. Make an effort to get up every hour.
7. Schedule Activity in Your Week.
Use your calendar or scheduler to make appointments for yourself to do a workout, swim or exercise class. If you are just waiting for time to appear when you can workout, then it’s likely that won’t happen.
8. Exercise on More Days than You Don’t.
There are 7 days in the week, that means, you should be active for 4 of them at least. Don’t wait until Thursday to start either. Try to get at least 2 workouts in by Wednesday.
9. Make Exercise Fun.
I think the time in my life when I was most active was when I played on a hockey team, was in a running group and had a run partner. I felt like being active wasn’t just exercise for the sake of exercising, it was my social life too. If you are choosing a person to be your exercise partner, make sure to choose someone that will support you and not hold you back.
10. Try Something New.
You never know if your next favourite activity is out there waiting to be discovered. Want to try a martial art? Join a hiking club? Learn to salsa? You don’t have to do the same-old, same-old. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone.
11. Bonus Tip – Get A Coach.
I mentioned off the top, that I have signed up for some personal training sessions. This isn’t because I don’t know how to work out, on the contrary, I’ve completed personal training certification myself. It’s because I work out better when I have a coach helping me. This can be the same for nutrition – we all know how to eat healthy, but if you are keeping food records and are accountable to your nutrition coach, then guaranteed your results will be better then if you go it alone. I would love to be that coach for you. I’m accepting new clients for 2019 and we can get started right away. Call me at 416-561-1196 or contact me to get started.
One of my successful clients told me recently “if I could have done it myself, I would have.” I hope these tips can help you get started on a new healthier path. If you have comments or other tips to add, then please add them below. If you would like to learn more check out Personalized Nutrition Counselling with me. Here is a quick summary that you can record and decide what to start with – remember to choose the easiest item first.
What Are 10 Tips for a Healthy Lifestyle?
- Eat mindfully
- Manage your hunger
- Shop regularly
- Allow indulgences
- Ask yourself “what is triggering my craving?”
- Be active throughout the day
- Schedule activity into your week
- Be active on more days than you’re not
- Make exercise fun
- Try something new
- Bonus tip – Get a coach!
If you are interested in reducing your risk of cancer recurrence, or of doing what you can for metastatic disease check out the
The Cancer Risk Reduction Guide . If you liked this blog posts and would like to read more like it, check out my Cancer Bites blog on the Benefits of Exercise for Cancer Patients and Survivors