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Tips on Breaking Bad Habits

Every day we start with the best of intentions to “keep it healthy” today. Until 3:00 rolls around and those birthday cupcakes in the break room are screaming your name.

Healthy habits only become habits when you do them more than once.

Instead of setting yourself up to fail, you can set yourself up to make good choices by planning ahead. That will give you a fighting chance to succeed. So where do you begin?

The best you can do is figure out your weaknesses and try to prevent these slip ups ahead of time.

  1. Avoid eating late at night. Your metabolism slows down when you sleep, so late-night calories are harder to burn off.Prevent it! Eat small meals or snacks every 2 to 3 hours throughout the day. Time your meals so that you stop 2 to 3 hours before you go to bed.
  2. Don’t grab fast food on impulse. You’re already on your way to avoiding this one if you’re eating regular small meals and snacks. You’ll keep your brain fed, so it doesn’t shut down.Prevent it! Plan ahead and bring healthy snacks. These can be simple—a small handful of raw almonds is a better choice than a greasy burger.
  3. If you shouldn’t eat it, don’t put it in your shopping cart. Seriously. If you put it in your shopping cart, it comes home with you. And you know it’s there.Prevent it! It’s much harder to eat junk food in a moment of stress or weakness if it’s not in your house.
  4. If you’re tempted by junk food, look in the mirror. Think it through—those calories will go somewhere. And probably somewhere you’ve spent hours in the gym trying to slim and shape. So a bad choice now will just mean more effort later.Prevent it! Reach for a piece of fruit instead. Really taste your strawberries and savor your apples. Natural sweets are awesome.
  5. Don’t eat for comfort. If something gets you stressed or upset, take a breath, not a bite. Knowing that you’re taking good care of yourself, even when you’re down, will help you to feel better more quickly.Prevent it! Try calling a friend, taking a 10-minute walk around the block, or playing with your pet. Or working out.
  6. Find healthy versions of your favorite guilty pleasures. Stock your kitchen with those instead.Prevent it! Craving ice cream? A creamy low-fat yogurt could hit the spot. Want the crunch of chips? Try snacking on fresh red peppers, sliced jicama, or baked kale chips (they’re easy to make, and astonishingly tasty).
  7. Pay attention to portion size. You don’t need to eat heaping helpings.Prevent it! If you absolutely must have ice cream, grab a teacup instead of a bowl. You’ll get the taste you crave, but in a much smaller serving.
  8. Make exercise a priority. It’s easy to let it feel optional and get lost in the shuffle.Prevent it! Plan your workout schedule for the week and stick to it. Schedule your boot camp or your small group training and make it an APPOINTMENT.
  9. Just work out—don’t ask yourself if you want to. Most people (myself included) would answer “No.”Prevent it! Just commit, get in your workout clothes, and Push Play. You’ll be sweating, happy, and proud of yourself before you know it.
  10. Must have chocolate? Go for a few squares of dark chocolate or try a chocolate flavored protein shake.

Sources: Originally printed by beachbody.com

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