Sticking to a healthy lifestyle is tricky even at the best of times. Whether it is a new diet, exercise or even just a lifestyle change, the reality is the majority of us will just give up after the first hurdle. So in light of this we at Bestee.com decided to ask 23 Aussie Health Experts….
What is their #1 tip for sticking to healthy goals?
Their is some really good actionable advise here. The recurring theme throughout all of the experts advise is to avoid the usual regimented and strict diets and plans. Instead, the majority of experts recommend a balance of good and bad and finding something healthy that you really love. A far cry from the robot like advise we read so much about.
Kristy Zenk – www.slimbirdy.com
Follow what makes you feel physically good and what you love to do. Then it easily becomes your lifestyle without having to try so hard. If you hate cooking, then find the easiest healthy tasty recipes and stick to those. If you hate the gym, then don’t do it or feel guilty about not doing it, keep trying different things until you find something that just clicks with you and you look forward to doing it. And most of all, learn how to make your own healthy raw cacao chocolate – it’s easy and shows you how wonderful a healthy lifestyle can really be!
Sally Symonds – www.sallysymonds.com – Twitter
You can lose weight and keep it off without the need to follow a diet or healthy eating plan, or even an exercise plan or program and, in fact, following someone else’s plan might be one of the very reasons why you’ve failed to achieve permanent weight loss before. Psychologists call it counter-regulation. An easier way to think of it is the “what the hell” effect. Basically, it means that whenever we are faced with any kind of controlling mechanism designed to govern our behaviour, we can only put up with it for so long before we rebel and take back control over our own lives, and demonstrate that we can think for ourselves and that we can make decisions for ourselves and that we have the right, as human beings to do so. Unfortunately, at this stage, the decisions we make in terms of diet and exercise are usually quite bad ones – because we’re rebelling as hard as we can – against the uber super-healthy ones being imposed on us by health-freak-fanatic devised diets and exercise programs. So the best way to avoid counter-regulation is not to over-regulate (or over-control) in the first place, and this is really where most traditional weight loss plans and programs fall down: by denying us control, or telling us not to think, they’re denying us our freedom or any sense of what it actually means to live a meaningful life as a human being. That’s why most reputable plans and programs work well in theory, but they fail dismally in real life because they go against one of our most basic psychological needs – the right to control our own lives. People think it’s their fault they’ve fallen off the wagon so many times before? It’s not. Traditional weight loss plans and programs built the wagon and they MADE it so ’normal’ people who struggle with their weight were doomed to fall off it.
Tara Senic – www.sweatlikeapig.com – Twitter
To achieve a healthier life, it is important to find something that you enjoy. There is no point in forcing yourself to run every day if you hate it, or choke down dry chicken and broccoli at every meal, as it will inevitably lead to you crumbling and reverting to old habits. Find a form of exercise you enjoy and learn how to prepare healthy, yet delicious, meals. This will make it easy to maintain your new healthy life forever.
Annette Kristen – www.wellnesswa.com.au
There are so many health tips that I love, but one of my current favourite ways to stay healthy & energised is to purchase a 1L glass bottle (it could be a milk or juice bottle, or even some pasta sauces are packaged in them!), enjoy whatever is in it & then rinse it out. Every morning use a high-powered blender to whip up 1L+ of green smoothie or other health elixir to start your day off in the BEST possible way. My current favourite green smoothie is:
– 1/2 x Lebanese cucumber
– 1 x cup frozen mixed berries
– 1 x small apple (whatever is in season!)
– 1-2 x handfuls of baby spinach
– Juice of 1/2 a lemon or lime
– 1 x tbsp aloe vera juice
– 2-3 x cups filtered water
– 1 x cup ice
Blend, pour into your glass bottle & ENJOY your smoothie on the go – so easy peasy! 🙂
5. Healthy eating 90%, indulge 10%
Martyna Angell – www.wholesome-cook.com – Twitter
My tip is one of my 5 healthy living tips and comes straight from my cookbook and wellness guide, The Wholesome Cook. It revolves around eating real whole food most of the time and indulging a little. I like to call it the 90/10 rule. Eat clean food that is right for you, 90 per cent of time, indulge in the other 10. Matt, my husband, calls his the 70/30 – you get the idea, right? I say this, because giving up junk food is that much more attainable when you can cut yourself some slack and enjoy a treat once in a while, whatever it may be. Now, what that real food may be is based around the notion of bioindividuality – the fact that we are all different and no single diet fits everyone the same. Just because paleo, raw or vegan diets are increasing in popularity does not mean that either one of them is a one-size-fits-all solution – you should eat food that’s best for your body.
Natalie Carter – www.nataliecartertalksfitness.com – Twitter
Happiness is what brings joy into your health and life- so follow happiness. Do what makes you happy, eat the things that make you happy (in moderation of course), socialise with people who bring happiness into your life, live in an environment which brings the best out in you and spread happiness to others.
Samantha Lippiatt – www.healthandfitnesstravel.com.au – Twitter
Balance—finding balance in your life not only nurtures your well-being, but is also key to achieving your goals. Once you have it, you will find it easier to focus your energy on different aspects, like work, health and relationships without feeling like you’re being pulled in opposing directions. Make it a point to make small progressive steps each day to take control of your life. Say yes to good opportunities, but learn to say no when it doesn’t add value. Soon you will find yourself managing your schedule like a pro. Unplug from the digital world even for a while and establish genuine relationships that last. Work up a sweat, exercise, but don’t forget to reward yourself. By focusing on balance instead of extremes, you’re eliminating a toxic kind of lifestyle that will only leave you feeling stressed and unwell.
Louise Ranger – www.healthyeatingaustralia.com – Twitter
When you embark on this journey falling off the healthy eating wagon from time to time is normal and its perfectly ok! It occurs more often than you think when you first start out. As with anything new it takes time to cement in a new lifestyle. Rather than focus on falling off the wagon, pick yourself up and focus on starting a fresh and continue doing this until you have it mastered and it becomes a habit and a way of life.
Aanika Milne – www.theactivemum.com – Twitter
When it comes to living a healthy lifestyle, I like to keep it simple and stick to the basics of a natural healthy food and regular exercise, but my ‘least talked about’ tip is to make sure you get enough sleep. A good sleep can help improve your immunity, help with mood and overall wellbeing. Most of us really struggle to get into bed early enough to get enough sleep so try moving your bedtime forward by 5-10 minutes per week until it you begin to feel more well rested.
Kristy Morton – loulouzoo.com.au – Twitter
I think there are heaps of simple health “hacks” people can use, but the single best thing you can do if you really want to make changes to your health is to find someone (or a few people, even an online “tribe”!) you can share your vision for a healthier you with.Share your hopes, what scares you about it & as time goes on share your achievements & set backs. It really does help to put your vision out there – it helps it come to life! And having people to work through the challenges with means you won’t give up. It’s hard to do things alone.
Jane Taylor – www.habitsforwellbeing.com – Twitter
My tip would be to – take the time to get to know yourself (your true self), give yourself permission to start the journey and learn to like yourself and discover what you enjoy doing (and later on maybe learn to love yourself), and learn to trust yourself and your own intuition. Then, step by step or habit by habit, start to live in alignment as you continue the adventure of knowing, liking and trusting yourself!
Dr. Peta Stapleton – www.petastapleton.com – Twitter
Use your imagination for Easy Health Benefits Research shows that imagining or visualising lights up identical parts of the brain that would be energised if you were actually working out, or had 100% health. When you vividly imagine… electrical and chemical changes occur in the body so that you actually activate some of the muscles involved. When he worked out, Arnold Schwarzenegger used visualization. He saw in his mind’s eye what his muscles should be like, basing the picture on another bodybuilder, an image he had seen somewhere else, or an exaggerated version of his own reality. And then when he worked until he had turned that vision into a precise, physical reality. He did this first of all with bodybuilding, but it was the essential technique he applied to all aspects of his life. Dr. Charles Garfield, who worked with the NASA astronauts showed almost all of the world-class athletes and other peak performers are visualizers. They see it; they feel it; they experience it before they actually do it. They begin with the end in mind. Visualising and imagery can lower blood pressure, slow heart rate and help treat insomnia, obesity and phobias. So why not choose the health benefit you would like in your life – imagine what the end would look like (the actual benefit) and start imaging that every night before you go to sleep, and first thing in the morning when you awake. It should feel great, it is best to imagine it has already happened (as if you are feeling the benefits now) and then let you unconscious mind make it a reality.
Alyse Co-cliff – anappleaday.net.au – Twitter
When it comes to helping people achieve their goals, the most important question to ask them is ‘why?’. What is their motivation for change? Once we identify their passion, we can set the wheels in motion. We then opt to explore this with a registered psychotherapist which enables us to tailor our meal plans, exercise strategy and mindfulness practice accordingly. When the client understands why, together we create lasting change that really does transforms their lives.
Annette Spanski – www.keeplifesimple.com.au – Twitter
learn to hold your stomach in when walking or doing any other exercises , even at home whilst doing the cleaning ’, why ? Holding your stomach in is better for posture , helps tone the core (abs) area, and also keeps your lower back stronger so you avoid injuries, especially when lifting or bending
Alix Toynton – www.theshrinkinghubby.com – Twitter
When it comes to cleaning up your lifestyle, it is important to view any changes you wish to make as a lifestyle change, rather than a short-term solution. A ‘diet’ mentality is never sustainable. In addition to eating healthy and nutritious food (and eliminating sugar and additives), it is super important to drink plenty of water (preferably filtered and at least 2 litres a day), and ensure you get adequate sleep – at least 7 hours a night. I cannot stress how important these 2 lifestyle elements are. With regards to nutrition, and as a busy working mother of 3 children, my favourite health tip is to be prepared when it comes to meal preparation. I know that when we are pressed for time, it is easy to take short cuts when it comes to our nutrition, however rather than packaged, processed food or takeaway there are plenty of short cuts you can take in the kitchen which will ultimately help you in your quest for a healthier lifestyle. I always make more than needed for dinners so that there is enough for leftovers for lunch the next day or to freeze for the family for another night. The freezer is a great resource whether you are freezing family sized meals or single portions to grab when you need a quick meal on the run. When it comes to mid-week lunches, I find that preparation is the key to a delicious, healthy lunch which is cheaper than takeaway and much better for your waistline. Again, preparation is the key. Some tips for a quick pull-together lunch could be cooking up a batch of chicken, hard-boiling some eggs, chopping salad veggies, pre-making salad dressing etc. If you invest a little bit of extra time on the weekend – you can save so much valuable time during the week and you will feel so much better for it!
Erin May – www.erinmayfitness.com – Twitter
My favourite, but least talked about health tip would have to be #moderationnotdeprivation. I am a firm believer in doing everything you can to achieve your health and fitness goals but treating yourself along the way never hurt anyone. It has been proven that deprivation leads to binging and other psychological issues when dieting and thus the beginning of the vicious yoyo diet can begin. It’s all about saying yes to the cookie, but no to the entire box. As long as you are working out regularly, eating 80% of your diet as fresh healthy whole foods then a treat will do nothing but do you good by satisfying your mind (as long as it is in moderation).
Darren Baxter – www.baxterbasics.com.au – Twitter
One of my biggest pieces of advice to people wanting to change to a healthier lifestyle, is to first of all decide exactly what you want to achieve first, then list the steps you need to take in order to achieve that goal. If unsure of the steps necessary to get there, seek the advice of a professional. Then lastly, it’s just a matter of developing a plan and making 1-2 adjustments to your lifestyle at a time so that you don’t get overwhelmed or feel it is too hard.
Progress in little steps will ensure you develop long term habits and the solution to your happiness.
Ally Louise – www.allylouise.com – Twitter
Learn how to slow down. Definitely easier said than done. This could mean taking an extra 5 minutes to actually sit and eat your breakfast without distractions, enjoy a hot drink, take an hour to go for a walk, spend an afternoon without your iPhone or draw a picture. I think being ok with slowing down is a really common challenge for many ambitious women. Personally, I’ve learnt that I can’t give the best to others if I am not taking the time to nourish and care for myself first.
Jacinda Meiklejohn BPhEd, AEP – www.jacindaw.com – Twitter
My most powerful tip that supports me everyday to live a healthy life is developing and cultivating a deep level of self-respect, love and acceptance for myself. What exactly does this mean? Learning to accept yourself right here and now where you are, in your highs and lows, in your strength and weakness. Providing love and kindess to yourself in the moments where you may judge, blame, beat yourself up or feel guilty. And then from this space, loving and respecting yourself enough to make empowering choices that reflect the healthy vision you have for your life and the love you have within to truly nourish, nurture and provide kindness for yourself. Having a loving and respectful relationship with yourself allows you to consciously make healthy choices that align with your vision of what a healthy life means to you.
Katherine Baqleh – healthvictorynutrition.com.au – Twitter
Variety is the spice of life. Aim for plenty of colour in all meals, enjoy 3-5meals daily, drink plenty of water, choose wholegrains and ignore the food fads and food myths. There are no foods that you should avoid, and any diet that tells you to omit particular foods or food groups is not always correct. Bananas are a great fruit that are high in fibre, eating 6 eggs per week offers a great source of protein and numerous vitamins and minerals, avocado and a daily handful of unsalted nuts are a great source of healthy fats, and dairy is the best source of calcium and vit D for strong bones and teeth. Deprivation doesn’t work so enjoy every single food mindfully for a sustainable way of eating and more enjoyable living.
Dr. Marny Lishman – www.marnylishman.com.au – Twitter
Some of us need to start being a bit selfish. This doesn’t mean you are being self centred or self absorbed. It means that you are allocating some time for self care. If you put yourself first sometimes, everyone around you is actually going to be better off. You will be fresher, healthier, less frazzled and more able to enjoy the moments you have with your loved ones. Unfortunately, the routine of daily living gets in the way, and we often put ourselves last on the list for “self” moments. In order to keep in a nice balanced state, we need to put ourselves first, often. Even if it is just for 20 minutes a day or one hour at some point during the week.
Dr. Cody Hanish BS DC CCWP – www.thrivechiro.com.au – Twitter
The best tip that I could give would be to splurge…on YOURSELF. We often get so caught up in work, family, friends, daily life, etc that we forget to do what’s good for us and we feel the repercussions later. It is imperative that we look after ourselves most importantly. It doesn’t have to be an amazing month long holiday, it can be something simple like getting a massage or facial or that new pair of shoes you’ve been wanting.
Ceri – ceri.com.au – Twitter
My best health tip(s) would be hydration and learning to cook for yourself! I think cooking your own meals and trying to learn as many new dishes as possible is the best way to get variety into your diet. It means getting lots of different nutrients, without the added sugars, hydrogenated fats, preservatives, and other nasties. As a bonus you can control portion sizes, and cooking methods, and really observe how different foods affect your body. Cooking for yourself really is the most empowered health.
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