By: Justine Van Drunen — Superfeet Wellness Panel Member. Justine has lost 141lbs by maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. Justine, known online as Lean Justine, chronicles her journey on her Instagram and YouTube channels, sharing workout videos, nutrition tips and fitness inspiration. Her passion is helping others reach their goals.
Today I’m sharing ways that help me stay motivated to choose healthy, nutritious foods. These are tricks and tips that I have found work for me every single time I’m in a rut or when bad habits creep back in. So, whether you’re someone who is just starting out on your wellness journey or someone who just needs a little motivation to stay on track, I hope you will find these tips helpful.
Set Small Daily Goals
In order to not get frustrated by where you are and where you want to be, set short term goals. Short term goals will be completed throughout the day ahead of you. I find these to be great confidence boosters and play into the larger picture without you even knowing you're doing it! Here are some examples to try:
- Get in 10,000 steps
- Drink 2L of water
Track Your Food
If you are anything like me, you are terrible at guessing. You may even try to convince yourself that the heaping mound of food in front of you, is in fact, one serving. Weighing, measuring and tracking your food will give you a visual of how much you've consumed and how you are going to execute your next meal(s).
Keep Your Fridge Full & Organized
Being prepared is key when wanting to live a healthy lifestyle. Having fresh low carb veggies, protein and healthy fats ready to grab-and-go each week is super helpful for staying on track. I like to make big batches of roasted veggies and two proteins at the beginning of the week so I have healthy foods in the fridge ready to go for quick lunches. Add a salad and you're set. Try to find more meal ideas in your fridge rather than pantry — this will help cut out processed foods & push you in a fresher direction.
Try New Meals or Challenge Yourself to Health-ify Your Fav Unhealthy Go-To
Eating the same old meals can be boring and unappealing for many. This can also trigger you to want to stop at a fast food place on the way home, or order in pizza. So why not challenge yourself to finding a new recipe once or twice a week? You might find yourself excited to get home and get cooking. That new recipe may even become a staple in your meal plans that you look forward to. Try taking one of your favorite unhealthy meals and putting a spin on it to make it healthier.
Find a Support Team
Having people around you with like-minded goals or who just have respect for your decision to eat healthy will keep you on track. Living a healthy life can be difficult but it makes it easier to surround yourself with people who will encourage you, not dissuade you.
See the Positivity in a Setback
You will, without a doubt, come across a setback or two, during your healthy lifestyle. These moments are what make us stronger and can be used to our benefit. I know what you're thinking...yeah right, but hear me out. I learned early in my journey to see a setback as an opportunity for growth. I would ask myself why that happened and how can I improve next time to avoid this. I also would look at each day as a new start, clean slate. Learn from yesterday to make for a better tomorrow.
Schedule Your Workouts
Schedule your workout just like you would schedule a meeting or an appointment — add it to your calendar, set a reminder and stick to it.
Reward for Success
Having something to look forward to if you stay on track with your healthy eating goals is a great way to stay motivated. Being able to reward yourself with something special after a week, or a month of healthy habits will not only help you feel good about what you've achieved, but it might keep you from going back to old habits. Some example rewards for hitting big milestones:
- a new gym outfit
- a massage
- a mani/pedi
Track Your Progress
Whether your goals are to be able to increase your intake of healthy fruits and veggies, eliminate sugar from your diet, improve your overall cardiovascular fitness, finish your first 5K, or all of the above, keeping regular track of your progress can be a big motivator. Pick a day each week to measure your progress (I like Mondays) and check in with yourself every week.
Get Enough Sleep
Getting at least seven to eight hours of sleep a night can help keep you motivated throughout the day as you will have more energy to do what is important to you. By combining sleep, with a balanced diet and exercise your body will have more energy.