Staying Motivated to Pursue a Healthier Lifestyle
As much as I want to live a healthier lifestyle, I often find it hard to stay motivated to pursue it. Especially when I don’t see results after putting in the work needed to become healthier.
So, in an effort to keep on going, I have been looking for ways to encourage a more healthy lifestyle as well as to motivate me even when it seems like it’s taking a long time to see results.
One of the ways I’ve found to keep me motivated, encouraged, and accountable is to use apps on my phone. There are two apps in particular that have really made a difference in my health journey.
Lose It! is an app that allows you to track the food you eat as well as the activities you do in a day. It’s basically an old fashioned calorie counter, however it uses the latest technology to easily log your food.
The app has an extensive database of foods and activities with their corresponding calorie counts. It even has foods from many popular restaurants.
There is a downside to this app, and I imagine it probably applies to any other calorie counting app. I find that it is much too easy to underestimate or overestimate the calories I consume in a given day.
For instance, some restaurants we go to have no nutrition information available anywhere. So it’s impossible to know how many calories I’m actually consuming. I have to look in Lose It! and hopefully find an item similar to what I ate and use those calories.
However, I think over time the calories even out. Especially if you don’t eat out a lot.
While I have not lost any measurable weight since logging my food for the last month, I have stopped the weight gain. And, I’ve become much more aware of what I’m putting into my body. I’m learning to get the most bang for my calories.
When you have to write down what you eat, you want to make it count. Yes, I’ve gone over my allotted calories for the day several times, but I’m definitely eating a lot less than I was before and I’m making better food choices.
Up by Jawbone
I have used a fitness tracker for two years. I used a FitBit One until February of this year. Then I switched to the Up by Jawbone.
My FitBit was worn on my waistband. I liked it because at the time I didn’t want a wrist band. However, over time it became harder to keep it on my waistband. I was afraid I’d lose it.
Then I discovered the Up. It’s a wrist band but it does not look like other wrist bands. I got a sliver one so it looks more like a bracelet.
My step goal each day is 10,000 steps. However, I have a hard time reaching it most days. If I get over 5,000 steps, then I’m pleased. But, I’m going to continue to reach for 10,000.
One thing I like about the Up is that it offers challenges. When I can, I try to complete those challenges because I know it will get me moving.
My Up motivates me to move more. I know the more I move, the healthier I will be.
What are you favorite ways to stay motivated when it comes to pursuing a healthier lifestyle?
Since I led a First Place 4 Health program in church years ago, I have a good collection of motivational books on healthy eating/lifestyle. I was looking back through one of my faves yesterday, and was reminded of some good tenets. The book is “The One-Day Way” by Chantel Hobbs. She posits that we are more likely to succeed by focusing on making wise nutritional choices just for today. Successes or failures from yesterday are irrelevant. Also, looking at the long road ahead is to be avoided, as one can be daunted by the task ahead. As you can imagine, Hobbs focuses on the biggest part ofthe battle, which, for many, is establishing a new and proper way of thinking. She does include sample menus, which are kind if old-school, since they are really low in healthy fats, which help us stay satisfied, so that’s a section I don’t agree with.
As for myself, to keep me from feeling deprived, I like to practice the “80/20 rule”: 80% of the time, I eat healthy and satisfying meals, and the other 20%, I have a splurge, which might be getting a smaller-size fast food meal, or stopping by after a shopping trip for a McDonald’s sundae. The 80/20 concept averages out to one treat every two days, so it doesn’t involve a lot of will power, realizing I will eat healthy today, and enjoy a reasonable, portion-controlled treat one time tomorrow.
Great thoughts, Ann! Yes, I have decided strict meal plans that leave out one type of food do not work for me. I have found my best weapon is meal planning. When I have the right healthy foods in the house ready to prepare, it’s much easier to make healthy choices.