Welcome to review week! Today’s Focus Point circles back to the beginning of the challenge. We’re going to review the important components of the challenge, re-tool your approach (if necessary) and re-ignite your desire to reach your goals.
Track everything you eat and drink
Review: Go back through your food journal and identify where you your calories are coming from; if there are gaps when you aren’t eating but should (like breakfast), or if your diet is lacking proper nutrition.
Re-tool: Now that you’ve developed good tracking skills, let’s review the food journal and make some changes! Look for areas where you can make a big impact without too much pain. Here are a few easy swtiches you may want to try.
- Grab lowfat dairy instead of whole or 2%.
- Ditch the artificially flavored yogurts and opt for plain nonfat (greek or regular) yogurt mixed with berries, pineapple or your favorite fruit sweetened with a teaspoon of honey or agave or real maple syrup.
- Meatless Mondays! Going plant-based one day a week will have a huge impact on the environment and also provide a great nutritional boost. Visit Cooking Light, or Meatless Mondays for some great tips. Being vegetarian doesn’t always translate to healthy (french fries, anyone?) so keep that in mind as you peruse the menus!
- Be smart with cereal. Cereal is a quick breakfast but not all cereals are healthy choices. If you can’t give up your Krave or frosted flakes, then make your bowl healthier by going half and half. Half a cup of Fiber One (clusters, flakes, original bran cereal) and a half cup of your cereal of choice.
- Bulk up your meals with fruits and veggies. Yes. At every meal. Shredded zucchini and mushrooms in your scrambled eggs, steamed spinach on your egg and cheese sandwich, a bowl of fruit to round out your cereal or yogurt. I easily eat 9-11 servings of fruits and veggies each day. The national average is 3 to 5. Fruits and veggies provide incredible nutrients, fiber and other health benefits.
- Finally, if your food journal is heavy on processed foods (protein bars, frozen items, fast food, etc.) start replacing those foods with healthier alternatives. Peanut butter on an apple in place of a protein bar; whole wheat pasta with red sauce and ground turkey or lean ground beef in place of frozen lasagne. Processed, convenient foods are ok in moderation but you and your family will benefit if you reduce their presence.
Re-ignite: Pick only one or two things to swap out this week! It will be easier than you think.
Workout at least 5 times a week for at least 30 minutes per session.
Review: Well, you are either doing it or not. If you are able to get in the workouts keep it up! If you are not, take a look at what’s been going on and let’s see how to improve your track record.
Re-tool: Listen, here’s tough love. Our bodies crave physical activity and once you get into the habit you will find that you can’t live without it. I realize getting into the habit may take some time so if the 5 workouts are simply not happening, let’s commit to 3 or 4 sessions a week. Try to fit in some kind of activity on that 4th or 5th day.
Re-ignite: Make exercise fun or really, really hard! Plan a dance party with your kids, try to add some run intervals (even 10 seconds is great) or try an extra long, extra hard hike on the weekend. Trying new things and new hard things is great for your spirit and who knows, you may fall in love with this new activity!
Track your progress
Review: Are you walking longer? Are you losing weight? Have you been able to cut out the junk food for even a day or two at a time?
Re-tool: If you have no idea what I’m talking about it’s time to write down where you are right now and make a note that in 2 weeks you’ll check in and see how you are improving. Being able to see tangible changes will increase your ability to stick with your healthy lifestyle.
Re-ignite: Track any minor improvement each day for the next week. Doing so will inspire and motivate you to keep going! Did you drink a lot of water? Run? Wear shorts instead of capris? This is progress!
Review: Well, if not me, than at least find a buddy to be supportive! Having someone in your camp will help keep you motivated and they will cheer you on as you reach your successes.
Re-tool: Feel free to examine different support systems if yours is not working. Sometimes husbands and wives are not the best supporters (didn’t you say you were not going to eat chocolate this month?) and you need to find another outlet. There are many online forums (spark people, Livestrong, etc.) where you can post your goals and accomplishments. While Facebook is a great place to share your successes, be aware that your FB friends who you work or have a professional relationship with may not need to know about your success over the jelly doughnut. Post with caution.
Re-ignite: Start your own group. Find a few, like-minded people and report in once a week with what’s working, what’s not and what your goals may be.
I hope this helps you this week! As always, I’m here to help!
Now go run!