Dr. Kim Foster: Wicked Health


Seven Baby Steps To A Healthier You

little changes all add up

Erica recently wrote about making small changes towards a healthier lifestyle. And I am totally on board with that plan. Making big changes often feels way overwhelming. And overwhelm can stop you from changing even one damn thing. Where do you start, right? It’s much easier to tweak one or two small things, then build on that.

My advice: get out of that rut with baby steps! Instead of tackling a total health makeover, just make a few nips and tucks. Small bites are much more manageable, and can help you break down those psychological barriers. This especially goes for moms—I mean, who’s got time in their schedule for a full-on lifestyle change? Not me, that’s for sure.

Choose one or two things to work on, tops. Keep at it until it’s a habit. Research has shown it takes about 3 weeks for a habit to become firmly ingrained—although I suspect it’s more individual than that. As in: depends on the person, depends on the habit you’re trying to create.

Once your small bite has taken hold, though, choose another. Here are some suggestions for easy things to slip into your life:

 Downsize your dishes (studies show that you’ll eat less if you use smaller bowls and plates—and you won’t even notice).

 Try to eat just one “superfood” a day (spinach, salmon, yogurt, walnuts, avocado…)

 Get more sleep by making your bedtime a mere 15 minutes earlier.

 Stash a hula-hoop behind your TV and work it while you watch.

 Make a ritual of gratitude. Whenever you’re making a cup of coffee (or tea) take a moment to think about three things you’re thankful for. (Here’s why gratitude, and happiness in general, is crucial for health).

 No time for a full-on yoga class at the studio? Me neither. But rather than do nothing at all—do 10 minutes. (This online yoga network has loads of 10 minute yoga workouts that you can easily slip into your day.)

 Watch your liquid calorie intake—juice and pop spike your blood sugar but they do little to satisfy hunger. Cut back on the liquid calories and hydrate with water instead. (See here for more magic weight loss tricks).

Your turn. Any easy baby-step ideas?