Author credit Anita Fernandes
The most common New Year’s resolutions are to eat healthier, exercise more and lose weight. Sadly, over 90% of us are unable to achieve these health goals. It is important to understand the obstacles that prevent you from leading a healthy lifestyle so that you can tweak your routine accordingly. This will help you meet your health and fitness goals and improve your quality of life.
7 obstacles standing between you and a healthy lifestyle
- Busy schedule
Our pace of life has increased dramatically in the last couple of decades and yet we find ourselves scurrying around each day trying desperately to stay on schedule. While you cannot add more time to your days what you can do is improve your time management skills so that you can manage more in less time. For instance, you might not have the time to cook on a daily basis, instead you can meal prep over the weekends. Similarly, if you do not have the time to hit the gym each day, you can simply spend 10 minutes on an HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout at home.
- Information overload
When you’re looking to get healthy, the sheer amount of information can be overwhelming. What’s worse is that you will probably come across a lot of conflicting advice which makes you even more confused. At this point, the best thing to do is stick with reliable sources of information such as your family doctor, a dietitian or reputed health websites. Most importantly, avoid fad diets that promise you immense weight loss within a short period as they can have a long-term impact on your health.
- Not knowing where to start
You’ve decided to adopt a healthier lifestyle but you just don’t know where to start. You might be tempted to go all out and completely change your entire lifestyle but you will find it tough to sustain this for a prolonged period. The simplest place to start is with your diet. This does not mean that you need an elaborate diet plan, instead all you need to do is start eating healthier. After that, you can put aside a few minutes for daily exercise. Start with small changes and then slowly tweak your habits and lifestyle to get healthy.
- No quick results
When we had those old dial-up modems, we would patiently wait for over 2 minutes for a page to load but today, 53% of people will leave a page if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. The truth is, we’ve become accustomed to quick results. If you changed your diet on Monday, don’t step onto your scale on Friday hoping to see “at least some small change”. When you start to feel disappointed, remind yourself that you are in this for the long-term benefits.
- Feeling restricted
All healthy diet plans require some amount of sacrifice which means that you can no longer binge on unhealthy comfort foods. For the first few days, your drive to eat healthy is enough to overcome the temptation of junk food but after a few weeks, your enthusiasm wanes. Your healthy lifestyle begins to resemble a prison sentence and you start to look for ways to break free. This is why fad diets are not sustainable and why you should change your diet gradually.
- Getting bored
When you first start exercising, you feel great and look forward to every workout. But in a matter of weeks, your daily workouts can become monotonous and you are no longer motivated to keep going. This is why it is important to step out of your comfort zone – join a Zumba, Bokwa or aerial aerobics class. These classes will help to prevent fitness fatigue and boredom and help you stick to your fitness plans.
- Perceived increase in expenses
One of the most common excuses we use to stick to our unhealthy diets is that eating healthy is very expensive. If you’re eating out, a burger would work out much cheaper than a healthy meal but this will not save you money in the long run. Fast foods are hyper-processed and are high in sugar, salt and a wide variety of additives which will take a toll on your health. This will mean more sick days and doctors’ costs which can put a dent in your finances. Furthermore, studies show that a healthy diet costs approximately 1.50 $1.50 more per day per person as compared to eating an unhealthy diet. Instead of assuming that eating healthy is going to cost you a lot more, calculate how much you will need to spend on your weekly groceries to get a better idea of your actual food expenditure.
In addition to a healthy diet and fitness plan, you should also take steps to manage your stress levels. Stress management will help to prevent common digestive problems as studies show that stress plays an important role in digestion. Yoga is an excellent self-improvement tool that can help you de-stress and improve your overall mental and emotional health.
Authors Bio: Anita Fernandes has been writing extensively on health and wellness for over a decade. She has expertise in nutrition, fitness, public health, and weight loss and has contributed content to a variety of leading digital health publishers. Anita has a unique perspective on healthy living and lifestyle, as she has battled and overcome gastrointestinal problems. She shares her experiences in an effort to help others overcome the physical and mental health problems that can sometimes seem insurmountable.