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Health Goals 101

In our culture the word diet has negative conotations. It can be quite frustrating to hear since many people see a diet as a rigorous plan to loose weight that often times does not work. It’s of course a valiant effort to eat healthy and I enourage everyone to do so. However, I caution all on popular fad diets that claim to yield big results in a small amount of time. The truth of the matter is that big results are better and more sustainably achieved when you make small realistic health goals that are reasonable for your lifestyle. Additionally having “weight loss” be your primary goal can be frustrating and put much pressure on the dieter. The problem with having weight loss as the initial goal is that weight does fluctuate through out the day, week and month. You can weigh yourself daily, but the fluctuations you see may just be water weight etc. Are you dehydrated? Did you eat dinner late last night? These can all affect the number that you see on the scale in the morning. So instead of making a goal of pounds to loose… how about making a goal that you can reasonably accomplish in a short period of time? What if you made your goal to eat healthy foods? To make healthy lifestyle choices that will make you feel better and have more energy rather than a certain number of pounds lost? You can even throw out that scale if you like! This health philosophy is referred to as Health at Every Size and here is a link to their their website.

At HartsSpace we love to allow patients the freedom to make their own health goals based on their own knowledge of their lifestyle. And we also love to encourage people to make their goals very easy to accomplish! As easy as say drinking one more cup of water per day for 7 days. The success of accomplishing one small goal will lead you to feel confident that you can accomplish a lifestyle change. Then comes another small goal that you perhaps also accomplish. And another, and another, etc. After many small changes you may just wind up feeling like you have much more energy by nature of the lifestyle changes that you’ve made which may motivate you farther to keep going with your small goals.

Here are some examples of small goals that can work for even busy lifestyles…

  • drinking one more glass of water per day
  • parking the car farther away from stores in parking lots (more walking)
  • getting one more hour of sleep per night
  • eating one more serving of fruits/vegetables per day
  • creating a healthy space in your pantry/cabinet (see blog from Tuesday!)
  • creating 30 minutes everyday of “me time” ____ # of days per week, when you relax or do whatever you want!
  • eating a small breakfast _____ # of days per week
  • going on a walk once a week

If you start at one of these easy starting points you should not be so overwhelmed by multiple major lifestyle changes all at once… something that fad diets often ask of you!

Have a healthy day!