THE BALANCED LIFE MANIFESTO: A GUIDE TO OPTIMAL HEALTH
Have you ever wondered why you are not able to manage a healthy lifestyle no matter how hard you try? Well, you are not alone. Research shows that 8 out of 10 of those people who set lifestyle goals with the objective of losing weight 8 of them drop out within the first month.
A healthy lifestyle is based on the choice of the right habits and the habits are a part of our personality. Those who drop out of the race are for the simple reason that they are not following the right path. The ABC of a successful weight loss journey starts with taking the first step in the right direction.
We take a look at the aspects of a healthy lifestyle that are related to our personality and the way that we look at and understand our bodies and their requirements.
A - Attitude & Accountability.
The journey of weight loss is no doubt a challenging journey and therefore, one needs to have a positive attitude towards the same and accept the accountability for the consequences and accept responsibility for the choices made.
B - Believe in yourself.
For any change belief in yourself that you can achieve the results no matter what others tell you or advise you is an important aspect for accepting change. A healthy lifestyle is based on habits and in order to alter the habits, belief is one of the most important factors for success.
C - Consistency & Commitment.
For anything to be sustainable in the long term, and to see the results, there are 2 C’s that you need to follow, Consistency and Commitment, whether it is a healthy diet or the exercise plan that you choose on your weight loss journey.
Consistency and Commitment are the success factors you need in order to create a strong set of positive habits to maintain a healthy lifestyle in the sustainable long term.
D - Determination & Dedication.
As with any journey, there are going challenges in managing a healthy lifestyle. Therefore one needs to be Determined and Dedicated in order to achieve the results of your health goals.
E - Eating Habits.
Diet is a major and important aspect of your weight loss journey, therefore you need to watch your eating habits if you desire to make a change in your lifestyle.
The lifestyle that we are leading in the present is the result of the eating habits that we have created over a period of time. If we are to see different results on the scale, we have to modify the existing habits, with a new set of habits to replace the old ones.
F - Forget the past and look at the present.
If you have not got results in the past on your weight loss efforts, it does not mean that you will not do so in the future. Your past results influence the present, and the present forms the future.
Whatever action you take in the present will give the results in the future. Therefore this is a new beginning, stop looking at how your unhealthy life has been in the past and kick-start the future to a healthy lifestyle now.
G - Goal setting.
For a healthy lifestyle, you need to understand your body and its nutritional requirements, Set realistic goals on your weight loss plans, maybe 2, 3, or 5 lbs per month, whatever is comfortable, depending on your body style. The goal should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, & Time-Bound).
Before setting your goal, you need to have a clear understanding of your body type and then decide the time when you expect to see the results of your weight loss efforts.
You need to be unique and stop being a copycat, whether it is a diet plan or an exercise plan. Specify your own, unique target for your unique body, and measure the results over a period of time.
H - Hydration Habits.
Water is an important concept of a healthy lifestyle that has been often overlooked. It is the only magic elixir at your disposal that can help speed up your body’s metabolism, detoxify your systems, improve your skin health, always keep you full to prevent binge eating, and promote weight loss efforts as a bonus.
Maintaining adequate levels of water in the body at all times is a matter of habit and can be easily developed over a period of time in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
I – Inspiration and Motivation.
Get inspired by reading weight loss success stories on social media and inspire others too with your transformation. Join relevant communities, groups, and clubs of like-minded individuals that can motivate you towards your goals. It helps to sustain your motivation levels on this challenging weight loss journey and avoid plateaus and boredom.
J - Join challenges.
Your recommended exercise routine should include challenges for members as this promotes healthy competitiveness among members in the group that help you achieve your health goals faster. It is also a fun way to lose weight without realizing it.
K – Keeping and updating a lifestyle journal.
You cannot improve on what you don't measure and can’t see physically. Write down your goals, their starting dates & measurements, and the proof of the progress made in the form of selfies.
It will help you stay focused in working towards your body and fitness goals and help in creating a set of healthy lifestyle habits for a healthy lifestyle in the future.
L - Loving Yourself & Your Body.
How many times do you see yourself in the mirror and often say to yourself, "I am unhappy with the way I look," "My belly is disgusting," or "I'll never be able to put on a bikini, like I used to" and similar statements.
Try not to be so hard on yourself. When you look in the mirror, always ask this question “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the most beautiful of them all?”
Tell yourself that you are the most amazing person in the world. Change your mindset and watch the levels of your lifestyle success touch new heights.
M – Mindfulness.
Mindfulness is the key to success whether it is a diet plan or anything in life for that matter. Being aware of the present situation leads to a cool mind free of emotions and judgments and helps in finding the right solution, no matter what the problem may be.
Take time out to relax & de-stress. It could be the weekend or any other day of the week. Do the activities you enjoy to rejuvenate your body and mind. Take a break from your diet and exercise plan and enjoy yourself. Your body needs a break for muscle repair and rejuvenation.
N - No Scale Days on Nutrition.
Celebrate every success on your journey healthy lifestyle though it may not be visible on the scale. This can range from fitting back into your skinny jeans, better blood pressure numbers, lower sugar levels, being able to run on the stairs without feeling breathless, enjoying skipping sessions with the kids, etc.
Celebrate every success you achieve along the way. Take a break from focusing on the scale and treat yourself to your favourite foods in case you are on a diet. It does not amount to cheating as you are rewarding yourself for the efforts that you have put in.
O – Optimism.
Always be positive! You may have tried several things in the past to lose weight which did not work. You are not alone. Let the past be in the past and be mindful of the present.
The situation was different in the past and it doesn't mean you can never lose weight. Try to stay positive always as a positive, optimistic mindset is necessary for your success on this challenging weight loss journey.
P - Pushing Your Body’s Limits.
Losing weight is a challenge, particularly so because is the result of the habits that we have developed in the past. There is no shortcut to weight loss, and the ones who promote fad diets are nothing short of scams as shortcuts in life whether a diet or any other goal, always lead to disasters.
Fad diets and quick weight loss boot camps have proven not to be sustainable in the long term. Take the effort takes you to push your body and get out of your comfort zone to kick fat in the butt.
Q - Quit Unhealthy Lifestyle Habits.
The lifestyle that you are living right now is the result of habits that have been built up over time and these habits will keep jeopardizing your weight loss progress, no matter how hard you try.
Though they don’t show up physically on the scale, habits such as smoking, alcohol intake, irregular sleep patterns, a sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy eating habits, etc have contributed a lot to the lifestyle till now. So beware of these devils!!
R - Rewarding Yourself.
Gift yourself a smaller-sized sexy outfit that you always liked and you now fit into it, get an expensive massage from all that muscle exhaustion from your hard workouts, and treat yourself to your favourite ice cream or pastry now that you’ve normalized your sugar levels. You are all you've got, be kind to yourself and celebrate every small success on the challenging weight loss journey.
S - Sleeping Patterns.
Contrary to some opinions, sleeping patterns do play an important role in your weight loss journey. Depending upon your body type, getting adequate levels of sleep ranging from 6-7 hours of deep sleep can give a push to your weight loss efforts.
Lack of quality sleep in the body releases stress hormones called cortisol that signal your body to conserve energy to fuel your body’s energy requirements during the time that the body is awake which implies that you will need more energy and feel hungry leading to being fat.
T - Tendency to move on.
Never Give Up! You to persistent and need this attitude to keep going because there will be times when the scale will frown at your efforts and you will encounter a plateau on your journey.
It happens to everybody, and is a normal part of any challenge. It is the never die attitude to keep going that does the trick. Keep moving at it and your body will reward you in due course with the results that you always wanted.
U - Understanding Your Body’s Signals & Interpreting Them.
Every day is a different day and two days will never be the same. There will be days when you won't feel like working out and there will be days when you will push yourself to the limits.
The skill lies in listening to the body and its signals. Don't be too hard on yourself, listen to your body, relax, and take a couple of days off if your body wants you to, but don't give in to unwanted demands of the body like unhealthy and emotional cravings for food.
V - Value Positive Things & Relationships.
Relationships play a very positive role in your weight loss journey. Always stay around people who are well-wishers for your health and are interested in your weight loss success story.
Stay away from failures and those offering unsolicited advice as they are the ones seeking solace in your failure and hoping you will give up as they did so on their health goals.
W - Work out of the box.
You need to work out, and get those endorphins in, feel fit and your heart will thank you. Making up excuses will not burn calories and restricting your diet will only make your body more lazy and unfit to sustain the challenges in the long term. Therefore stay alert and keep moving, even in small steps and keep working out of the box, no matter what.
X - X-O-X-O.
Managing a healthy lifestyle and a weight loss journey on the way to a healthy lifestyle is like a game of noughts and crosses. There will be blockages and challenges on the way. The only way to overcome those challenges is through a strong support system of like-minded individuals who are interested in your progress and theirs also.
Find a support group online or health buddies to interact with who are interested in your progress and willing to help you throughout your journey. This will help you overcome your challenges much faster and make your weight loss journey enjoyable as you will share your challenges and your triumphs with them.
Y - You Can Do It.
Yes! Yes!! Yes!!! You totally can do it, as have others ahead of you. All that you need to do is to take the first step to embrace your healthy lifestyle and the remaining will be a piece of cake. Only you have the power to take action and no one else can do it for you.
Z – Zeal.
Being devoted and passionate about your journey and you are on the way to a journey where you will be the inspiration for your followers.
The above content was originally published on the Quora platform in response to a question.
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