Guest Blogger: Amita Patel
As a health coach, I’m often asked how to create sustainable lifestyle changes. Working with busy New Yorkers, many people come to me looking for a quick fix. The truth is that a crash diet will only get you so far. The key to success is making your healthy habits stick! A common issue my clients have (especially on a Monday) is this: “I eat well & exercise during the week…and then the weekend comes. All of a sudden, my healthy habits are gone and I give in to my cravings. What gives?”
Here’s what I tell them:
You’re completely normal! During the week, we have the structured time to guide us. Between work, family, and social commitments, we are mindful of how we spend our free time. In fact, we get even more done with less free time!
Those of us who maintain a healthy self-care schedule during the week know that the key to success is planning.
Secret to Success: Take 10 minutes on Sunday night to plan when you will exercise, shop for groceries, and cook. Write it in your calendar like it’s a can’t-miss appointment.
When the weekend comes and we lose our structure, our minds go haywire! In fact, many people actually feel less happy on the weekends. When we’re given more time for our minds to wander, it can be difficult to deal with emotions that come up and we may want to squash them before we even have them. This is when many of us have cravings: sugar for energy, carbs out of boredom, etc. Here are a few tips to keep up the self-care:
1. Zone in & zen out
Meditating everyday is the best thing you can do for your health and happiness. This is especially true on the weekends. Why? Free time is your inner critic’s playground. Why not rein in the fear-based negative talk by starting your day on a positive note? Giving yourself the time to clue into your feelings will allow you to process them through your heart and not your plate.
2. Shape your day
When you structure your weekend schedule, you will avoid the time-killing pitfalls that make you feel worse like hours of TV or long brunches that turn into day-drinking marathons.
3. Plan for fun
You can’t make the “I don’t have time” excuse for exercise, but that doesn’t mean you should suffer on the treadmill. See exercise as a fun, social activity by trying something new: go for a hike with a friend, take a dance class, maybe even some aqua Zumba! Step outside your comfort zone. Trying something new with a friend or significant other helps you to bond and creates shared memories.
4. Plan for relaxation
The same way you carve out time for friends and exercise, create time just for you. Whatever “me time” looks like for you, plan it and make it a non-negotiable. Maybe it’s reading a book outside, maybe it’s a mani-pedi, maybe it’s going to the park with your dog. Whatever it is, you’re worth it, so do it.
5. Go ahead and splurge
So you know you’re going to get brunch with your friends on Sunday and you know the nutella-stuffed French toast sounds way better than the egg white omelet. I’m not going to give you some lame tip that justifies deprivation. It’s nutella!!! Knowing that you’ll get to splurge at some point over the weekend will help you to make the healthy choices you won’t regret.
6. Stay present
Mindfulness is the key to making decisions that best serve us. So when you start to feel off or you are presented with a choice of what to do or eat, stay present to your emotions and thoughts. With your higher self as your guide, you’ll always make the right decision. And yes, sometimes that decision is cake.
7. Sleep similarly
Many people try to make up for a week’s worth of bad sleep on the weekends. Guess what? Sleep debt doesn’t work like that. For every all-nighter you pull, it takes 2 weeks for your body to repair itself. You can’t just make it all up in one swoop! So, on the weekends, keep similar hours to your workweek. Want to sleep in an extra hour? Go for it, but don’t waste an entire weekend in bed. Not only will you feel depressed, but you are likely to be unproductive during your waking hours and make poor food choices.
Above all else, the key to sustainable health is working it into your daily practice in easy and actionable ways. Beaming’s fresh cold pressed juices & superfood goodies are a great and easy way to set yourself up for success. And when you get off track, remember: it isn’t what we do once in a while that defines our health, it’s what we do consistently.
Have any tips that help to keep you on track? Continue the conversation and let me know in the Comments section below!
Amita is the owner and founder of Aligned Holistics, a coaching services company employing nutrition, physical activity, lifestyle and personal philosophy geared toward helping you create your ideal life, increase your well-being, and reach your full potential, holistically. The 5 Pillar approach and 3 Signature Programs empower you to create a life you love. As a coach, writer, and wellness expert, Amita can help you to achieve your highest potential. Join the community at Aligned Holistics and get your free Ready, Set, Intent! eBook. This 50 page guidebook will help you to set your intentions for the life you want to create. Check out Aligned Holistics on Facebook and Twitter!