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Day 9: How to make healthy habits stick

Time to assess your progress! How are you doing? How are you feeling? Have you lost weight? Remember, it's easy to get discouraged and say "This isn't working. Forget it" and go back to your old ways. But change takes time, regular daily effort (this is the theory behind a 21-day makeover), and commitment.

You want to get to the point where these baby-step changes start taking hold without a lot of thought...and that's when real progress starts happening.

Let's recap:

√ You should be working out 30 minutes every day; you can break it up into small segments throughout the day, but you need at least 30 minutes of cardio activity. (I woke up at 6 a.m. to fit in my 30 minutes on the elliptical this morning.)

√ You should be adding brief toning exercises wherever possible; the idea: you don't have to go to the gym to strength train. Pushups at home, crunches, chair dips, lunges, step-ups on the stairs...these all count. And you can do them anywhere: in your bedroom after you wake up, in your living room while you're watching TV...anywhere! (I didn’t do these this morning but am planning on doing them tonight.)

√ You should be drinking lots of water—and substituting water for sugary drinks. (I’m drinking while I write!)

√ You should be eating 5-8 servings of fruits and veggies every day.

√ You should not be eating standing up; only while you’re at a table or desk with dishes. (I’m slowly breaking this really bad habit! So far so good.)

√ You should be eating fresh as much as possible and cutting down on processed foods. (I’m also making slow progress on this…)

Take today to reinforce these good habits like I am…and I’ll check back in tomorrow. Now I’m off to lunch (I’ve got to pack in a few servings of fruits and veggies since I’ve only had 2 so far today!)

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