Negative self-talk can get in the way of reaching your health goals! Learn 3 easy steps to turn your negative talk into positive talk!
Trying to encourage someone else (a child, spouse, parent) to change their lifestyle can be a difficult! We often want to jump in and fix it! Slow down and listen first! Seek to understand the situation, their feelings and their ideas before offering your solutions. Finding a win-win solution is often the best way to go!
Saying "I thought you were trying to lose weight" to support someone you know is trying to lose weight could elicit a response of "You're right, I had better stop eating". On the other hand you might be surprised to hear "Don't judge me! Look at what YOU ate today! Leave me alone". Your intentions were good but results can turn out poorly.
If you want to support someone making changes, try some of these statements to get the conversation going.
Once you get their response, remember to listen without judgement. Try to paraphrase what they said to make sure you really understand. You can start by saying...."This is what I understand you want me to do........... Is this correct? Ok. I will do my best to support your efforts."
As time goes by, try to make positive comments when you notice positive changes in their behaviour. For instance - "It was starting to drizzle and you still went for your walk. You must feel really good about that.". And although it may be tempting to point out the times when things aren't go well. Resist the urge to highlight them - unless the person said it was ok to point them out.
These steps will help preserve your relationship and can make a big difference for someone making difficult lifestyle changes!
Have you helped someone make lifestyle changes? What tips did you find helpful?
I am on my feet all day. I walk a lot at work. But my doctor says I should do more exercise. How much exercise do I need?
While your job may be tiring and you may feel like you are getting enough exercise in your day, you still might not be meeting the current recommendations for physical activity. The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP) recommends:
Moderate to vigorous activity means that your heart rate increases and your body begins to sweat. If you are already active during your work day, see if there are opportunities to increase the intensity of your movements (ie. walk faster, take the stairs, etc). You can also try adding the muscle and bone strengthening activities if you are already getting enough cardiovascular exercise.
If you aren't meeting the CSEP recommendations for activity, NOW is the time to start. Start slowly and work your way up to 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity per week. Your body will thank you for it!
Are you looking for ways to have more energy? Be more productive? Improve your mood? Lose some weight? Then perhaps it is time to check up on your sleep!
The National Sleep Foundation recommends:
newborns (1-2 months) -- 10 -18 hours
infants (3 - 11 months) -- 9 - 16 hours
toddlers (1 - 3 years) -- 12 -14 hours
preschoolers (3 -5 years) -- 11 - 13 hours
school-aged kids (5 - 12 years) -- 10 - 11 hours
teens -- 8.5 - 9.25 hours
adults -- 7 - 9 hours
So if you think bedtimes are only good for children... think again!
Not sure how much sleep you're getting? Download our 7-day Sleep Tracker and use it track your sleep patttern for one week. Once you know how much sleep you are actually getting it will be easier to make adjustments to make sure you will get enough in the future.
Are you getting enough shut-eye?
Eating at home doesn't always mean hours in the kitchen and loads of dirty dishes! A simple omelette or tuna melt is sometimes all you need to refuel your body and keep your health on track. These menu ideas have helped young college students, growing families, busy executives, and seniors break the fast-food habit and eat at home!
Yes, healthy eating can be this easy! Want to print your own copy? Download our 5 UBER Easy Meals.
What is your favorite meal that you like to prepare when you are short on time?
Reached your goal? Congratulations! Reward yourself for a job well done! Need extra motivation to stay on track? Choose a reward to motivate you to keep going!
It isn't easy making lifestyle changes! While some people don't need extra help to eat well and exercise regularly, there are many people who do need an external incentive to get motivated! The use of rewards can be a useful tool to motivate someone to change their behaviour. Rewards can also be used to reinforce desired behaviours (eg. exercise 3x/wk) and outcomes (eg. decreased blood pressure). This concept of using reinforcement to strengthen behaviour was first introduced by American psychologist and behaviourist, BF Skinner. (Read more about his theory here.)
Let's use Jane's situation as an example to see how a reward helped her stay on track. Jane decided to lose weight. In order to reach her goal weight she knew there were many things she could change. For instance, she could eat breakfast at home instead of going to the coffee shop and grabbing a donut; she could go for a walk during lunch and after work; she could replace her daily can of pop with water, etc. The list was long and overwhelming! So Jane decided to focus on just one change (which can be a very good way to start!). She choose to replace her daily can of pop with water.
Jane set a realistic goal of replacing her can of pop with water at least 3 days per week. At the end of the first week, she managed to drink water instead of pop on 5 days! While she was pleased with herself, this change didn't result in any change in weight. Although Jane knew that what she was doing was better for her health, the lack of results(weight loss) made it difficult to keep going. Fortunately, when Jane wrote out her goal she also chose a reward which she was going to redeem if she successfully reached her behaviour goal at the end of the week! Jane set aside the money she would have used to buy pop and choose to buy herself some flowers instead. At the end of the week, purchasing the flowers gave Jane a sense of accomplishment and pride. The tangible reward strengthened the feeling of accomplishment and helped her continue with her behaviour change each week. Jane was eventually able to lose weight by making several lifestyle changes. She used a variety of self chosen rewards along the way.
If you are struggling to make behaviour changes that will help improve your health (whether it is in the area of EATing, PLAYing, SLEEPing, or TALKing), try using rewards to keep you motivated. And don't forget to choose a reward for when you actually reach your goal! And remember, rewards don't have to have to be purchased to be effective...eg bubble bath, time alone (great for busy parents)....
Our goal for this website is to share suggestions and ideas for rewards to help you stay motivated and support your positive lifestyle changes. Feel free to leave your idea for a great self-reward in the comments below!
Nadia Vidas, RD
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