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Achieve True Wellness with Baby Steps, Not Deprivation

January 30, 2014

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Many people who wish to improve their health take an all-or-nothing approach. They quit their favorite foods overnight, work out incessantly, fill their minds with negative thoughts of imperfection, and occasionally even resort to diet pills or laxatives.

Not only is this dieting approach stressful and cruel, it is also ineffective and produces only temporary results, if any.

Real change happens gradually, with patience, commitment, and self-love. When you take the time to implement a healthy lifestyle—as opposed to forcing yourself through a quick fix before returning to your old habits—you will experience a transformation that leads to beauty which shines from the inside out.

To help end the cycle of yo-yo dieting and find lasting wellness, check out the four tips below. For even more guidance on the path to wellness, follow Integrative Nutrition’s 6-Month Roadmap to Health & Happiness.

Focus on one thing at a time.

Don’t try to be a superhero and implement a dozen changes all at once—it doesn’t work! Start with simply drinking more water or eating more greens for a few weeks. Once you’ve done that, commit to working out 3 times a week in a form of fitness that you enjoy. The key is to not get overwhelmed and make each new healthy practice part of your “new normal” before making further changes. This may take some time, but it will be a much smoother transition and will help make the adjustments more permanent.

Be kind to yourself.

Use supportive and loving language in relation to yourself, think positive thoughts, and take a break when you need it. Remember that the ultimate point of these efforts is that you simply want to feel good, so start by learning to feel good about yourself first, and see how naturally the outward changes follow to fit that uplifting new mindset.

 Ask for help.

Whether you need to reduce your workload at your job, ask your mother to watch the kids while you jog, or find a Health Coach to provide ongoing wellness support, don’t be afraid to ask for what you need. You might be surprised by how many people say yes when you just ask. 

Be holistic.

Authentic wellness is about much more than what you eat or how much you exercise. It’s about following your passion, having nurturing relationships, feeling comfortable in your home, and being balanced in all areas of life. Take a moment to ask yourself what might be out of balance for you, and what you can do to make it better. Sometimes what you really crave has nothing to do with what’s on your plate.

What has been the most integral baby step in your wellness transformation?