Tips for Coping with Life Transitions

good food, health and life

(DGIwire) — You get a new job or find yourself unemployed, find a new girlfriend or boyfriend, get married or divorced, have a child, retire…  All of these life transitions have one thing in common; they can all totally disrupt your regular routine, especially when it comes to diet and exercise if you’re not prepared.  Depending on the situation, they might even provide the motivation you need to get lean and healthy.

When your “normal” routine suddenly changes, it’s time to review your priorities and come up with a plan.  In fact, it’s always best to have a plan before you get distracted.  Getting lean, fit and staying healthy is all about consistency.  Because of this, your number one consideration needs to be coming up with a routine that you can consistently maintain over a long period of time.  Your plan needs to fit easily into your schedule so that it is not the first thing stopped when things get crazy.  For example, getting to the gym 6 days a week for an hour a day is really not realistic for most people.  Everyday life always seems to come up with potential roadblocks.  It may work out for a while, but if you overdo it and injure yourself or some other pressing (or appealing) matter arises, your plan is now “blown”.  Missing a few days can quickly turn into weeks or even months, putting you back where you started or worse.

Your top priorities should be to avoid mindless eating and inactivity which are the two major culprits in unwanted weight gain.  Even if you had a regular diet and exercise routine which you were consistently following, if you suddenly stop exercising but keep eating the same amount or start eating junk or fast foods, your health and fitness will deteriorate quickly.

The key to success is to incorporate foods, activities and exercise into your day which do not require too much time or any special preparation, location or equipment.  It needs to be the kind of plan that you can maintain no matter where you are or what is happening in your life.

Tom Griesel, a life coach and co-author of TurboCharged offers the following suggestions:

• Do not eat unless you are actually hungry.  Try drinking a large glass of water first, particularly first thing in the morning, before you eat anything.  Thirst is often confused as hunger.

• Focus on a diet of fresh fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds and small amounts of quality animal protein.  These are the foods we have best adapted to eat.

• Try to eliminate all refined and processed foods.  This includes almost everything that comes in a box or bag.  Most have no actual nutritional value and may even have a toxic effect.

• Eliminate all sweeteners from your diet, particularly high-fructose corn syrup which is found most processed and packaged foods.

• Avoid fast-food choices.  Man-made food combinations of fat and carbohydrate (like potato chips) are the number one cause of unwanted weight gain.

• Prepare your own meals and keep them very simple.  Fresh fruit and veggies are easily packed and carried.

• Stay on your feet as much as possible.  Move more.  Walk whenever you have the time or opportunity.  Studies have shown that a major differentiator between a lean person and an over-weight person is the amount of time they are up on their feet. Too much sitting is bad for your health.

• Incorporate short exercise sessions into your day.  One minute at a time is all that is needed 3-5 times per day.  Choose exercises that can be done anywhere without equipment like body-weight squats, push-ups and abdominal/core exercises.  These can be done even in business clothes.  Work on increasing the intensity of these sessions (the number and speed).   The weekly volume and overall workload adds up and produces visible results.

• Make the scale your friend.  Get on it every morning and be aware of unwanted weight gain.  Better yet, purchase a home body-composition scale which will give you critical information about fat-loss and your lean body mass.  Never allow the numbers to go in the wrong direction.

• Take time during your day, every day, to relax, de-stress and focus on your goals.  Always place your attention on what you want to happen and never on the things you don’t.

All of these suggestions can be accomplished with no special meals, gym memberships, equipment, supplements or a large chunk of your time.  They can be practiced consistently every day and they can be easily and seamlessly incorporated into your life, no matter how hectic things become.  It’s what we call a healthy lifestyle.

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