Are you thinking about being more active? Have you been trying to cut back on less healthy foods? Are you starting to eat better and move more but having a hard time sticking with these changes?
Embarking on a journey to a healthier lifestyle is a commendable decision that can bring about numerous benefits. However, it's important to acknowledge that this journey is not always easy. In fact, it can often make you feel overwhelmed.
Why does it feel so difficult to maintain these new and desired changes? And why do we end up sabotaging our progress to better health as a result? Here are some of the reasons why.
1.YOU'VE SET UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS
One of the primary reasons for feeling overwhelmed when making healthier lifestyle changes is setting unrealistic expectations. It's common to expect immediate results and envision a perfect outcome after reading false promises made by the health and wellness industry claiming that you can lose 30 pounds in 30 days or social media posts advertising pictures of insanely quick weight loss transformations. However, real progress takes time and effort. And when the expected results don't materialize as quickly as we anticipated, it can lead to frustration and a sense of overwhelm.
Instead of aiming for immediate and drastic changes, set realistic and achievable goals by breaking down your big goals into smaller, manageable steps that are easier to tackle. For example, if you have a set a goal to lose 50 pounds in a year, aim to lose 1 pound a week by increasing your intake of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains along with engaging in some moderate-intensity exercise (e.g., walking, dancing, swimming, strength training) most days of the week.
2.YOU'RE OVERLOADING ON INFORMATION
The digital age has given us unparalleled access to a wealth of information, including health and wellness advice. While this can be empowering, it can also be overwhelming. The sheer volume of conflicting information can make it challenging to discern what's truly beneficial. Attempting to absorb and implement every piece of advice can leave you feeling confused, frustrated, and overwhelmed.
Limit your exposure to overwhelming amounts of information by seeking guidance from reputable sources, such as healthcare professionals, registered dieticians, and certified trainers. They can provide you with the best personalized advice tailored to your specific needs.
3. YOU'RE CHANGING TOO MUCH OF YOUR LIFESTYLE AT ONCE
Making positive outcomes in your health often involves making significant lifestyle changes. Whether it's adopting a new exercise routine, revamping your diet, or incorporating stress management techniques, these changes can disrupt your daily routines and habits. Adjusting to a new way of living takes time and energy, which can lead to feelings of overwhelm, especially when trying to implement multiple changes simultaneously.
Instead of attempting a complete overhaul, introduce lifestyle changes gradually. Focus on introducing one new behaviour at a time, until it becomes a habit, allowing yourself to adapt and adjust along the way.
4. YOU'RE TRYING TO CHANGE YOUR HABITS WITHOUT CHANGING YOUR MINDSET
This is one of the most important yet often overlooked reasons to consider. It’s typical for us to desire changing our behaviours and habits without working on changing our mindset. For example, you may force yourself to go and work out, even though you actually hate going to gym and really don't look forward to it. You are trying to force a behaviour without really changing how you think about that behaviour.
When I work with clients, shifting their mindset is the most powerful way to change their behaviours long-term. Once you shift your mindset to wanting to nourish your body value and prioritise your health, eating healthier food and moving your body more won’t feel like a chore. You just naturally engage in behaviours that are aligned with your positive mindset.
It's also important to be kind to yourself and practice self-compassion throughout your journey to a healthier lifestyle. Acknowledge that setbacks and challenges are a normal part of the process, and always treat yourself with understanding and patience.
5. YOU HAVE NO FORM OF ACCOUNTABILITY
Having some sort of accountability can really help you to stay motivated to follow through with a goal that you have set yourself. If there is nobody cheering you along or nobody that you have to keep up with something for, it will be very easy to slip back into old habits. This is why ensuring that you have some support and accountability as you try to make changes in your life is essential.
Surround yourself with a supportive network of friends, family, or like-minded individuals who understand and encourage your health goals, who you feel comfortable sharing your progress with, and who can help you overcome any challenges or setbacks that occur.
I hope this blog has given you some pause for thought on where your current attempts at changing your lifestyle could be letting you and your health down.
Having read this, if you’re thinking:
I don’t know how to live a healthier lifestyle without feeling difficult
I’m struggling to know what health advice is best for me in my circumstances
I would love to have the confidence to start and achieve my health goals
What does ‘good health’ even look like?!
I just want someone to help me stay accountable
Then I've got you!
I have a free virtual webinar on How To Transform Your Health Without Overwhelm.
It’s going to show you how to adopt a healthier lifestyle – and feel confident about it. You'll learn how to achieve better health with enjoyment and know that it can be accomplished in the simplest and easiest way possible.
Get immediate access to webinar here.