We are officially just over halfway through January and coming on the third week of healthy resolutions, goals, and plans for many people, myself included. In my opinion, this is the time it really starts to get hard. The novelty of the goal is starting to wear off, the end results/goals feel incredibly far away, and the difficulty of living differently day to day is starting to get challenging. Let's face it - change is hard. Usually around this time, knowing I need some extra inspiration, I try to do a few things to stay motivated.
First - I do a quick assessment of how far I have come so far. Personally I am down about 4 pounds since January 1st. While that doesn't feel like a lot now, if I play that forward to where I will be by the end of March - I am really excited. More importantly, I feel much better since I am eating better. I have more energy, sleep better, and have stopped beating myself up about poor diet choices because I am just not making them as often.
Secondly around this time, I usually set up some kind of reward for myself if I make it to the end of the month. Small steps. This could be anything that will keep you motivated - a massage (my choice!), a new outfit, a new kitchen appliance, whatever will keep you going.
Lastly, I usually do some goal related retail therapy. I know it's not the best way, but sometimes buying something to help me reach my goal gets me excited again. For example, a few years back when I bought the portion plate below - it just made meal time easier, no more measuring. Last year I got a fitness tracker and I found myself motivated to reach the daily goals. The numbers on the screen were motivating. This year, I will probably go with a new spiralizer since mine is on the outs. Whatever it is, sometimes these tools really make a difference. So with that, here are some of my favorites! What are yours?
1. Meal Measure Portion Control Plate - Two years ago this plate was the first thing I tried that really helped me change my habits when it came to portion sizes. The set-up makes it incredibly easy to portion things out without lots of scales and measuring cups and it's dishwasher safe. If you struggle with portion size, this is a great investment for under $15.
2. Spiralizer - I use my spiralizer 2-3 times a week to make vegetable noodles for replacing pasta, creating yummy side dishes, and salads. I truly couldn't live without this.
3. PB2, Powdered Lower Calorie Peanut Butter - PB2 is a lower calorie peanut butter powder that can be great for people who tend to over do it with nut butters. It doesn't have the same protein benefits of regular nut butters but has fewer calories and tastes great.
4. Fitness Trackers - Last year I invested in my first fitness tracker (a Fitbit) and I love it. Even though I never thought I would be one of those people, I am totally motivated to reach my daily goals for working out and steps.
5. New Cookbooks - Whenever I get bored with food, I usually look into a new cookbook. This gets me excited to prepare meals and also exposes me to new ideas.
6. Meal Plans - Meal plans, like the ones we provide on Slender Kitchen, can be a great way to stay on track and motivated. It exposes you to lots of delicious and new recipes and makes staying on a healthy eating plan really simple. The saying is true, "fail to plan, plan to fail."
7. Quest Bars - I tend to shy away from any kind of bars, but I do cave and have Quest bars from time to time. They are low in carbohydrates and sugar which I find appealing and they have a cult like following of people who bake them, microwave them, and make all sorts of crazy desserts using Quest bars.
8. Amazing Grass Green Powders - For quick protein and nutrients, I always add something extra to my smoothies and lately I have been obsessed with the Amazing Grass powders. They are packed with good for you nutrients and the flavors are pretty great too.
9. Stevia - Stevia can be pretty polarizing but personally I use it a lot. Mostly I add it to smoothies, oatmeal, and sometimes in place of sugar in sauces when cooking. Although I didn't love the taste at first, now it doesn't bother me at all.
10. Eat Smart Scale - I have a love hate relationship with scales because I can easily get obsessive. However I do try and weigh myself weekly and then hide the scale the rest of the week so I don't step on it daily. I have had this one for awhile and it's great.
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