Maintaining Healthy Habits, by Samantha Charlton, My Food Bag’s Registered Nutritionist

In-house Dietitian Catherine Bell, In-house Nutritionist Samantha Charlton, Fresh Start Recipe Developer Amber Thorenson

This week marks the end of your Fresh Start Restart programme! It’s a great time to reflect on the past 6 weeks, and where you are at in your health and wellness journey.

For some of you, the last six weeks would have been about learning and challenging yourself to try new things – perhaps it was new foods, recipes or ways to move your body. For others, it may have been a much needed refresher on all of the things that help you feel at your best, both physically and mentally. No matter which group you sit in, it’s important to take a moment to note what you loved about the programme that you would like to take forward with you. What would you like to build into your everyday routine? What would you like to make a habit?

You may remember back to the beginning of the Restart programme when our dietitian Catherine talked about measuring success. It’s easy to get bogged down in the idea that weight loss is the only important and measurable marker when it comes to making healthy changes, but we know that this certainly isn’t the case. Perhaps you chose to set a strength or fitness goal, had some blood markers measured, or tracked your energy and mood. Which of these did you find some success with? IS there anything you would like to continue to challenge yourself with?

Of course as it always is with these things, the million dollar question is – how do we maintain habits?

Here are some helpful ways to make those new habits stick

Know your motivation

Habits are much easier to stick to, if you know what your why is and what is motivating you to make change. Your healthy habit may be getting more steps each day, because you know how movement and exercise positively impacts your mental health.

Compound habits

Sometimes new habits seem to stick when we group them together with other positive health and wellness activities. Perhaps when you’ve finished your morning walk, that’s your cue to cool down with 5 minutes of stretching and mindfulness or meditation.

Be prepared for setbacks

Your health and wellness journey is just that… a journey! Expect setbacks and understand that nobody is perfect. Sometimes maintaining these healthy habits will feel easy, and other times it may feel like a real struggle – especially when life gets busy (and we know it does). Be gentle with yourself, and take simple, small steps towards working back towards your goals.

Keep it fresh

Habits don’t have to be the same mundane practices that we will inevitably get a little tired or bored with. Find ways to keep your healthy habits fresh and exciting to boost your motivation. Change up your run route, try a different exercise class or try a new recipe or food once a fortnight!

Reward yourself

Building new habits is not easy, so if you reach one of your goals – celebrate it! There’s a number of different ways to reward yourself. Many of us have been brought up with the notion of food as a reward – and if this works for you, go for it! However, know there are so many other ways you can reward yourself. It may be with a new pair of runners or booking in a relaxing facial or massage. Alternatively, it can be as simple as enjoying an activity with a friend, or working some ‘you’ time into your busy schedule. 

After the 6 Week Restart, what’s next for you? Maybe it’s continuing on your Fresh Start journey and your healthy habit is eating more fruit and veg, where our Super Recipes that contain 4+ servings of veggies will certainly help not only that, but also to keep you well this winter! Or maybe it’s challenging yourself to eat more plant-based meals and you’d like to try our new My Plant Power bag option. Whatever’s next, thanks for coming on this 6 Week journey with us!

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