Everyone has a concept of what they consider a healthy diet or lifestyle and the majority of people would probably name at least a few different approaches that fit into their view of a healthy diet. This piece is going to be more focused on a particular thinking pattern or perspective that will aid in adopting a healthier lifestyle. Instead of attempting to find the holy grail of health that will require a complete overhaul of your life, why not focus on making manageable changes that you know you can accomplish, but also see as an upgrade to your current lifestyle. In a previous post I wrote about a couple of simple lifestyle changes that can be easily implemented into most people’s daily routine, but what if you can’t implement a very specific piece of advice for some reason. Do you just give up completely and admit defeat? Do you move on and find another area to improve in? Or find an alternative improvement to continually move forward? Hopefully, you choose the latter.
I would like to note that I am not advocating making concessions for you health, but that am instead advocating keeping a clearer conscience and giving yourself room in your life to make changes where you can, and allow freedom where it is needed. This is also helpful for mental health, as stressing out about the changes you are making and beating yourself up for not always being able to achieve an “optimum” lifestyle choice can wreak havoc on your health as much as the habits you are trying to improve in the first place. This is where I like to implement a good, better, best outlook when attempting to make a positive change.
In most health decisions there are many options that may be better than whatever your current status quo may be. Many of these options can not only be placed somewhere on a range of overall health benefit, but also on ranges of required lifestyle commitment, likely adherence, and enjoy-ability. In life you have to weigh decisions based on many factors, so why not choose to actively take this outlook with your workouts or diets when you can. This means that when you know you should make a change, weigh the possible choices and commit to making a change first, then decide which are the most beneficial changes and the easiest changes that you could make and choose the best that you can see yourself sticking to. If the change proves too difficult you can always adopt one of the easier choices. When you are successful at making a lasting decision you can always raise the stakes and adopt the better option down the road.
Let’s use the example of someone who eats ice cream quite often. An obvious choice to improve this individual’s health would be to stop eating ice cream. If they choose to eat ice cream as a late night snack they could also make the improvement of substituting an alternative snack instead of ice cream. While breaking the ice cream habit altogether may be the “best” option here, as being able to stop completely truly changes the habit itself, choosing to have a healthier alternative (like a HaloTop variety or Arctic Zero) that satisfies that ice cream craving is not the best choice here, but it is a better choice than regular ice cream. This individual may also choose to buy a healthier alternative and keep it in the freezer while attempting to not eat it, but have it as a safety so that when they do give into cravings it is better than if they had their normal ice cream or would decide to go out for ice cream.
An important step in deciding what is good, better, and best is having good information, so I will continue to find and point readers toward good information. If you have any particular curiosity for a specific health or fitness topic feel free to message or comment and I will do my best to prioritize my posts to requested topics.