Life balance is an emerging topic that people are starting to embrace. Why? Because we feel better when we have more balance in our lives. There is more than enough health information out there to get started…as a matter of fact, we are bombarded with it. The thing that gets in our way most of the time is how to make that information useful in our day-to-day lives. Personalizing the information and helping people to develop strategies are important keys to success.
Michelle Williams, mom and realtor has decided to take on the challenge of a lifestyle makeover to help improve her health and energy as well as work on some weight loss goals.
Kids: Two-year-old Heath
Energy Level: 6-7 (scale of 1-10)
Health Goals: Lose 15 pounds, Decrease StressDiet
Obstacle: After spending some time with Michelle, I learned that she is often short on time and depends on quick meals and snacks. Many times she doesn't have anything to make, so dinner may be a bowl of cereal or some dip. Finding some quick meal and lunch options will be key for her in finding some balance in her diet habits.
Many of her days start off with high sugar foods and caffeine that are leading to erratic blood sugar levels throughout the day. This up and down blood sugar coupled with caffeine can cause hunger despite how many calories she has consumed. Our dietary goal is to get her blood sugar more stable throughout the day by balancing her meals and snacks while also making a calorie deficit to promote weight loss. We want her to be eating frequently, but making sure to have high fiber carbohydrates and protein with her meals to help her to feel more satisfied throughout the day. We also need to keep in mind that she doesn't have a lot of time to cook.
Solution: Michelle has chosen some of her favorite breakfast cereals that are high in fiber to start her day off without too much sugar. We sent her to Trader Joes and the grocery store with some healthy convenience food ideas. The goal is to always have some healthy convenience foods on hand in your freezer and cupboard in case you run into a time when cooking isn't going to be an option. We suggested some of the Trader Joes frozen foods like chicken fajitas and their fresh grilled chicken which can be used on salads or used with some rice and veggies.
We also gave her some simple meal planning guidelines that will help keep her calorie level in a specific range.
Obstacle: Michelle had started an exercise program, but had a hard time sticking to it. Once she went on vacation she ended up stopping for several weeks after. Solution
: Starting out in small steps is the first phase. One reason that so many people struggle sticking to exercise is they don't develop it as a habit. Consistency is very important. Sometimes it is better to start off with a few days of exercise each week until it becomes a routine. Then add a few more days. The more consistent you are, the more it will become like a routine. It is also helpful to schedule an exercise time and keep that appointment just like you would a doctor's appointment. If you don't feel like doing your regular routine, then go for a walk during this time.