KEEP IT IN THE FAM­ILY

GET­TING THE WHOLE CLAN IN­TER­ESTED IN EX­ER­CISE AND HEALTHY EAT­ING COULD BE THE KEY TO STAY­ING ON TRACK

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Gold Coast Eye - - EYE | FEATURE -

When it comes to healthy eat­ing and ex­er­cise, one of the se­crets to suc­cess is hav­ing the whole fam­ily on­board. If you’re not a star pupil in the area of self­mo­ti­va­tion then sim­ple hur­dles such as the cookie jar, your part­ner’s lack of in­ter­est in fruit and veg­eta­bles or a lack of time to (ap­par­ently) fit in a work­out can un­der­mine your ef­forts.

That’s why it’s in your best in­ter­est to have ev­ery­one in the fam­ily work­ing to­wards bet­ter health with the same goals and at­ti­tude.

1. Choose sports ev­ery­one in the fam­ily loves.

Is it a wa­ter sport, a ball game, cy­cling, run­ning or even ab­seil­ing?

2. Get it done early.

As the day creeps on so do missed op­por­tu­ni­ties to find time to ex­er­cise. Tagteam al­ter­nate morn­ings with your part­ner so you can ex­er­cise and model a pos­i­tive at­ti­tude to­wards fit­ness to your kids.

3. Change your fam­ily favourite meals into health­ier ver­sions.

You know the ones I mean … choose un­pro­cessed foods, bulk up meals with veg­eta­bles, cut out the sugar and salt — there are heaps of su­perb ideas out there.

4. Don’t go cold turkey, make small mod­i­fi­ca­tions.

You’ll only find your­self frus­trated and un­mo­ti­vated if you set the bar too high; choose doable goals that you can break down into achiev­able weekly goals. Start with things like drink­ing more wa­ter in­stead of soft drink or juice, hav­ing one meat-free meal a week or choos­ing whole­meal bread in­stead of white. 5. Don’t think too much … you will talk your­self out of it.

There are no bad con­se­quences to health­ier liv­ing, just you and the magic you cre­ate. Don’t make it a chore or over-think it — just do it.

6. Con­sis­tently en­cour­age each other and be in­ter­ested in health and fit­ness in gen­eral.

En­cour­age each other with words and ac­tions to make it a choose or lose sit­u­a­tion. Em­pha­sise that you are all in this to­gether and that this is the way your fam­ily lives now. It won’t take long for ev­ery­one to be­come used to the changes you make.

7. Find healthy snacks for work or school that you can make to­gether.

Put to­gether a scrap­book of healthy recipes. Make snacks in bulk and pack­age them up in por­tion sizes so you are not tempted to overindulge. En­sure that healthy snacks are an in­te­gral part of your fam­ily’s over­all daily nu­tri­tion — not an add-on that doesn’t sup­port your quest for good health.

8. Make a pact: drink wa­ter dur­ing the week and juice and fizzy drinks are a week­end-only treat.

Treat your­self on the week­end for do­ing such a great job dur­ing the week, if this is some­thing that you feel is a re­ward­ing goal. Keep wa­ter cool in the fridge in 500ml bot­tles that are la­belled with each fam­ily mem­ber’s name. This way it’s an easy choice to grab and ev­ery­one can keep track of how much they are drink­ing.

9. Cut back on daily dessert and swap to a health­ier fruit op­tion.

In­stead of say­ing “I won’t get to eat dessert ev­ery night any more”, fo­cus on the pos­i­tive and say some­thing like, “I choose fruit if I am still hun­gry”. Some­times fo­cus­ing on what you can’t have means you miss out on the joy of what you can have.

10. Be aware of the fam­ily’s take­away habits.

I’m talk­ing about work lunches, school tuck­shop and quick-fix din­ners. Be­ing or­gan­ised with a healthy meal plan can min­imise a large amount of hid­den fats and sug­ars found in take­aways and pro­cessed foods. Make sure you plan your meals each week and stick to it. Al­low time to change. Quite of­ten you’ll find you’re try­ing to mod­ify habits that your fam­ily has had for years, so be pa­tient. If you con­sis­tently make small changes to­wards your long-term goal, you will even­tu­ally see re­sults. Good luck!

KARLA GIL­BERT Cham­pion iron­woman and ocean ath­lete Karla Gil­bert is an ac­cred­ited Nu­tri­tion and Health Coach and cer­ti­fied Level III and IV Fit­ness Trainer, with cer­tifi­cates in Child Nu­tri­tion and Nu­tri­tion. READ MORE AT kar­lag­ilbert.com.au

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