If you’ve been on the quest to get fit, you know that weight loss doesn’t happen overnight. It takes hard work and determination to reach your goals and keep the weight off. The good news is that you don’t have to do this alone — especially not with the support of your loved ones!
Your family (including your pets) can be a great source of motivation in achieving healthy habits. You can exercise together or modify meals together. You can even use them as a reason to try new things, like exploring local hiking trails or taking up a new hobby. However, sometimes it can seem impossible when everyone around you seems so focused on unhealthy choices. So how do we make healthy living an enjoyable part of our lives instead of feeling like an obligation?
Let’s explore this by first understanding what healthy habits mean.
What are healthy habits?
Healthy habits are the small, everyday things we do that keep us healthy and in shape. They can include:
- Eating breakfast every morning (and skipping the doughnuts)
- Making time for regular exercise (even if it’s just 20 minutes a day)
- Drinking plenty of water and avoiding sugary drinks like sodas
Healthy habits to lose weight
Building healthy habits can be hard, especially when you’re surrounded by people who don’t share your goals. If you’re trying to lose weight or just eat better, and you’d like to do it with the support of friends and family, here are some tips for helping each other stay on track.
Get them involved
If the idea of doing something without your friends or family is daunting, then why not ask them to join in? It’s an easy way to get them invested in your success and help them understand why it matters to you so much. They might even surprise you by offering ideas for how they can help!
Make goals together
When it comes out that you’re looking to lose weight, often the first thing people say is “I’ll go with you!” But what does that mean? You might find that when they actually hear how long it takes (for example) and what needs to change for you both to achieve that goal, they aren’t as interested after all! One way around this is to make sure everyone has their own goals—and then work together with those goals in mind. Maybe one person wants to lose 20 pounds; another wants to eat healthier foods; another wants more energy; etc.
Start off slow by setting small, attainable goals
Setting small, attainable goals is a great way to start building healthy habits. When you set unrealistic expectations for yourself and fail to meet them, it can make you feel like quitting altogether. A surefire way to set yourself up for failure is to make a goal that is too extreme or unrealistic. You may want to lose 40 pounds in a month, but that’s likely not going to happen! Instead, set achievable goals weekly: try walking more each day or eating three servings of vegetables at dinner instead of one. You’ll be less likely to give up if things don’t work out exactly as planned!
Start off with smaller goals and work your way up. If you’re looking to start exercising more often, try scheduling one workout date per week with friends or family members who are also trying to get healthy. If you’re making a conscious effort toward healthy eating habits, maybe pick one meal per day at first and work your way up from there.
It’s also important that you stay positive when things don’t go according to plan or when other people discourage your efforts. It’s easy for friends and family members who aren’t trying hard enough themselves to tell us what we’re doing wrong—but remember that they’re probably not in our shoes every day! If they have helpful tips they want to share with us, we should listen closely; otherwise, their negativity won’t help us succeed in any way shape, or form.
If it turns out that your initial goals aren’t working out as planned or simply aren’t realistic enough, don’t be afraid to adjust them as needed!
Get out and be active as a family
One of the best things you can do for your body is to get out and be active with family and friends. Whether it’s walking, biking, hiking, swimming, jogging, or other simple exercises – getting together in an activity-related way can help you feel closer to those around you.
In addition to giving your body a boost of energy and helping build stronger bones, muscles, and joints (not to mention lower blood pressure), being active with others can often lead to increased happiness too. Not only does doing something fun together help form bonds between people but it also allows them an opportunity to bond over their shared experiences during the activity itself.
Have an exercise buddy to keep you accountable
Studies have shown that people who work out with others are more likely to stick with their workout routine, which means that having a workout buddy is an excellent way to make sure that you stick with your plan.
There are plenty of benefits to having an exercise buddy, but one of the most important is that it can help keep you accountable. Having someone else there to count on and motivate you will make it easier for you to stick with your workouts and see results faster.
As well as being able to push each other in terms of fitness progress and intensity, another great advantage is that having a buddy means there’s someone around who knows how hard they’re working out and can tell if they need rest or are pushing themselves too far. This helps them stay safe while exercising by allowing them to take regular breaks when needed, as well as avoid overdoing things so that they don’t hurt themselves (or worse!).
Make small changes to your favorite recipes
- Use less sugar. One of the main things you can do is to cut down on the amount of sugar you eat. Use less processed foods, especially those with added sugars and sweeteners, like candy bars and soft drinks.
- Reduce your salt intake. Most people need only about 1,500 mg of sodium per day—about one teaspoon (5 g) worth—but most Americans consume nearly double that amount each day from prepared foods in restaurants or at home! If possible, reduce your salt intake by making these small changes:
- Choose spices instead of salt for flavoring foods like soups or stews; try using garlic powder instead of fresh garlic cloves when sautéing vegetables such as green beans or zucchini squash; substitute lemon juice for salt to give food a burst of flavor without adding extra sodium; use unsalted butter instead of margarine (which contains more saturated fat than butter). You’ll be surprised how quickly these simple steps make a difference in your health!
- Cut down on sugar by switching from refined to natural sugars such as honey, maple syrup, molasses, or agave nectar (though these are still not as healthy as eating whole fruits or veggies!). You can also try substituting low-fat yogurt for sour cream or mayonnaise in dips and spreads. Alternately you could use plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream if you really want that tangy flavor!
Keep the unhealthy stuff out of the house
One of the best things you can do is to make sure that unhealthy food isn’t around. It can be hard but try not to buy junk food and keep only healthy foods in your house. If you have a sweet tooth, try making your own treats rather than buying them. You’ll be surprised at how much money you save by making your own treats!
Also, don’t keep sweets or snack foods in the house when you’re trying to lose weight with family or friends. This will help keep temptation out of reach so that it’s not as easy for someone else who wants some unhealthy snacks! They might think twice about eating those bad things if they know there isn’t any available around them all day long (or at least until dinner).
Plan a vacation that revolves around a fun fitness activity
If you’re looking for a way to get in shape with your family and friends, consider planning a vacation with fitness activities as the main draw.
One of my favorite ways to stay active is by hiking. We have some beautiful wilderness areas just a short drive from our house that is perfect for exploring with the kids (and dogs). The best part? It’s free!
Another idea is finding a local community center that has classes available—gyms are great but can be expensive and often crowded with people who are less than friendly when you try to use equipment at peak hours.
Don’t let the presence of family and friends derail you from your goals
If your loved ones are not on board with your new lifestyle, don’t let that upset you. Instead, take it as an opportunity to be a positive example for them.
- Don’t let them discourage you.
- Stay positive and don’t get upset if they’re not on board with your new lifestyle.
- Take it as an opportunity to be a positive example to them by making healthy choices and sticking to them, even when it’s hard.
Avoid sabotaging each other’s healthy habits
As you start to make healthy changes, it can be tempting to focus on your own progress rather than supporting your family and friends. But you mustn’t talk about each other’s weight or make negative comments about food choices. Instead of being competitive or jealous of each other, encourage one another!
Remember that everyone has different goals and motivations for making lifestyle changes—you might need to adjust your expectations for yourself and others. For example, if someone says they’re eating healthier but still wants pizza every Friday night, respect their decision and remember that no one is perfect!
Celebrate your successes with your loved ones
For example, if you’ve been working out for several weeks and have made progress, then celebrate by going to the movies or sporting events with family and friends. This will be a fun way for everyone to bond together while staying healthy!
Reward yourself with non-food items, like a massage or a new book
As you’re working on developing your healthy habits, it’s important to reward yourself. But don’t reward yourself with food!
Reward yourself with something that will help you achieve your goals and enjoy the journey. For example, if you get through a week of exercising, reward yourself with a massage or a new book. If you manage to cook most of your meals at home for five days in a row, buy some household items. If you can keep up with this plan for two months straight, treat yourself to something really nice like an evening at the theater or tickets to see your favorite band in concert.
Staying Healthy Together
When it comes to losing weight, it’s easier when you have the support of those closest to you. Family and friends can be your biggest supporters. They can also help you stay motivated, on track, and celebrate success along the way.
As you know, it’s much easier to be healthy when you have the support of those closest to you. If your friends or family are on board with your goals and are willing to help by encouraging and supporting each other, then these tips can help:
- Encourage each other when one person slips up. If someone has a bad day or makes an unhealthy choice, don’t judge them; instead, encourage them by reminding them that they are not a failure just because they made one bad decision.
- Share recipes for healthy meals that are easy for everyone in the family (and preferably easy enough for even the most inexperienced cook).
- Share fitness ideas that work well at home without expensive equipment or gym memberships (like jumping jacks).
- Talk about what works for different people—what makes some feel energized while others feel sluggish?
The bottom line is this: building healthy habits and losing weight with family and friends can be great fun! The next time you are planning a summer vacation with the kids, why not plan it around an activity that everyone in the family can enjoy? It could be as simple as taking walks together every day or trying out some new recipes. Maybe even try one of those fitness vacations we talked about earlier!
And remember, if your loved ones aren’t quite ready to join you in a new lifestyle change for themselves, you still have plenty of options for getting their support. Just be patient and keep leading by example. They’ll catch on soon enough!