Like many people, I have tried to stay as positive as possible during the COVID-19 outbreak and see the lockdown period as an opportunity to lose some weight and improve my health. While I see others out for their daily runs or their social media posts containing amazing before and after pictures, I frankly haven’t managed it.
But, that’s not to say I haven’t tried. In fact, I’ve tried incredibly hard but failed every time. I’ve tried walking 10,000 steps a day, cutting out chocolate, cutting out alcohol and attempted the couch to 5k challenge but have been unable to stick at them for more than a few days (or mere hours in the case of alcohol! It was extreme circumstances, honest).
I’ve reached the conclusion that the changes I tried to make to my health were simply too ambitious. It’s almost as if I was trying to run before I could walk (literally). I’m still determined to make healthy adjustments to my lifestyle but need to be confident I can keep them up for more than a few days.
Micro Change Number One...
Most days, I enjoy around 3 cups of coffee each day. I generally have one when I get up, another mid-morning and another early afternoon. Sometimes, I’ll have another mid-afternoon too. Having a bit of a sweet tooth, I also always have two teaspoons of sugar in my drinks. In the past, I’ve tried cutting out the sugars altogether, but I didn’t like the taste. I don’t have my coffees to merely give me the energy to get through the day, I enjoy them too, so I’m reluctant to try going cold turkey with the sugar again.
So, I’m going to reduce my sugar from two teaspoons in each drink to one. I know this change seems almost laughably small and almost insignificant, but that is the whole point. Not only am I confident I’ll accomplish this, I’m confident I’ll stick at it too. This means I’ll feel positive about setting a goal and achieving it, hopefully motivating me to make more micro changes and keep those up as well.
Also, although it seems insignificant now, the maths proves otherwise:
A teaspoon holds 4 grams of sugar which equates to 16 calories per teaspoon. I’m averaging 3 cups of coffee daily, meaning I’ll be cutting out 3 teaspoons per day, reducing my calorie intake by 48 calories per day. If I keep this up for a year, I’ll have reduced my intake by over 17,500 calories! That’s over 5 pounds of fat!
What tiny change can you commit to this week?
If you would like to speak to a health coach about your health goals go to http://bit.ly/lincs_residents
Chris Laming, Physical Activity Coach
June 29, 2020