Total Health in Midlife Episode #174: The Foundation v2.0

foundation v2

Unlock the secrets to your best health as I, Elizabeth Sherman, guide you through the eight basic habits that form the cornerstone of lifelong vitality. I’ve honed these practices through years of dedicated coaching, and now I’m bringing them straight to your ears with fresh insights and hands-on advice. 

Today’s episode is crammed with personal stories, like my own protein-packed journey during my bodybuilding days, and inspiring successes from women like Renee and Stephanie, who reshaped their relationship with food and their bodies by adhering to these foundational habits. Discover how subtle changes, like adjusting portion sizes and integrating movement into your routine, can have monumental effects on your physical and mental well-being. 

We wrap up with a heartfelt invitation to join a community that celebrates every step forward, where your smallest progress is met with the loudest cheers. This podcast isn’t just about listening—it’s about sparking action, embracing change, and empowering you with the support to achieve the happiness and health you deserve. Tune in and take the first step on a transformative path that promises more than just good health—it promises a vibrant, joy-filled life.

Eight Basic Habits for Total Health (0:00:03) 

Nature’s eight habits for lasting health and well-being include hydration and consistent transformation application.

The Importance of Healthy Habits (0:11:37)

Vegetables and protein have significant health benefits, while regular movement improves physical and mental well-being.

Healthy Habits for a Balanced Life (0:30:21) 

Maintain a healthy relationship with food by listening to hunger signals, practicing portion control, and incorporating fundamental habits.

Empowering Women to Health and Happiness (0:39:53)

Building a supportive community for women in midlife through 8 basic habits for a healthier lifestyle.

Are you loving the podcast, but arent sure where to start? click here to get your copy of the Done with Dieting Podcast Roadmap Its a fantastic listening guide that pulls out the exact episodes that will get you moving towards optimal health.

If you want to take the work we’re doing here on the podcast and go even deeper, you need to join the Feel Good Sisterhood - my group coaching program for women in midlife who are done with dieting, but still want to feel good! The Feel Good Sisterhood is open for enrollment, so click here to discover if group coaching is a right fit for you and your goals.

I am so excited to hear what you all think about the podcast – if you have any feedback, please let me know! You can leave me a rating and review in Apple Podcasts, which helps me create an excellent show and helps other women who want to get off the diet roller coaster find it, too.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode

  • Discover the secret behind eight simple yet potent health habits, unlocking the key to not just longevity, but a better quality of life.
  • How to stay hydrated effortlessly with two simple changes that transformed one person’s struggle into success.
  • Uncover the key to feeling fuller, and longer, and improving digestion through a simple strategy of prioritizing above-ground vegetables and balancing fruit intake, shared through a client’s transformative journey.
  • Unveil the transformative effects of incorporating protein into every meal, shared through a personal journey revealing surprising benefits beyond just internal health.
  • Reframe exercise as a movement for overall wellness and unlock the secret to vitality by prioritizing quality sleep, revealing its profound impact on everything from mood to physical health.
  • Unlock the key to effortless weight management and improved digestion by tuning into your body’s natural hunger and fullness cues, revolutionizing your relationship with food for better health.
  • Explore the roadmap to a healthier life with eight simple habits: hydrate, eat veggies, include protein, move daily, prioritize sleep, manage stress, eat just enough, and enjoy treats in moderation for effortless well-being.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Full Episode Transcript:

Are you truly living your healthiest life? Now, imagine knowing the exact habits that you could use to transform your health and improve your life. Habit’s so powerful, yet so simple that they could set you apart from everyone else.

Today, I’m diving into the “Eight Basic Habits that Healthy People Do.” Now, these aren’t just any habits. These are the foundation of lasting health and wellbeing. If you think you know them, think again. I am revisiting these essentials with fresh insights and transformative perspectives that could change the way that you think about your daily routine.

Stay with me because your missing out could mean missing the key to unlocking your best health ever.

Welcome to Total Health and Midlife, the podcast for women embracing the pivotal transformation from the daily grind to the dawn of a new chapter. I’m Elizabeth, your host and fellow traveler on this journey.

As a Life and Health Coach, I am intimately familiar with the changes and challenges we face during this stage. Shifting careers, changing relationships, our new bodies, and redefining goals and needs as we start to look to the future and ask, what do I want?

In this podcast, we’ll explore physical, mental, and emotional wellness, offering insights and strategies to achieve optimal health through these transformative years.

Yes, it’s totally possible.

Join me in this amazing journey of body, mind, and spirit, where we’re not just improving our health, but transforming our entire lives.

Hey everyone, welcome back to the Total Health in Midlife podcast. I am your host, Elizabeth Sherman, and I want to thank you so much for tuning in today, because I truly appreciate you joining me. And if we’re connected on social, I just need to let you know how much I love hearing from you, your messages, your feedback. It all helps me to tailor my content to meet your specific needs. Making each episode truly for you because you tell me that you need this stuff.

So today, I am revisiting a topic from an earlier episode, one of my very first episode. It’s called, “The Foundation,” episode number three. And when I rebranded the podcast, I knew that I needed to revisit some of these older episodes because in the three years of coaching clients and focusing on women’s health, I’ve gotten better. I’ve gotten more refined, and I’m doing things differently that work better for my clients with all of that experience.

This episode today is called “The Foundation 2.0,” and it’s an update to the episode number three. Over the past few years, I’ve had the privilege of continuing my work with incredible clients and refining our approach to these basic yet profound health practices.

Now, while at the core, these habits remain unchanged, my understanding and implementation has evolved. Offering new insights and strategies to integrate them more effectively into your daily life. And so, it’s easy to hear a topic like the Eight Basic Habits that Healthy People Do and think, well, I already know that I already have the guide and checklist.

But here’s a question that I want you to consider. Are you actively applying these habits in your daily life? Because knowing isn’t the same as doing. And doing is where the real transformation happens. Doing is where we get our results.

So, these habits are simple. Yes, but they are incredibly powerful. They form the cornerstone of good health. And I stand by my claim that if you do these Eight Basic Habits, if you integrate them into your daily routine, you will be healthier than most people that you know.

I’m not just going to talk about what these habits are. I’m going to explore why they matter, how they contribute to your health, and wellness. And so, this isn’t just about living longer, it’s about living better, having a better quality of life.

So, whether this is your first time hearing about these habits, or you’re revisiting them with me today, I invite you to listen with fresh ears. Think about not just the ‘what’ and the ‘how,’ but the ‘why.’

Consider that this is a perfect opportunity to reflect on your own current health practices and to realign them with what we know works. Let’s dive into these habits and uncover how they can make a significant difference in your health and overall, well-being.

Habit number one, starting right off is drink water. Water is one of those health topics that seems so simple, and yet is so overlooked. Maybe even boring, right? We all understand the importance of drinking water, but how well do we manage to incorporate this habit into our daily lives?

Drinking water is essential not just for thirst, but for supporting almost every bodily function. Our bodies are about 60% water. So, it’s no surprise that hydration impacts our overall health profoundly. From a cellular function and digestion to the efficiency of our bodily systems. Let’s talk a little bit about specifics.

So, water helps to flush out toxins, carry nutrients to cells, and provide a moist environment for our ears, our nose, and our throat. It’s crucial in helping us maintain a proper body. body temperature and essential in aiding digestion and preventing constipation. But perhaps the most underrated benefit of staying hydrated is its role in weight management. Dehydration can often be mistaken for hunger, leading us to eat when what we really need is a little bit of water.

You may have heard the common advice, drink eight ounce glasses of water daily. Now, while this is a good baseline, it’s important to remember that individual needs can vary a lot. Factors such as weight, activity level, and environmental conditions can all influence how much water you should be drinking.

For example, a 250 pound man will naturally require more water than a 100 pound woman. Just as someone living in a hot climate or engaging in regular physical activity may need to increase their intake to compensate for increased fluid loss.

Now, one of my clients, Allison, struggled significantly with drinking enough water. Despite knowing the benefits, she just could not seem to get the full amount every single day. And so, we made two small, but really impactful changes that helped her just a lot.

First, we switched her water bottle to one that she loved, one that had a straw, making it easier and more enjoyable for her to sip throughout the day. Next, we added some variety to our water. So, something a little bit like crystal light, juice, or just some slices of fruit to infuse natural flavor, even cucumber.

These simple tweaks made a surprising difference for her. And here’s a practical tip for you. Pay attention to the color of your urine. It’s a wonderful indication of whether you’ve drank enough throughout the day. You want your urine to be pale yellow or almost clear. The darker it is, the more dehydrated you are. Using this simple visual cue can help you to keep track of whether you’re drinking enough throughout the day.

Other fluids can count towards your hydration as well. Black coffee, tea, and sparkling water can all contribute to your daily fluid intake. However, it’s best to rely primarily on plain water or minimally sweetened beverages to meet your hydration needs effectively.

Hydration is not just about drinking when you feel thirsty. By the time you’re thirsty, it’s already a sign that your body is already heading towards dehydration. Make a conscious effort to drink water regularly throughout the day, even if you don’t feel a strong urge to drink.

By understanding the important role water plays in your health and tweaking your habits to increase your intake, you’ll notice improvements, not just in your physical health, but also in your energy levels, your skin health, and overall sense of well-being. Keep your water bottle handy, and hydrate in a way to better health.

Now, habit number two is eat your vegetables. Now, vegetables are not just a diet staple. They are a powerhouse foods that can transform our health in numerous ways. They’re packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and they’re also low in calories.

Vegetables offer a nutritional jackpot that supports our body’s needs without contributing to weight gain. Embracing a diet rich in vegetables can lead to profound changes in our health, our appearance, and even how we feel every single day. So why are vegetables so crucial?

First, they provide vital nutrients that our bodies require to function optimally. Like vitamin C for immune health, potassium for blood pressure regulation, and fiber for digestion. Fiber is particularly important as it helps to regulate our digestive system and provides a sense of fullness, which can help in managing our weight.

Moreover, because vegetables are low in calories, they allow us to eat a larger portion or volume without consuming so many calories, which is perfect for maintaining or losing weight.

Now, incorporating a variety of vegetables into your diet is key in reaping these benefits. Each type of vegetable offers unique blends of nutrients, so eating a wide range ensures that you get a broad spectrum of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Here’s a simple guideline.

I like to separate vegetables out into above ground vegetables and below ground vegetables. So, above ground vegetables like leafy greens, broccoli, and bell peppers should be eaten abundantly. These are typically lower in calories and in carbohydrates. Now, below ground vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, and beets are denser in nutrients and in energy, so they really should be consumed in moderation. Typically, no more than one serving per meal.

Now, fruit should also be considered part of your vegetable intake, with an emphasis on less sweet fruits, like apples, pears, and berries. And a ratio of one serving of fruit to every three to five servings of above ground vegetables is ideal.

So, let me give you an example of how this plays out. My client Janie struggled with constant hunger and irregular digestion, particularly constipation. And when we shifted her diet to include more vegetables, not only did her digestion improve significantly, but she also found herself feeling fuller quicker and longer.

This change meant she naturally reduced her calorie intake without feeling deprived. Janie’s increase in vegetable consumption led to a more consistent, healthier bowel movements, and a noticeable decrease in her overall caloric intake.

For those looking to make similar changes, start by adding one additional serving of vegetables to each of your meals. Experiment with different cooking methods, like grilling, roasting, or steaming to find what you enjoy most.

Oftentimes, I find that when people say that they don’t like vegetables, it’s just that they’re not preparing them the way that they really like them. Make your plates colorful and varied, and remember that the more enjoyable your food, the more sustainable your habits are going to be.

And here’s a quick tip. If you’re struggling to get those vegetable servings in, consider how you’re preparing them. Sometimes making your plate more visually appealing or tweaking cooking methods can significantly enhance your dining experience.

Vegetables are not just food; they are your daily dose of medicine. They’re an integral part of a health focused diet that can lead to lower body mass indices, and improved health markers. By making vegetables a major component of your meals, you’re taking a crucial step towards a healthier version of you. So, load up your plate with greens, reds, yellows, every color of the rainbow. Your body will thank you for it.

Now, Habit 3 is eat protein with every single meal. Protein is a critical nutrient that plays a vital role in virtually every single part of your body, including muscle maintenance and metabolic health. As one of the building blocks of bone, muscle, and skin, protein is essential for tissue repair and the production of enzymes and hormones.

But beyond these physiological roles, increasing your protein intake can have noticeable effects on your energy levels, appetite control, and even your hair and nails.

Understanding protein starts with recognizing that not all protein sources are created equal. While it’s true that foods like nut butters, dairy, cheese, and beans all contain protein, they also include varying amounts of fat and carbohydrates along with it, generally in larger portions.

Animal proteins, on the other hand, particularly those that are lean, such as chicken breast, fish, or turkey, provide a high concentration of protein with minimal fat and practically zero carbohydrates. This makes them an excellent choice for anyone looking to increase their protein intake without significantly increasing their intake of other macronutrients.

The amount of protein that you need can vary based on your body size and your level of activity. A useful guide is to use the size of your palm to determine the appropriate serving of protein. For most women, one to two palm size servings of protein per meal will suffice. This method helps to ensure that you’re getting enough protein to support your body’s needs without overdoing it.

Next, let’s talk about how to incorporate protein with each meal. Breakfast might include eggs or Greek yogurt, lunch could be a salad topped with grilled chicken or a bean based soup, and dinner could feature fish, tofu, or a lean cut of beef. Snacks can also be protein rich. Think about cottage cheese, a handful of almonds, or a protein shake.

Now, my personal story with protein is that protein impacts my overall health. As part of my bodybuilding preparation, I was told to increase my protein. The results were astounding and almost immediate. Not only did I start feeling more satisfied with my meals, leading to less snacking and fewer cravings, but I also noted a significant improvement in my hair and my nails. They started growing like gangbusters.

My nails, which never seemed to grow long before, became stronger and incredibly healthier. This personal experience underscores how protein can affect not just our internal health but show on the outside and in our appearance as well.

For anyone looking to improve their health, incorporating more protein into your diet is a straightforward step that can have a variety of benefits. Whether you’re looking to lose weight, build muscle, or simply maintain your current health, protein is a key component of a balanced diet.

Now, here’s a quick tip for incorporating more protein into your diet. Don’t overlook the power of protein powders and supplements. They can be an easy addition to smoothies or yogurt, providing a quick protein boost, especially on busy days. Incorporating protein at every meal isn’t just about meeting nutritional requirements. It’s about making a lifestyle change that energizes, sustains, and fulfills you.

I’d love to invite you to make protein a priority in your meals to see just how much of a difference it can really make in your life.

Now, Habit number 4 is to move daily. In our journey towards better health, one of the most transformative habits that we can develop is regular movement. It’s crucial to distinguish between movement and exercise. Now, both are beneficial, but they serve different purposes.

Exercise includes specific activities like running, attending a gym class, or strength training. Which are aimed at improving cardiovascular health, muscular strength, and bone density. Now, on the other hand, movement encompasses things like walking, gardening, or even shopping, which keep our bodies active without the intensity of a workout.

I like to think about exercise as intentional movement, while movement is just daily unintentional activity, like moving about your day and getting things done. Now, for many, the idea of exercise carries a negative connotation, almost like a punishment.

And through my coaching, I’ve seen so many clients who’ve initially viewed physical activity with dread and resistance. But over time, they’ve transformed their mindset. And it’s not about seeing exercise as something that they have to do. It’s about recognizing how much better it makes them feel. This shift in perspective is profound. It moves exercise from a category of obligation to one of being a chosen activity that actually helps you to feel good.

Now, one of my clients, Sarah, exemplifies this shift beautifully. Sarah always really disliked the idea of exercise. She associated it with discomfort and exhaustion and having to pay penance for things that she had previously eaten, which made it eventually something to avoid.

Together, we started integrating small, manageable activities into her daily routine, like taking short walks during her lunch break or choosing stairs over the elevators. Then, over time, Sarah began to notice changes. She started to feel less stress, more energy, and an overall improvement in her mood. And while she still doesn’t love to exercise, she now craves the way she feels afterwards.

Now, this change in attitude is crucial. It’s about loving what exercise does for you. Even if you don’t love the act itself. The key to incorporating movement into your life is consistency, not intensity. Regular, moderate activity is more beneficial than occasional, intense exercise.

This approach is not only more sustainable, but it also reduces the risk of injury and burnout. We want to aim for about 30 minutes of intentional exercise every single day. But also, strive to minimize sitting and increase general movement throughout the day. This could be as simple as standing while you’re on your phone calls. using a standing desk or taking frequent short walks. It’s important to tailor your activity to what you enjoy because when you love what you are doing, it doesn’t feel like a chore.

Now, if the gym isn’t your scene, I get it. Perhaps maybe a dance class could work, or hiking with friends, or a yoga session might be more appealing. Now, movement should be a regular part of your life, not an exception. And we wanted to bring joy, not dread. The goal of movement is not just to improve our physical health, but also to enhance your mental and emotional well-being.

Regular activity reduces stress and anxiety, and it helps to manage our weight, improves our mood, and by making movement a daily habit, you are not just working towards a healthier body, but also a happier life.

So, I want to invite you to change how you think about exercise, make it about movement, about feeling good, and about taking care of your overall wellness. It’s not just about the calories burned or the muscles toned. It’s about using your body to be able to live independently as you age, to carry the bags of groceries from your car into the house, or picking up a five gallon bottle of water, moving mulch, weeding, or whatever it is that you need to do in your garden.

Now, Habit number 5 is get enough sleep. If there’s one cornerstone habit that outshines all the others, it’s sleep. As a health coach, I’ve come to prioritize sleep above almost everything else, because its impact is so profound and far reaching.

Sleep is the time when our bodies recover, our cells regenerate, and our brains process the events of the day. Without quality sleep, everything from our mood to our cognitive function and physical health can suffer.

Now, the World Health Organization and various sleep studies suggest that adults need about 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night, but this can vary depending on individual needs. It’s important to remember that as we age, our sleep patterns might change. And the amount of sleep that we need can decrease slightly. However, the quality of sleep becomes even more critical.

A client of mine, Linda, struggled with sleep for years. She found herself constantly exhausted. Her stress levels were through the roof and her health was declining. Together, we tackled her sleep from several different angles. So, first was sleep environment. We optimized her bedroom for sleep by reducing clutter, by using blackout curtains, and setting an ideal temperature for her.

Next, we tackled her sleep routine. So, Linda developed a bedtime routine that included winding down without screens, an hour before bed, reading, and sometimes doing some light stretching.

Next, we attacked her diet. We adjusted her eating schedule and types of evening meals to avoid insomnia and Hot Flashes. And finally, we tackled stress management. Implementing relaxation techniques helped Linda to manage her stress, which previously had kept her awake, worrying at night.

Now, these changes didn’t transform her sleep overnight, but within weeks, Linda noticed significant improvements. She was falling asleep faster, waking up less throughout the night, and starting her day feeling refreshed and energized. It’s essential to listen to your body’s signals regarding sleep. If you’re falling asleep within minutes after hitting the pillow, or you constantly wake up feeling unrested, you’re likely not getting enough sleep.

Another indicator is how you feel during the day. If you’re relying on caffeine to get through your afternoon, it might be time to assess your sleep habits. For women in midlife, managing sleep becomes even more crucial. Proper sleep supports hormonal balance, which in turn affects everything from our weight to our mood and stress levels, as well as our eating, and our ability to exercise.

When my clients improve their sleep, they often find it easier to make healthier food choices, and they have more energy for exercise, and their overall quality of life improves. In my own life, prioritizing sleep has been a game changer. I know that if I compromise on sleep, the next day is likely going to be super challenging. Everything from my patience to my productivity takes a hit if I don’t get adequate rest.

So, here’s a tip. Start treating your bedtime routine with the same respect that you would an important meeting. Set a consistent sleep schedule and stick to it, even on the weekends. Getting enough sleep isn’t just about avoiding tiredness. It’s about giving your body the rest it needs to function at its best. It’s a vital part of maintaining health, especially as we age. And it’s something we should all strive to improve.

Now, Habit number 6 is manage your stress. Of course, stress is an inevitable part of life, but how we manage it can make a profound difference in our overall health and well-being. Effective stress management helps to maintain our mental health, supports physical health, and enhances our ability to enjoy life.

Now, while we can eliminate stress entirely, and I wouldn’t want to since it’s a motivator for productivity, finding a healthy balance is key. Good stress management techniques can vary widely, but they share a common goal to prevent stress from overwhelming us.

Simple strategies such as taking a few deep breaths before responding to a stressful situation, being physically active, or talking things out with a friend, listening to calming music can significantly reduce stress levels.

Conversely, poor stress management techniques such as drinking alcohol to cope, or using food as a comfort mechanism, or withdrawing from the world by crawling under the covers can exacerbate stress and lead to more severe health issues.

One powerful tool I often employ in my practice is the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT concept known as the Think, Feel, Act, Cycle. This tool helps us to understand the connection between our thoughts, our feelings, and our behaviors. By reframing our thoughts, we can alter our emotional responses and consequently our actions. And it leads to a more positive outcome.

I have an example, my client Jen, when she first came to me, stress was taking a toll on every single aspect of her life. It was impacting her sleep, it was impacting her eating habits, and as a result, her overall health.

Now, Jen was in a cycle where work stress led to sleepless nights, which then drove her to seek comfort in junk food and in wine. This cycle not only affected her health, but also her ability to function effectively at work and at home. , we worked on recognizing the triggers that heightened her stress and applied the think feel act cycle to these situations.

Jen learned to identify her initial thoughts and to challenge them, which changed her emotional responses and instead of feeling overwhelmed, she started to feel empowered and in control. This shift dramatically improved her ability to manage her stress without resorting to negative coping mechanisms.

Now, when Jen feels stress creeping up, she knows exactly what her body needs in order to manage it effectively. Sometimes it’s a physical release, like a run or a walk. Other times, it’s seeking connection through a conversation with a friend or a family member. The key has been her ability to recognize her stress signals early and respond in healthy ways.

So, here’s a tip for you in managing stress. Try to spend a few minutes each day consciously managing your stress. This could be through meditation, writing in a journal, or simply sitting quietly and focusing on your breath.

Notice, how stress manifests in your body and in your mind and intervene early with your chosen technique. Effective stress management isn’t just about avoiding breakdowns. It’s about creating a life that feels more manageable, more enjoyable, and overall healthy. By adopting these strategies, you can turn stress from a threat into a manageable aspect of life, enhancing both your mental and your physical health in the process.

Now, Habit number 7 is eat just enough, not too much. This is one of the simplest, yet most profound changes we can make for our health, and it’s learning to eat just enough, not too much. This habit involves tuning into our body’s natural hunger and fullness cues instead of eating out of habit or emotional need. It’s about developing a new relationship with food, one that respects our body’s needs rather than conditioned habits.

From birth, mammals naturally eat when hungry and stop when they’re satisfied. However, many of us have unlearned this instinct. In our culture, it is so common to continue eating, until we are uncomfortably full. Often, well past the point of simple satisfaction.

But the truth is, you don’t need to fill up to the brim with every single meal. It’s healthier to stop eating when you feel just satisfied enough, knowing that you can eat again when your hunger returns. And typically, that’s in about three to four hours.

So, this approach to eating helps to regulate your calorie intake without the need for strict diets or calorie counting. It’s more about listening to your body and responding appropriately. Eating just enough at each meal should leave you satisfied. A state where you could eat a little bit more, but don’t have to.

This habit not only aids in weight management, but also improves your digestion and overall energy levels. I want to share a story about my client Renee, who illustrates the power of this habit. Renee came to me during menopause, a time when many women struggle with weight management.

She loved food. And particularly, she loved raw cookie dough, especially when she was making cookies for her grandkids. And she really wasn’t willing to give up her favorite treats. Instead, we focused on eating just enough.

And by paying close attention to her hunger signals, Renee learned to recognize when she was truly hungry and when she was actually satisfied. She began to serve herself smaller portions and found that she didn’t need as much food as she had previously thought.

Over time, this simple change had a huge impact. Renee lost weight naturally, even while navigating hormonal changes of menopause and continuing to enjoy cookie dough. Her success wasn’t about cutting out foods that she loved, it was about adjusting how much she ate based on her body’s actual needs.

So, here’s a tip for you. Try using smaller plates at meals with portion control. This can visually cue you to serve less while still feeling like you have a full plate. Also, make it a habit to pause halfway through your meal to check in with your hunger levels. Ask yourself, am I still hungry? Or am I just eating because there’s food on my plate?

Adopting the habit of eating just enough and not too much can transform your relationship with food. It turns eating into a mindful practice, one where you are fully in tune with your body’s needs.

This not only helps with weight management, but it also enhances your appreciation for the food that you’re eating and the pleasure of eating. By learning to listen to your body and eating in a way that truly satisfies your hunger, you empower yourself to maintain a healthy weight and a happier relationship with food.

Our final habit is Habit number 8, limit treats. In our journey to improve our health and lose weight, understanding how to balance treats with overall health goals is crucial. Treats. What are they? They are those delicious things like sweets, chips, alcohol, or fried foods. They are not just indulgences. They are also part of our social and emotional lives.

Food is meant to be fun. It’s meant to be enjoyable, and it’s meant to be a shared experience. It’s not just fuel for our bodies. The key here is to enjoy them in moderation, not eliminate them until we’ve gotten to our goal.

In a culture that often preaches extreme dieting, it’s important to recognize that depriving ourselves completely often leads to binging later on. This is one of the reasons why 97% of people who diet and end up reaching their goal, end up regaining the weight that they lose.

Learning to incorporate treats wisely into your diet on the way to your goal is essential for long term success and enjoyment of your health journey. The guideline I use with my clients is to aim for 10 to 20% of your daily calories to come from treats. This guideline helps you to enjoy foods that you love without overindulging.

By setting a limit, you create a framework within which you can enjoy treats without feeling guilty or derailing your progress. So, my client, Stephanie, for example, she came to me feeling frustrated by previous diets that had restricted her so much that she ended up in a cycle of Yoyo dieting. She loved her sweets and didn’t want to give them up entirely.

So, together, we worked on finding a balance. Stephanie learned to enjoy her favorite treats in moderation, fitting them into her diet for the day. This approach removed the taboo around the treats, which psychologically made them less of a binge risk. Her transformation was remarkable. Not only did she lose over 30 pounds, a significant amount considering that she really didn’t have that much to lose in the first place, but she also maintained her weight loss.

When her partner questioned her about eating certain foods, her response was, I can eat whatever the heck I want. Actually, she didn’t say, heck. She wasn’t being defiant. She was being empowered. Through the guidelines, she knew her limits and how to enjoy her treats without compromising her goals.

So, here’s a practical tip for enjoying treats mindfully. When you do decide to indulge, do so intentionally. Give yourself permission. Choose a treat that you truly love and sit down and savor it, rather than standing up or eating mindlessly or on the go. This way, you fully enjoy the experience and are satisfied with less.

Incorporating treats into your diet In an intentional, mindful way is a sustainable approach that can enhance your enjoyment of food and help you to maintain a healthy lifestyle without feeling deprived. Doing this is about making strategic choices that align with your goals and satisfy your desires. Creating a balanced and enjoyable path to health.

Remember, it’s not about never having treats. It’s about knowing how and when to enjoy them so that they enhance rather than hinder your health journey.

As I close out this episode, I want to take a moment to recap the Eight Basic Habits that Healthy People Do and the habits that lay the foundation for a healthy life.

So, up first is Drink Water. Hydration is key for cellular function and for overall feeling good. We want to aim to drink enough water so that your urine is pale yellow or almost clear.

Habit number two is Eat Vegetables. Fill your plate with a variety of vegetables which are packed with essential nutrients and fiber yet are low in calories.

Habit number three is Eat Protein with Each Meal. Protein supports muscle maintenance and metabolic health. So, use your palm as a guide to ensure proper portion size.

Habit number four is Move Daily. So, you want to incorporate movement into your day, whether it’s structured exercise or simple activities like walking or gardening. Remember, consistency is more important than intensity.

Habit number five is Get Enough Sleep. Quality sleep is crucial for recovery and function. Aim for 7 to 9 hours per night, depending on your personal needs.

Habit number six is Manage your Stress. Adapt effective stress management techniques like deep breathing, talking to a friend, or engaging in physical activity.

Habit number seven is Eat just Enough, Not Too Much. So, listen to your body’s hunger cues and aim to eat until you are satisfied, but not over full.

And then, finally, habit number 8 is Limit Treats. Remember, Limit Treats, not Eliminate Treats. Enjoy your favorite treats mindfully, making sure that they comprise only 10 to 20% of your daily intake.

Now, take a moment to reflect on these habits. Which ones are you already doing well? Which ones could use a little bit of improvement? It’s not about perfection. It’s about leaning into it and making better choices more often. Each small step that you take can lead to significant changes in your health and wellness.

To help you integrate these habits into your daily life, I have a guide and checklist that you can download at and this resource will provide you with practical tips and deeper insights into each habit. Helping you to apply them in a way that fits your lifestyle and your personal goals.

And if you’re looking for support and community as you move through this journey, I would love to invite you to join my free Facebook group, the “Eight Basic Habits that Healthy Women in Midlife Do.” It’s an amazing community where likeminded women share their experiences, their challenges, and their successes. Each week we tackle one of the habits together as a group. You don’t have to do this alone. There’s a whole community ready to support you.

So, thank you so much for joining me today. Your journey to better health is a personal one and it’s unique to you. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re looking to refine your current habits, know that small changes can make a big impact over time. I encourage you to approach these habits, not just as a temporary adjustment, but as lifelong improvements to your daily living. It’s not about being perfect. It’s about being a little bit better every single day.

If you found today’s episode helpful, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me on social media or through my website. Share your progress, ask questions, or just say hello. I love connecting with you and hearing about your journey, what’s going well for you, what you need support on.

And if you’re looking for additional support, don’t forget that my free Facebook community, the Eight Basic Habits that Healthy Women in Midlife Do is always open to you. We can inspire each other and strive for a life full of health, joy, and fulfillment.

You have the power to change your life one habit at a time. So, take what you’ve learned today and start making those small changes that lead to lasting health and happiness.

Thank you again for tuning in. That’s all I have for you today. Have an amazing week, everyone. I’ll talk to you next time. Bye-bye.

Thanks for staying with us till the end of this episode. If you’re looking to deepen your understanding of the ‘8 Basic Habits that Healthy People Do’ and want to connect with a community of like-minded women, I warmly invite you to join our free Facebook group, ‘8 Basic Habits that Women in Midlife Do’.

In this group, we expand on the habits discussed today, sharing experiences, offering support, and celebrating our health journeys together. It’s a space where you can feel understood and encouraged.

To join, simply click the link in our show notes. Let’s support and inspire each other in our quest for better health. See you in the group!

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Foundation v2.0
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