By Mary Granfand, Nutritionist
If you’re anything like me, the last thing you think of is “getting fit.” Instead, I have my eye on fishing for blue mussels, or making a killer fish cocktail, or starting a lemon meringue pie business. While all these things are absolutely enjoyable, exercising after a meal is not one of them. Yet, eating healthy doesn’t have to have to feel like exercise, which can help you increase both the level of health you enjoy and, more importantly, the level of your motivation to get active. Here are some tips for gamifying your goals:
Eat out: make your meal come to you
You know what I mean. When you’re at a restaurant, you probably order the salad and fries and don’t think twice about it. But you really don’t want to order it if you’re not hungry right now. Sometimes it’s especially hard to tell when you’re hungry. It’s the same when you’re waiting in line at the grocery store: Does the checkout cashier always know when you want a cookie? In some ways, you should not only eat out at restaurants, but just eat outside, too. You can get free samples of produce, sit down to make a salad, or pick up a delicious dessert! And don’t give up your favorite salad; make it your game.
Send a valentine with a to-do list for your meal
This is a fun way to get stressed out about making your meal. Each day, take the day off of your to-do list, but instead of working on anything important, finish dinner. Afterward, schedule in that you will eat healthier the next day, and have the unfinished to-do list reminder posted at the table for you to scan before you sit down to eat.
Set your focus by monitoring your goals
Monitoring your goals can help you be more productive. When I’m designing a blog post, I create a spreadsheet where I mark every word or sentence I want to change, whether or not I plan to edit it. In other words, I create a benchmark. This helps to eliminate some distractions in writing and keeps my mind from wandering. It’s important to keep clear of distractions while achieving your goals, and setting a benchmark can be a great way to keep your mind and your train of thought focused.
Start a positive video game
Instead of keeping a job, start a video game. For example, you could decide to share video footage of yourself sporting a bikini in one of your favorite sports videos. You might also decide to create a mini-game with photos of your favorite fruits and vegetables and name your boss a middle-school student! Not only will this give you new ways to enjoy your life, it can also motivate you to work harder.
For these and other ideas, go to amazon.com and look for “morbidly obese” or similar apps. Best yet, after you’ve played, you can share this advice with your family and friends.
Granfand is the best-selling author of the “Diet Nonsense” series, and she’s a regular contributor to “Modern Eating” and “Eat This Not That.” Her website is emmygranfand.com