If you’ve decided to make the necessary steps to enjoy a healthier lifestyle, it can be difficult to watch those you love continue on a path that is likely to reduce their quality of life as well as the length of it.
After all, you want them to be around as long as possible, but convincing them to make the transformation isn’t always easy—it’s a decision they’ll have to make for themselves in the long run, but there are steps you can take to encourage them in the right direction.
Highlight the benefits that are the most important to them
There are different benefits that can motivate different people. It’s important to highlight the benefits that are most important to the person you’re trying to encourage. For example, if they suffer from any type of chronic illness, the odds are, a healthier lifestyle will help alleviate or even eradicate the symptoms.
If he or she is obese but has dreamed of traveling to a specific destination, how much better would it be to be able to comfortably walk around and explore it? You might explain to your teenager how choosing fruits or vegetables instead of a candy bar can help give him the energy to get through finals.
Approaching the situation from different angles for each type of person is one of the best ways to help them see the importance of a lifestyle change.
Encourage small steps
Many people find the thought of making so many changes at once overwhelming. It’s often what holds a person back from engaging in healthier habits. Explain that they don’t have to immediately go to an extreme by only eating healthy food and working out an hour every day. They probably fear giving up the things they enjoy and worry they don’t have enough time or willpower.
Encourage your loved one to take small steps that will improve their health, such as parking further from the office or grocery store, taking the stairs, or going for a short walk after dinner.
Even better, find the time to walk or take part in other activities together. When they notice the difference even small changes can make, it may just convince them to make a total transformation.
Share the facts
Do a little research to find some studies that show the risks of an unhealthy lifestyle, or find some articles here on The Alternative Daily and other sites that highlight the many diseases and illnesses that can be prevented just by eating a nutritious diet and engaging in regular exercise.
What is he or she worried about developing? The risk of Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and nearly every chronic condition can be greatly reduced by living a healthy lifestyle. Sometimes the facts are scary enough to entice one to make a change.
Offer delicious, nutritious meals and snacks
Be sure you have plenty of healthy snacks available when your loved ones get the urge to snack. Sit down with them and see if you can come up with a list of food items they’ll enjoy that are also nutritious.
Try new recipes that use fresh ingredients and make meals with herbs and spices to add flavor. Visiting a local farmers’ market together, for the chance to sample and select fresh produce is a great way to encourage loved ones to try new, and healthy foods.
Negative comments about someone’s looks or habits tend to backfire. This often serves to lower self-esteem and cause some people to wonder, “Why bother?” Offer positive encouragement for any positive acts, such as choosing healthier food or being more active, and your loved ones are more likely to feel better about themselves and continue embarking on a path to a healthier lifestyle.
Remember that progress comes with patience, so it’s important to bear in mind that any serious lifestyle adjustment is unlikely to happen overnight. A loving, patient approach is almost always best.
-The Alternative Daily