Cooking and Lifestyle to Prioritize Health and Weight Loss

April 17, 2024
Webinar Q&A

View the Webinar Recording


What’s your motivation?

Identifying motivation can help you perform healthy behaviors to reach your goals

These are some common sources of motivation for participating in a DPP

  • Reducing health risks
  • Losing weight
  • Increasing energy
  • Improving mood
  • Increasing functionality

Lack of motivation is a common barrier to changing behaviors. Here are some ways to stay motivated after identifying your reasons. 

  • Place sticky notes where you’ll see them often
  • Visualize success
  • Tell others about your intentions and progress
  • Track progress in Lark

Taking responsibility for yourself can spur healthy choices

An external locus of control means you believe what happens is out of your hands. Other people and circumstances determine what happens to you. People with an external locus of control are less likely to make healthy changes because they don’t believe their choices will matter.

An internal locus of control means you believe that your choices and your actions have an impact on your outcome. People with an internal locus of control are more likely to decide that it’s worthwhile to make healthy choices because that can improve their chances of reaching their health goals.

Where is your locus of control?

Guilt is a common barrier to prioritizing health

It’s your right to take care of yourself, but not everyone truly believes that for themselves. Also, not everyone truly believes that for those around them.

Here’s why it’s okay to take care of yourself.

  • It’s your duty to yourself
  • You’re the one best able to do so
  • You may have a duty to others. 
  • You can give your best to others when you’re at your best, whether you’re caregiving, working, in relationships, being a role model, or more

Do you need permission from others so you can give yourself permission?

From a significant other:

  • Include them in decision-making and planning healthy meals, workouts, and outings
  • Reassure them that you’ll love them whether or not they make the same changes you do
  • Work out a plan that lets them have treats or other things they cling to

From parents

  • Some people are seeking approval from their parents or feel guilty trying new, healthy behaviors that are different from what their parents taught them as children
  • It can be comforting to reassure them that you still need their advice and input

From children

  • Include them in healthy lifestyle choices like grocery shopping and being active during leisure time
  • Focus on quality time with them rather than quantity of time

Worry about family-friendly foods is a common barrier to prioritizing health

There are lots of ways to reduce costs and satisfy everyone in the family while making healthier decisions.

Consider eating in instead of eating out. The cost of a meal may be half as much, and the food may be healthier, lower in calories and carbohydrates, and just as delicious and satisfying. Here are some ways to reduce time and effort spent on food preparation while serving foods that the entire family can enjoy.

  • Try meal helpers like rotisserie chicken, frozen turkey meatballs, pre-cut vegetables, bagged salads, and canned or jarred sauces
  • Swap certain foods or alter recipes to make them healthier while still appealing to everyone. Examples include adding vegetables to casseroles and sauces, and swapping ground turkey for ground beef, olive oil for butter, and brown rice for white rice
  • Adding more vegetables and salad can make meals more satisfying while taking smaller portions of higher-calorie or less healthy foods

Self-service “bars” can allow each person to select their own preferred foods. Here are some examples of common options with healthy components to consider including.

  • Taco bar with whole-grain corn shells or whole-wheat tortillas, chopped lettuce and tomatoes, grilled vegetables, salsa, and protein like beans, chicken, lean ground turkey, fish, or shrimp
  • Pasta bar with whole-grain pasta or spiralized vegetable noodles, marinara sauce, parmesan cheese, salad with vinaigrette, and roasted vegetables
  • Baked potato bar with potatoes or sweet potatoes, yogurt, chives, broccoli, and bean chili
  • Salad bar with lettuce or spinach leaves, cut raw vegetables, vinaigrette dressing or olive oil and vinegar, beans or chicken, and cut fruit

It can be challenging when there are foods at home that aren’t part of your healthy meal plan. These might include snacks that they enjoy eating or leftovers that they bring home from fast food or other restaurants. It can help to store these items out of sight, pack them in containers that are then taped closed, and make healthier choices more accessible by putting them in front of the less healthy options.

Making time for prioritizing health

There are many strategies for making time to prioritize health. A good first step is to make a list of what you intend to do, such as exercising, preparing meals and snacks, shopping for groceries, and following a consistent bedtime routine. Scheduling these behaviors in a calendar can help set time aside.

Here are some ideas for saving time while being healthy.

  • Exercise - schedule it, do it while watching tv or socializing
  • Cooking - do it during tv time, do it all at once (cutting for multiple dinners and lunches, packing while cleaning up)
  • Sleeping more - limiting TV time, making time with SO part of your bedtime routine (just needs to be something consistent), getting more daylight and activity so you sleep better
  • Eating meals consistently while you’re working/doing childcare - plan so you have what you need on hand. Snacks or meals predictably

It’s a good idea to shift perspectives so that instead of feeling like they’re “extra,” healthy behaviors feel like they’re “part of life.” That way, they’re not taking “extra” time. Multitasking can be a helpful strategy. Here are some examples. 

  • TV time while exercising or doing food prep instead of doing nothing or eating
  • Be active while: socializing, meetings when possible, on hold on the phone, watching television 
  • Get double benefits
  • Make food planning part of your bedtime routine
  • Be active with loved ones
  • Walk to purchase healthy foods
  • Prepare big batches of recipes and ingredients for multiple meals and uses

We have two recording links this week!

Health Coach Q & A

My fitbit will not log into the lark account

We’re sorry about this issue! 

Here is a link to Lark’s explanation on how to connect your Fitbit to your Lark account. 

If you try following those steps and they still don’t work for you, please open a ticket with Lark Customer Service. Please tap here to get to the webform!

OUR next live webinar

Exercise for Everyone: Adapting Exercise to Meet Your Needs

May 1, 2024 12:30 PM
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