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Your Environment and Your Health

The Habits of Health Transformational System looks at the full picture of what it means to achieve and thrive in optimal wellbeing. While weight loss is often a part of this journey, it is one piece of the whole. When weight loss alone is the goal and the sole focus of your transformation, you are more likely to yo-yo back into old behaviors and to see the weight you lost return (and then some).

One of the facets of health that much of the health & wellness industry ignores is your environment—the bubble that you surround yourself with. Your environment includes the people in your life as well as the physical, like the objects in your home or the traffic noise from the street outside.

Though your environment may not feel like a direct contributor to your health, the research (as well as our field experience) has overwhelmingly found that our environments influence our feelings, our mood, and our behavior. In other words, a change in your environment can make it easier for you to eat healthier and to exercise more. That’s a big opportunity, especially if you look at what that can mean over the course of your lifetime.

The Habits of Health has a range of recommendations for how to optimize your surroundings, but here are some big wins to get you started:

  • Take the television out of your bedroom. Many sleep problems are tied to how screens disrupt our sleep, both by exciting our brains and also by confusing the way our bodies use light to initiate sleep.
  • Switch to smaller plates. Large plates often lead to larger portions. If you use smaller plates, you will find yourself more naturally eating less while still feeling full.
  • Open the blinds. More sunlight helps with mood and can help you to feel more active and energized.
  • Clean out your cabinets. Eating healthier is easier if you have fewer temptations within reach. Donate or toss out your unhealthy foods so that only healthy foods are available to you.
  • Spend more time with positive influences. If you think about your friends and family, you can probably pick out the people who encourage you to make healthier choices and who motivate you to be better. Make an effort to be with them more often.

These are simple places to start, but they can lead to significant rewards. As your Habits of Health journey continues, you will see more ways to structure your environment around your healthy lifestyle. And, of course, don’t be afraid to ask your coach for help!

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