January Health Challenge: Capture and Conquer with Ate

Ate Food Journal

Eating avocado toast breakfast. Image: Pexels 

With the start of the new year, it’s the perfect time to embark on a journey towards a healthier lifestyle. Rather than focusing on calorie counting or macro tracking, Ate Food Journal provides a unique approach to guiding you in making mindful choices that align with your personal health goals. In this challenge, we’ll present two actionable steps that will help you develop healthy habits throughout January. Yes, just two steps that you can stick with are more than enough to get you going on your beginning-of-the-year health challenge!

Step 1: Set a Meaningful Health Goal

The first step towards building healthy habits is to define a health goal. Get the month started by setting a single health goal. It’s not about trying to tackle everything right at once, but rather what is that one thing that you want to focus on?

Take some time to reflect on what truly matters to you and what you want to achieve when it comes to your well-being. This could include weight management, increasing energy levels, improving mental clarity, or simply feeling more confident in your skin. With Ate, you have the freedom to customize your goals.

Set this as your lifestyle goal within the Ate app.

Then from there, how are you going to achieve this goal? How are you going to experiment towards reaching this lifestyle goal?

Some smaller steps to reaching your bigger lifestyle goal could be increasing fruit and vegetable intake, reducing sugar consumption, cooking more meals at home, drinking more water, focusing on hunger levels, or increasing whole grains consumption. The list goes on. Make sure it is specific to you and your own needs and that it helps you towards your lifestyle goal.

Once that has been identified, set that as your current experiment.

Once you have identified your priorities, create your own set of mindful questions to reflect on that tie back into your goal and current experiment. For example, “Did this meal have fruits and/or vegetables?” or “How full am I feeling after this meal?”

Don’t be stressed over your decision, you can always go back and change your current experiment but stick with it for a week or two to see how it impacts the changes and how you’re feeling!

Step 2: Pause, Snap, Savor (& Reflect)

Mindful eating is the key to making intuitive choices that are aligned with your health goals. Take a moment before every meal to pause and engage in a brief mindfulness practice. For some that could be closing their eyes, taking a few deep breaths, and tuning into their body’s sensations and feelings of hunger or fullness. Right here they are practicing slowing down. BUT, that can be pretty advanced and the goal is to stick with something easy to keep at it.

If you’re not there yet, no worries! Here’s what you can do!

Grab your phone, open Ate (or use the Ate widget for quicker access to the Ate app), and capture your food in Ate. From there, start capturing all your foods in Ate, whether that be a meal, a snack, or a small bite that was left over — capture it. This is where you’re putting into the action of pausing and slowing down.

Did you know even the simple act of capturing your meal is making you pause and slow down already? Maybe you’ve added a pre-meal question from when you set up your goal, simply answer that question, and get on with savoring your meal. Once you’re done eating, reflect on whether it aligns with the health goal that you set earlier.

Most importantly, resist the urge to judge or criticize; instead, focus on listening to your body. After each meal or at the end of the day (or really when it works best for you), review your food journal and consider what improvements you can make to nourish yourself more effectively or see what’s working right for you and keep at those habits. Remember, this challenge is about progress, not perfection.

Celebrate those small victories along the way!

Embarking on a January health challenge with Ate Food Journal opens the door to cultivating mindful habits and creating a balanced life. By setting a meaningful health goal, and practicing to slow down, you can make positive changes without the stress of calorie or macro tracking. It may seem like a lot of journaling in the beginning but it’s the best way to get a better understanding of you, your habits, and how you’re progressing to your own health goal.

This challenge is about nourishing your body, mind, and spirit while embracing your uniqueness. Use Ate’s features to customize your journey and celebrate every step forward. Wishing you a month filled with progress and self-discovery as you prioritize your well-being!

Share your January challenge on social media and tag @youateapp 

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