Whilst an approximate 88% fail to keep their fitness New Year’s Resolutions, many fail to understand the mental requirement in making any transition. Whilst eating healthier, training more frequently and remaining consistent demand regular physical application; having the correct mindset is what separates those that fail – and the 12% reading this blog post!
Time to Build Some Healthy Eating Habits
Although the initial stages are difficult, the resistance from succumbing to temptation, the odd increasingly frequent occurrence of birthdays, office fun days and family BBQs; it is important to build a strong foundation. It’s vital that you instill the correct mindset; remember each ‘cheat’ meal, each time you give into temptation, your goal is pushed further and further out of reach.
Each step forward, is one closer to your ultimate goal, easier than the previous day – gradually, we develop a tolerance to our temptations, an intense will power; the undying need to succeed and refrain from reverting back to what we once were – that’s what sets apart those who are successful, and those who aren’t.
It’s not that some people have willpower and some don’t. It’s that some people are willing to change and others are not!
A term that’s become almost cringe worthy, its implication of eradicating all the ‘good’ foods through replacement with bland, boring.. vegetables! Whilst dieting implies a brutal struggle against what your body naturally craves, it’s merely a gradual lifelong transformation and by following our very own magic weight loss formula – increase activity, reduce caloric intake – failure is impossible!
Failure Is Impossible
Consider the above quote for just a moment. How many of you have attempted a diet, the latest weight loss fad, spend hundreds of dollars on experts, to be told the same, stock-standard information? The common misconception amongst the fitness world is that of having to undertake ridiculous diets, hire expensive personal trainers and make immediate transformations from what you have naturally become accustomed to. Success derives from your commitment, your ability to follow through on your word – to do what others aren’t willing to do. How many of you guarantee failure before you even try? A positive mindset is essential, considering failure as an impossible option is a helpful step in making that transition to a healthier mind.
Although it’s in our nature to act quickly upon a new commitment, to assume that an instantaneous change can be made – it’s important to understand transitioning to a healthier lifestyle is a lifelong commitment; not a spur of the moment, ‘trial period’ attempt at losing weight. Change is good, excessive change is not – going cold turkey is an incredibly difficult task. Replacing foods we have become accustomed to is difficult, however, a gradual descend away is easier – withdrawal symptoms are common, in removing sugar and caffeine from out diets, for instance, we are depriving the body of what it expects and craves; and hence increasing the likelihood of relapse.
Giving in to temptation undoes your hard work and commitment, leading to a greater consumption and reverting back to your previous look or plunging even further than before; in what I call the elastic effect. As humans, with an open availability to an abundance of options we only have so much willpower; this gradually increases over time, however, it is vital that we build up to that level of allowance.
Making a lifelong change requires patience and consistency – two incredibly important elements to continuous application and success. Results will come over time, nothing happens instantly and without consistent application. Each time you visit the supermarket, refrain from purchasing chocolate milk over regular milk; find substitutions for additive items. Replacing the chemical effects provoked from a sugar rush with naturally released beta-endorphins through exercise can help control cravings – and remember your workout is your reward for your commitment to eating healthily, not a chore!
Making small changes over a period of time definitely adds up, whilst a slow method of approach isn’t necessarily an attractive premise, making consistent, manageable changes to your diet is essential in remaining motivated. Small changes are just as important as the big ones, removing soft drink from your everyday diet for instance is a reduction of 250+ calories a day; the ripple effect of these products in damaging your weight loss progress is unbelievable!
Managing your eating throughout the day is another important step in making an effective transition. Eating meals spread out across the day not only decreases your caloric intake but also vastly decreases your need to find a simple alternative to a healthy home cooked meal – ie; junk food.
Whilst cheat meals are an effective way of ‘rewarding’ yourself for a good-weeks-work, they often have their downfalls. Making a healthy lifestyle transition shouldn’t be about the excitement building up to the next meal in which you can revert back to your former habits; but rather continuous application whilst enjoying what you are eating and doing in your regular life. Cheat meals often make it even more difficult to get back on track, and frequently become cheat days and weeks.
Eating healthy doesn’t require an obsession with bland, tasteless options – but rather finding ways to create healthy alternatives to your liking – and remember, unless you’re competing, the occasional indulgence in a family BBQ isn’t going to spiral you off track! However, don’t wait until next week to get back into the midst of things, don’t dwell on an off-meal, improve on your next meal; keep looking forward –> positively!
Remember to keep your body guessing, don’t adopt a boring lifestyle because you’re on your new ‘diet’; have fun with your meals, enjoy and embrace the change you are trying to make and find your inspiration!
Work your butt off! Someone out there at the same time is working hard. Someone out there is getting smarter. And someone is winning!