“I know what I’m supposed to do….
But for some reason I just can’t get myself to do it consistently.”
We know that we should be exercising and we know what foods we should be eating, but for some reason it is sometimes hard to make ourselves do it!
Why is there sometimes a gap between what we know we should be doing and what we actually make ourselves do? And how do we close that gap?
I think we can have issues making ourselves stick to a healthy diet or workout program for numerous reasons.
Self-control, stress, schedule, support and resources all influence how easily we transition to a new lifestyle and maintain it.
Honestly, you can name a thousand reasons as to why we don’t eat the way we know we should or workout as much as we should. You can even claim you don’t truly know what is healthy because of all misinformation out there about health and fitness.
But if you truly want something, only you can make it happen. No matter how many excuses you can come up with, only you can CHOOSE to commit to a healthy lifestyle.
Here are some tips to help you transition to a new healthy lifestyle and STAY COMMITTED:
- First determine which works better – slowly eliminating bad foods or going cold turkey. Don’t go cold turkey if you know that it will make you feel so deprived that you feel the need to cheat in only a couple of days. For some, it works better to do a looser version of a diet and slowly become more strict. For instance start eating whole natural foods, but keep in rice and potatoes while you eliminate grains if you eat lots of carbs currently. Then maybe slowly lessen the amount of each that you eat. OR if you are a sweets person, don’t cut out all treats. Maybe just allow yourself only “healthy” treats like dark chocolate or berries or the Man Bicep whipped cream! If however, you are the type of person that just needs to go cold turkey, don’t tease yourself with little treats…GO COLD TURKEY!
- Write up a plan. It’s easy to cheat on some vague idea, but when you have a solid plan written down, it is a lot harder to cheat on it. Outline what foods you want to eat or what workouts you want to do on certain days. Also plan out how long your program or diet will run. If you set an end date, you can REWARD yourself when you succeed. Treat yourself to something when you accomplish your goal (preferably not food related!). I found it motivating to know that I would get a treat like a massage or shopping spree if I stuck to my plan! And yes, we are striving for a lifestyle change, but if you make up a plan for three months and stick to it, you will find that after that you’ve made it enough of a habit to go it on your own!
- Display your plan and let others know what you are doing. If only you know about your plan, you are much more likely to cheat…especially if you hide it away in a drawer. Display your plan on your door or in your kitchen on the fridge. If you can see it every day, you are a lot less likely to cheat. And if you tell others about your plan, they will help keep you in line. Both their support and just the fact that others know will make you want to succeed so that you don’t let them down!
- Don’t DEPRIVE yourself! When you feel deprived, you are most likely to cheat. So don’t starve yourself! Eat till you are satisfied…not stuffed just content. Also, allow yourself days to indulge a bit more. For one, it will help you stay committed. For two, calorie cycling can help you lose that last little bit of fat since your metabolism won’t slow from constant calorie restriction! For me having one day each week where I eat as much as I want of “healthy cheats” allows me to recharge. Also planning in full cheat days helps me remain committed because I know that even if I feel deprived, it won’t be for long! Remember, the 80/20 rule. Eat well 80% of the time and indulge 20%!
Workout partners and trainers are also definitely good motivation…Anything else help you stay committed?
Posted on April 4, 2012, in Diet, Man Biceps, Workout and tagged 80/20 Rule, committing to a healthy lifestyle, Dieting, healthy eating, Working out, workout program. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.
Interesting you’re posting this today, on my day 3 of the Man Bicep diet. I have no good answers, although I know I’m a gradual decrease person, not a cold turkey person.
Right now I am missing my Paleo treats, and damn glad that I will get to indulge soon. Rooibos tea is helping satisfy the desire for something sweet.
One of the hard parts is knowing that I’m not actually hungry, but feel like I want to eat anyway. That is the hardest part (for me) of going low carb. I get this desire to eat that is not linked to my stomach growling. I hope that passes, and thanks for the good tips!
That’s me! WordPress is annoying.
It will! It is getting used to not munching when you are bored. Hope it is going well! Let me know if you have any questions!
If you have had the chance to read “wheat belly” the book talks about how wheat functions a lot like an opiate and actually is extremely addictive. It really is unfortunate that unhealthy habits (and foods) generally tend to be very addictive.
That is just an excuse. That doesn’t help you commit. It doesn’t matter if food is “addictive” (which I disagree with by the way). If you set your mind to it, you can accomplish it.
Ouch, so harsh =) I was just saying that bad food has some bad properties http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6099562. Sometimes there is a reason that its hard to quit certain substances besides just lack of willpower, but it certainly can be done.
I agree that there are things besides willpower that makes it hard to stop eating certain foods. I have lots of foods that I associate with certain times of year and certain dates. I have foods that remind me of “good times.” That “addiction” to food is hard to overcome, BUT still just an excuse. We want solutions! 🙂 Don’t focus on what hinders you from accomplishing something. Focus on what you can DO to OVERCOME the obstacles.
Step one is recognizing the foods you find to be “addicting.” Step two is coming up with a plan to overcome them. So what do/did you do to overcome your “addictions?”
Hehe, apparently my new years resolution was to cheat more so this year has been pretty bad. My main plain to overcome my addictions was to keep them out of the house. Second, was to get a lot of school debt so that I can only afford salad and meat =O.