Most people fail to stick to something challenging, like losing weight or getting in better shape because they don’t make small changes, they immediately go all in. They pretty much change everything, which soon results to changing nothing.
The temptation to go all in is understandable, for example losing weight that is really hard. So we think that the only way to succeed is to adopt a complicated program of diet and exercise that requires significant changes. The problem is that the program starts to feel oppressive within a day or two, and every single change starts to feel impossible. That’s the reason we start slipping.
At first we slip in small ways, like when we are in a rush and don’t have time to cook breakfast and we eat doughnuts in the car, or because of some event we can’t miss we can’t fit in our evening jog. Or we have to work home so we don’t have time to stop at the gym.
After a week or two it looks like nothing is changed, and we are back at the beginning, with the remorse for failing to stick with something we committed to do.
The thing is most of the weight loss programs and fitness programs work, but we can not make such changes to our daily activities and lifestyles. So when we miss a workout or screw up a meal, it feels like failing completely, the next thought is “If I can’t do it all there is no sense doing any of it” and we quit.
We have a better approach, don’t immediately go all in. You are wasting your time to adopt your life on some new trendy diet or the current fitness fad, it is incredibly unlikely to stick with it. Instead make a few simple changes to your day. You will loose a little weight, feel a little better and with time find a way to incorporate more healthy habits into your routine.
So for now just make these five changes:
1. Drink a glass of water before every meal.
Everyone needs to drink more water, when you drink a glass of water before you eat you’ll already feel a little more full and won’t be as tempted to eat past the point of hunger.
2. Eat one really healthy meal.
Pick just one meal and change what you eat. If lunch, eat a portion of protein that fits the palm of your hand, a vegetable or a fruit and some almonds. That is not a lot of foot but it is healthy and it means that you are taking small steps into controlling your portions at every meal in the future.
Other examples: Pack a can of tuna and two apples. Or bring a skinless chicken breast and some cucumbers. Just make sure you prepare it ahead of time, that way you won’t have to decide to eat healthy. You just will.
3. Use your lunch to be active.
You have at least 30 minutes or an hour to eat, so you should make your lunch productive. Go for a walk, or stretch, or do push-ups or sit-ups. Itis not really important what as long as you do something, you will not only feel better but also burn some calories and stress. That is how you make fitness part of your daily lifestyle, without adding something to your busy schedule.
4. Eat one meal-replacement bar.
We know, most protein bars are not your first choice, but they are nutritious and low in calories, and they stave off the mid-afternoon hunger pangs and you will feel like having eaten a light lunch.
You should just pick a protein – not energy bar that includes 10 or 15 gr. of protein. That would not only feel the gap between meals but it is a way to get in the habit of eating smaller and frequent meals. And you truthfully want to adopt that.
5. Have fun completing a physical challenge.
It would be great if you could go to the gym 4-5 times a week, but if you are starting from zero that is not real. Instead you should pick a challenging thing to do, like a long walk, a long bike ride,or a testing hike. You should be only sure that you are able to complete the task. Don’t decide to walk 10 miles or ride 20, ride to a cafe, grab a snack and then ride home. The activity should be based on an accomplishment.
Every time you complete a weekly challenge you will have burned calories, improved your fitness level, and reminded yourself are still capable of doing some really cool things.Once you accept you are still capable of doing cool things-no matter how much you’ve let yourself go physically, it’s true-you’ll find all the motivation you need to make a few other positive changes.
And one day you’ll realize you actually have gone all in … and you didn’t even notice.