This week we have a mammoth collection of tips on changing the way you think about eating and exercise.
Your mindset will make the difference between succeeding and failing.
Tip #1: Stop Being A Victim
– “I don’t have time to cook healthy food.”
– “Someone brought doughnuts into the office and I didn’t want to be rude.”
– “My husband didn’t have time to cook, so we had we a take-away.”
– “I was staying in a hotel, so I had to eat what was available.”
– “My parents cooked lunch and went to so much effort I couldn’t say no.”
– “I went out for drinks, so had to have a couple to be sociable.”
These are all real world examples from clients. Notice that in each one, something else is controlling how you eat, whether it is time, convenience or other people. These are just excuses.
You are the only person responsible for what goes into your mouth, so stop thinking like a victim and take control.
The great thing about deciding that everything you are going to eat will be healthy, and sticking to it, is that it inspires other people around you too.
Here’s how those examples above could change if you stopped being a victim:
– Block off time in your diary to make big batches of healthy food.
– If you stop eating doughnuts in the office, your colleagues may well stop too.
– Find some super-healthy easy meals for your freezer or cupboard that you can make when tired or rushed.
– Take your own food when staying in hotels. Really.
– Phone your parents in advance and ask them to change to healthy ingredients and drop the dessert.
– Order a black coffee in the pub instead of a pint.
Tip #2: Build Your Healthy Eating Support Network
What you eat is influenced by who you eat it with, so hang around with people who eat healthily!
Be aware that friends, family and colleagues are often scared and challenged by a new healthy you. Your change in lifestyle often highlights their own poor choices, which makes them feel defensive.
Sometimes this can result in people trying to sabotage your efforts. It’s not usually malicious; they are just protecting themselves.
Talk it through with them and let them know that you need their encouragement and support, NOT a little devil whispering “oh go one, just one chocolate”.
If there are people in your life who aren’t supportive and constantly seek to hinder your lifestyle changes by mocking or encouraging you to cheat, then it’s time to spend less time around them. Be ruthless and cut negative people out of your life.
Tip #3: Start Thinking About Exercising DAILY
Forget five-a-day, it is all about the FIVE-A-WEEK now.
Clients look at me with horror when I tell them this. We have been led to believe that playing squash once per week or walking to work will keep us healthy. It won’t.
If you aren’t getting sweaty on a daily basis, you aren’t optimising your health.
Bonus Tip: Struggling to fit exercise in? Download a 7 minute workout app for your phone.
Tip #4: Be Ready To Make Big Changes
You can’t carry on eating and drinking like you did before and expecting a different result.
That means cutting out the big carbs, alcohol and other junk food.
The more healthy changes you are prepared to make, the better the results will be.
Tip #5: Don’t Confuse Treats With Habits
What about a bit of mid-morning cake every so often?
A chocolate bar occasionally?
If you are indulging in something more than once per month then it is no longer a ‘treat’ it is a habit.
These habits, masquerading as treats or rewards, pop up all the time and we often fail to include them in what we think of as part of our normal eating.
Be honest with yourself about what you actually eat, and then you can decide whether this fits in to your healthy eating plan!
Tip #6: Don’t Assume You Eat Healthily
If you look in the mirror and aren’t happy with what you see then odds are your nutrition is neither healthy nor pretty good.
Most people’s nutritional ‘knowledge’ is constructed from a jumble of newspaper scare stories, misleading marketing and things they heard from friends. Most of it is wrong, a lot of it is outdated and some of it is dangerous.
Assume that what you ‘know’ is junk and start learning from scratch. Or hire a nutritionist to help you.
Tip #7: Commit 100% To Your Goals
If you think that you are just going to “try it and see if I like it” or “just try eating a bit less” then you are planning to fail.
Most diets fail and it’s usually because people don’t commit fully and give up when things don’t go perfectly.
Commit to your goal of a healthy new you for the long term and you WILL succeed.
Tip #8: Stop Planning An End Date
It doesn’t work, and studies show that yo-yo dieters actually make themselves fatter and unhealthier over time.
Instead, look at switching to a permanent new healthy lifestyle.
You can still have periods of cutting calories (‘dieting’) to lose fat, but you will keep the fat off afterwards AND feel amazing.
Tip #9: Be Patient
In reality, it is long term consistency that brings those results that you really want… and let’s you keep them. There are no short cuts that are also healthy.
Be patient, be consistent and you WILL get there.