What we think we need.
I’m gonna put this out there.
This coming January you don’t need to jump on the bandwagon and have a crazy diet overhaul in order to make changes to the way you look and feel.
You just don’t.
Super enhancing fat loss foods…..don’t be silly.
Replacing whole meals with shakes….no thanks.
Often, we think we need a total diet and fitness overhaul to achieve our goals. I think we go down this route as it’s what we’re told we should do. This message is painted for us in fitness magazines, facebook and all over social media.
Go hard to go home is the message. No carbs before Marbs. ‘’Follow my 8 week fitness plan and you will be SHREDDED’’ and so on.
A short term mindset with even shorter term results.
But, what happens at the end of the 8 week period?
-Can I start drinking booze again?
-Can I start eating more carbs?
-How do I maintain this crazy workout and eating plan after the end date?
Don’t get me wrong, this all or nothing approach can be right for the right person, especially if it leads onto a longer term strategy. However, nutrition plans that go for 4, 6 or 12 weeks and then stop are very rarely useful for our health in the long term.
The biggest problem with the diet overhaul
It bombards your lifestyle.
It enters your life without regard to how much you work, how many kids you have or what type of life you enjoy leading.
If you’re a fitness model, a high paid actor or an instagram influencer who needs to get his abs out everyday then you’ve probably got a decent incentive to stick to a strict regime.
For most of us though, we like to relax our eating from time to time and not be shackled to a strict diet 24/7.
A better solution-one focus at a time
I’m going to put forward a better, more sustainable solution to starting to eat and exercising better, that doesn’t require you to make drastic changes to your diet or life overnight.
Focusing on one-habit at a time.
With the one-focus or one habit at a time method you get to focus your energy and strength on less which in turn can help you to achieve more.
This is exactly the approach we use here at habit and health.
- This method helps to avoid overwhelm and confusion.
- It helps to avoid the problem of over-information, especially when you’re just starting out. (A lack of information is rarely the issue when it comes to making real long term changes to our health).
- One-habit at a time builds confidence in yourself.
Ultimately with the one habit focus you get to choose your own path and implement habits in a way that’s in tune to your values and way of life.
You don’t have to make ridonculous changes.
All you have to do is concentrate all of your energy on one habit change.
How to integrate the one-focus habit
- Choose one lifestyle habit to focus your energy on fully.
- Make sure the one-habit focus is small and easy to achieve. Choose something that you think is too easy. You can build up to difficult ones later on.
- Only focus on this one habit for 2-4 weeks.
- Write down your habit goal and track it each day- Fill out a form with a yes and a no box and tick one each day.
- Build in some accountability to stick to the habit- tell friends/family or your PT/coach. Tell people how you’re getting on with the habit.
- Observe but don’t judge on how you’re doing. Expect that you might not hit 100% for the duration, take note on any setbacks then move on.
Generally adding in, or positive based habits (eat more veg, increase exercise, replace….) work best as opposed to negative, taking away habits (cut out carbs, no alcohol etc etc).
Displacement of negative habits works better for the brain and maintaining motivation.
Ideas to start with
Have more protein with breakfast,
Exercise for 15 minutes every other day,
Eat a portion of vegetables with each meal,
Practise some breathing exercises for 5 minutes each day,
Have only calorie free drinks throughout the week,
Switch to herbal teas instead of coffee in the afternoon,
And so on.
You might be thinking ‘’This is too easy’’
That’s the point.
It’s supposed to be an easy process so that you can build your confidence over time making small changes. Small changes over time are more maintainable, are more likely to stay a part of your lifestyle and lead to big changes.
That’s it. Review the process above and see how you can do less to achieve more.
Want a clear structure to follow the one habit focus?
If you’re looking for some guidance to help you get in shape and stay that way, then check out our online nutrition coaching programme.