I’m a big believer in habitual change. It’s been shown time and time again to be the best way to establish lasting changes which improve health, fitness and sustain nutritional changes. Building over old habits takes time but it’s worth it in the long run and gives you things that a 6 week meal plan never can.
At Cross Functional Fitness, I try to work with my clients to put together strategies which will enable them to continue to enjoy eating and drinking the stuff they like, while allowing them to drop inches from their waist and improving their body composition. If you enjoy eating chocolate I’ll do my level best to help you put together a nutritional plan that still keeps you within a calorie deficit. This means you’ll still see positive changes in your body composition.
This approach “works” for many people because they have a decent level of self control and they understand the importance of calorie tracking. However it wouldn’t work for me. I’d have to get rid of every piece of junk food in sight if I was going to try and reduce my body fat. Maybe your self control sounds something like mine. I can’t just stop at 1 square of chocolate like some of my clients can. I’m like a dog. I’d have to have the whole bar of chocolate, and then some more.
Be honest with yourself and your level of self control
It’s important that you know yourself and recognise your limitations and faults when you’re trying to get slimmer. If you’re like me and you don’t have great self control, then you maybe need to be honest with yourself, your family and your friends.
Quite often it’s your husband, wife, girlfriend or boyfriend who will be your downfall. They’ll convince you to go for that “treat” … every night! They’ll maybe not understand your weakness or that you desperately want to make a change to your habits.
Sit them down and explain to them that you don’t want to die early. You don’t want to end up with bowel cancer, heart disease or other nasty illnesses and so you want to minimise your risk of doing so.
If they don’t believe you or dismiss your concerns, send them to me. Seriously. I’d love to chat with them.
Just because your significant other has great self control and is in a great moment in their life, doesn’t necessarily mean you are. It’s important to recognise this and it’s important that the important people in your life understand this too. Instead of adding to the pressure of temptation that you’re already under, they should instead help you in every way they can.
Are you killing yourself the respectable way?
If you’re the sort of person who can easily finish an entire packet of biscuits, a full tub of ice cream of multiple bars of chocolate, I’m going to make a polite but strong suggestion – DON’T HAVE THEM IN YOUR HOUSE!
If you have junk food in your cupboards there is a 99% percent chance that you or someone else in your house will end up consuming it – usually in a moment of severe hunger, boredom, stress, anxiety, or weakness. It’s at these times junk food is most appealing to you because 1) they’re convenient, 2) they taste amazing and 3) they fill a void, for a while.
But it’s important to be honest with yourself. Your lifestyle and lack of self control is slowly, but surely killing you and reducing your quality of life substantially. If you have a takeaway meal once per month that’s not the worst thing in the world. That’s about 1 meal in 90, which isn’t much. But if you have 3 takeaways every week then that’s a big problem. Some takeaways contain as much as 2 days worth of calories, never mind the ridiculous amounts of salt, sugar and unhealthy fats.
What about your alcohol intake at weekends? How about that packet of biscuits you’re having every evening after dinner? What about those crisps you’re eating every day, along with that chocolate bar? That’s 30 days out of 30 every single month. THIS is what is doing the real damage. It’s that consistency which is dramatically increasing your risk of heart disease, heart attacks, various cancers, diabetes, strokes, joint damage and other preventable illnesses.
Here are some helpful steps to changing your habits which you can start implementing today:
1- Sit down and evaluate what sort of personality you have – do you have self control and you just need to start counting calories and managing your portions? Or does your self control suck, like mine, and you need to go cold turkey on all the junk and get them out of your cupboards and car?
2- Take the stairs every time you can instead of the lift or escalator.
3- Schedule walking into your daily / weekly activity.
4- Rather than coffee meet ups with friends, suggest going for a walk or do something active.
5- Instead of sitting in front of the tv or netflix at night, get outside, go for a cycle, walk, a swim, hike or something else active. It’ll do wonders for your mind and your body.
Before you know it, these habits will take hold of your lifestyle and you’ll do them unconsciously and without reservation. But it’s important you practice them lots in the early stages.