Same problem different year. Every year the same resolution to lose the weight and keep it off. This year you will eat healthily and exercise! Why is our commitment to healthy eating and exercise unattainable?
The answer is in our relationship with food before our diet. Before your diet were you rewarding yourself with food? Eating as a reward equated to good things were happening in your life. Now that the food rewards have stopped you might feel some depression from the lack of instant gratification of a job well done. I’m guilty of chocolate cake as a reward in the past.
We need to measure our success not by the food we reward ourselves with, but what we accomplished. We can always change the award to something better for our health or an experience we can remember like a concert. You could even go shopping for new clothes as a reward! Remember commitment equals results.
Maybe playing video games was an award too or watching tv after a long day at work. Now you just have to drag yourself to the gym while you’re exhausted from work. Stick to it, in a couple of weeks, the exhaustion becomes new energy.
Ways to Keep Your Commitment to Diet and Exercise
How do we commit ourselves to healthy eating and an active lifestyle?
- Concentrate on how you feel after eating something healthy. Do you still have those familiar feelings of guilt after? Do you feel awful about your weight? Do you feel like taking a nap after or do you feel more energetic?
- Compare how you feel before and after the gym. Write it down. Were you feeling stressed and exhausted? How’s your stress after your workout? Compare the first day you workout with two weeks from then. How are your energy levels?
- Come up with better rewards.
- If you’re skipping meals set an alarm to remind you to eat. I know it can be difficult to find time to eat during your busy day, but it’s important. Our bodies want fuel so they can keep us going throughout our day.
- Buy a meal prep bag or lunch bag to keep readily available snacks for when you’re craving something to eat or in case of emergency.
- Food cravings are a sign of something missing in our diet. When we are low on calcium we crave extreme versions of calcium like cheezy mac and cheese when we really just need an orange. Before you give yourself what you think you need, find out what it means your body is depleted of.
- Plan your meals out for the week and designate a day for meal preparation. Prepare for success.
- Have a to-do list for your day. If it’s difficult to remember supplements write them on your list until it becomes a habit. Lists are great because there’s a feeling of accomplishment from crossing off what you need to get done. Make sure everything on your list that needs to be broken down into steps is broken down into steps so you still feel accomplished even if the whole task isn’t completed. Write down anything extra you get done.
- Change the time of day you go to the gym. Go early in the morning when you wake up. You might not want to get out of bed, but there are tricks like leaving your alarm across the room. Find out what times the gym is least busy so you will have easy access to more machines. If you lack machines you might get frustrated and skip parts of your workout or the whole workout. Let’s set ourselves up for success.
- Change your perspective on healthy eating and exercise. Is eating healthy something you should do because you’re supposed to or is it something you want to do for better health and to enjoy wearing clothes you like? Is going to the gym really an awful experience? Or are you sculpting the body you always wanted? Is adding on years to your life and changing your health with added exercise really so awful?
- Become your own advocate and learn more about dieting and exercise. Read articles, books, or look online. The FDA puts false information out there on what is healthy for us. Educate yourself. For years, authorities told us sugar makes us skinny while ancient Egyptians fed geese sugar to make them fat.
- Ease into your active lifestyle. Start with a goal of 3 days to workout and gradually work up to 5 days a week.
- Take a rest day or two from the gym. Don’t overwhelm yourself. Understand the more you push yourself doesn’t mean faster results.
- Sleep. It’s harder to commit to eating right when insomnia causes us to crave food. We handle stress better when we get enough sleep. Stress eating is a real thing. Muscles need rest to repair and grow from your workout.
- I have no time … make time for health or make time to be ill. How much time do you spend on your phone? You could be working out while on your phone.
Feature image via transforming-science.com