05 Apr Small Behavior Changes are the Keys to Success
When starting any diet or exercise program how many times have you felt overwhelmed almost right away? Thinking, “I have to cut out this food, I have to do this much exercise, I have to do x,y,z!!! I have to be perfect!” Well this is all too common and its a great way to set yourself up for failure.
Here is a secret no you don’t have to be perfect or exercise 10 hours a day, never eat something you enjoy again, etc. What actually works for long term success is taking small changes each week, mastering them and building on them.
For example lets look at Mrs. Jones a new client that walks in wanting to lose fat, feel better and get in shape. After a meeting with her we find that she smokes a pack a day , drinks 8 diet cokes a day, only eats processed starchy gluten based carbs and never exercises. She doesnt eat any vegetables and only sleeps 3 hours a night.
Now, this may sound familiar or this may be you. AND you may have tried to meet with a trainer or dietitian before and may have heard all this has to change TODAY. WRONG! What would actually work with someone who needs to make several changes? Start small. I have people start on the most impactful changes they will feel right away. So in the case of Mrs. Jones (who is an actual client) I would probe and find all of her psychological and behavior issues associated with each item we need to change, get her feedback to make sure its doable and give her a list consisting of:
– Sleep goal: lets try 7 hours of sleep a night. She stays up watching endless TV for several reasons. Once I educated her that not sleeping is the easiest way to gain weight, crave starches and increase cortisol while losing the ability to manage how her body stores carbs as fat, she agreed probably a good idea. And who doesnt like to sleep!
– Start eating breakfast: we added either eggs or any meat she would eat and one serving of fruit. The right combos at breakfast not only help with fatloss but most importantly it helps control cravings the rest of the day.
– Move to 7 diet cokes and only 18 cigarettes a day. AND any time she felt she needed more (which she used for energy) I told her I wanted her to eat a small square of 70% cocoa or better chocolate. This helps with serotonin (her happy neurotransmitter). Notice I didnt say she had to drop all of them the first day.
– Two twenty minute walks a week when the sun is out. This will help with vitamin D, digestion, lower stress and help synovial fluid in her knees.
Sound doable? Will it work? Well she came back feeling great accomplished all tasks and even added one of her own. She added one strength workout a week!
So if Mrs. Jones continues to do this for the next 6 weeks, and maintains it she will have made some tremendous changes towards being healthier that are manageable. Not a short term, quick fix but LIFESTYLE CHANGES.
The final key to this, DO NOT add new items to your change list UNTIL you have truly mastered your previous goals. This is crucial. Remember it is not a race its about actually accomplishing each item each week and building on successes.
Do this and you will be successful in the end. We have ton this with hundreds of clients and it always works.
Pick something and get after it! Need help learning where to start? Contact us today for a free consultation.