“I’m eating twice a day and then bingeing at night”, “I don’t have time for the gym”, “I’m too tired to do anything.” I hear these statements freakishly often and I sympathize for all of them. I need you to surrender and admit that you are not superhuman nor are you expected to be but there are a few tools that you could implement that would make your efforts that much easier and significantly increase your likelihood of success without feeling like the whole world is collapsing around you. I would regard these tools as greater importance than prioritizing Nutrition, Physical Activity and Hormones because without the below, the success of the above is very slim. Weight loss requires patience, discipline and a consistent desire to put your goals above seeming temptations. It requires effort, structure, planning, diligence and a strong awareness of your desired goal. You need to want it. And you need to want it bad. No matter what your motivator. Whether it is to look better, perform better, play with your grandkids or just get through the day, the tools below will help you get there.
Step 1- Structure and planning-
This is the part where most people fail. Why? Because it seems daunting. Where do I begin? When do I have the time to plan? It seems stupid and redundant. There are a million excuses to avoid integrating structure and planning. God forbid you need to break your usual habit of watching Netflix right after work as “your way” of decompressing while you could be going for a walk outside and actually decluttering your brain. It’s all fine and dandy to want to change your eating and exercise habits but unless you actually implement a strategy and get PREPARED those desires will remain stagnant. A great place to start is by owning a planner or calendar and jotting down what days and what time you will be exercising, picking up your groceries, cooking preparing etc. Without a blueprint for the week it’s much easier to come up with an excuse, get lazy, fall behind and become increasingly frustrated.
Step 2- Get into a routine-
The best thing about being on a consistent routine is eliminating a phenomenon known as “decision fatigue”. Steve Jobs famously wore the same black turtleneck, blue jeans and New Balance Sneakers everyday to make better use of his decision making muscle- his brain. It is said that the average person makes 35,000 decisions a day, with our willpower only getting weaker as our day progresses. Therefore it is best to establish a solid routine, to not only enable you towards a path of better health but to eliminate the likelihood of diminishing willpower throughout a day to day. If you aren’t regular with your wake-time, bed-time, breakfast, lunch, dinner then you need to get on top of that, not only that, I challenge you to take it one step further and wrap your head around or PLAN your meals for the week ahead. It doesn’t have to be thorough, but you will need some sort of plan of attack. Before you know it, you will have developed good habits and have free’d up a lot of your mental energy. Ninety-Five percent of my clients that first come to me struggle to eat enough throughout the day and end up confused as to why they aren’t seeing results given they, “have no time” to eat. In order to see results you will need to be eating the right foods with the appropriate macronutrients. Lack of planning along side a chaotic schedule is a recipe for disaster. Sure intermittent fasting has its time and place whenever its intentional but most of the time, if we happen to skip lunch and eat too few calories, the end result= catastrophic aka binge eating or snacking on higher caloric foods aka feeling like a complete and utter failure. Get into the routine of eating regularly throughout the day and say signora to your nasty cravings or late night binges.
Step 3- Be an Optimist.
Your sub conscious mind is 30,000 x more powerful than your conscious mind. You know that second brain that controls your breathing, your metabolism, nutrient absorption, cell regeneration and everything else that comes automatic to you? That is your subconscious in control. Our subconscious quite literally does as it is told by our conscious mind and cannot differentiate between that which is true and not true. Being a “subconscious pessimist” is sabotaging your life without you even realizing it. Do you tell yourself that you’re “fat”, “unattractive”, “lazy” or always tend to look at the glass half empty? or that you’ve failed so many times before and how could it possibly work this time. If you do so, your subconscious will quite literally acknowledge that thought in agreement and act to keep you within that state whereby it will down-regulate your metabolism, decreases your nutrient utilization, decrease your energy level and basically turns you into a sloth. Turn those thoughts around one by one and start by pausing and acknowledging them in the first place.
Step 4- Focus on small progress-
Rome wasn’t built in a day and results don’t happen overnight, but that’s not to say that you won’t be feeling fabulous instantaneously. Expect improved energy, focus, an increase in purpose, drive and a positive shift in self perception just by setting a goal, or committing to something and striving towards it each day. You’ll no longer associate with words such as “lazy” “fat” and “impossible” because you’re being proactive at changing your life and adopting a growth mindset. This improved mental state will rub off on those around you as your friends and family gravitate towards your improved energy while you’re empowered towards changing your life. These gradual steps are part of what makes your journey unique and memorable, pay attention and take it one day at a time. If you could amass all of the wealth in the world overnight, would it mean as much to you as if you were to put in long hours, build partnerships, overcome barriers, build resilience and put in blood sweat and tears into acquiring your net worth? Appreciate where you are in your journey and pay attention to small progress- that is where the beauty lies.
Step 5- Get better sleep.
I know I know, you’ve heard this far too many times before, but it can’t go without mention. Lack of sleep not only impairs your brain and immunity but it can also substantially deteriorate your ability to feel full and satiated. Next time you feel unrested pay attention to your hunger cues and notice whether the candy bowl is calling your name. Don’t sabotage your progress and set some boundaries for yourself. Start by setting a bedtime alarm on your phone to allow 7.5-9 hours of sleep and putting away electronics 1-2 hours before bed. If you’re having trouble falling asleep you might not be producing adequate amounts of melatonin therefore requiring additional steps and extra attention to get the rest that your body craves. These methods include; switching off all LCD screens and electronics 1-2 hours before bed, taking a warm shower, drinking a nightcap tea containing camomile, valerian or passionflower, meditation or reading, just to name a few. If you feel as though you’re doing absolutely everything in the gym and in the kitchen but are still falling short then take a hard look at your sleep.
Step 6- Stay hydrated.
I cannot emphasize this one enough. I didn’t realize how common this one was until I began working with clients as I have never dealt with this issue myself. People are often too busy, or satisfy their thirst cues by drinking something other than water i.e LARGE coffee’s or diet soda’s. Unfortunately, for those of you in that boat, you are not maximizing your mind and body’s true potential. For those of you who suffer with low energy, arthritis, pain, constipation, illness, depression or lack of weight loss, this little culprit might be why. Shoot for a minimum of 64oz per day with additional requirements depending on size and gender.
I appreciate you taking the time to read our article and hope that you’ve found it informative and beneficial to you and your progress. Let us know what you would like to hear about next by commenting below 🙂