All this month there are thousands of people with a resolution of “getting back in shape” or “losing weight”. They try a variety of methods including cleanses, to extreme fitness programs, group workouts and the latest diets. Every year we get a flood of new clients wanting these very things. Among all the demands for the best exercise, the cleanest foods and the special supplement there are key habits people often overlook that eventually kill there progress. This includes all of the above, especially diets.
Let’s take a look at why people fail diets more than they succeed:
- Diets are strict, rigid and expect you to be perfect. When’s the last time you did a diet that was fun, simple or allowed you to explore? Never. Ever.
- Diets have deadlines such as 21 days, 6 weeks or 90 day challenges. Perhaps this is why they’re called diets…because the results DIE when the deadline hits.
- Diets require and instant 360 degree flip from your present lifestyle. Science shows you only have so much willpower and trying to make too many changes at once not only drains your willpower, but increases stress, kills focus and drains your energy. Even the smallest of changes seem tough.
- Diets don’t teach you much. Your energy level, personal preferences, stressors, metabolism and more are constantly changing and cookie cutter programs do not adjust to the individualized programming needed for these fluctuations.
What You’re Overlooking
You already know you need to eat veggies, lean meats, fruits and whole grains, etc. You already know you need to walk, lift weights and mix in cardio and some fun activities each week. You already know you need an average of eight hours of sleep. So why are you still not where you want to be?
From my over 15 years of experience with thousands of clients, true long term health, fitness, fat loss, lean muscle gain, energy and more start with a few critical elements. The formula is all dependent upon how much a person E.A.T.S.:
- Education– Your body and environment are ever changing and no matter how precise a plan or program is one of the best habits for sustainable success is by learning how you respond to these changes. By being the scientist, detective and researcher for your own body you’ll begin to grasp which plans & programs work best for you. Also learning more on topics like macronutrients, metabolism and hormones from a professional will help you understand your body even more.
- Attention– Your body is always communicating to you, but over time it’s easy to have stopped paying attention to it. How many times have you been hungry, but ignored it to do work? How many times have you felt energized, but you didn’t get out and do something active? How often are you stressed, but never take a break to rest and rejuvenate? The habit of paying attention to & listening to your body’s biofeedback and natural intuition allows you to make better decisions.
- Testing– Many people begin to diet and exercise at the New Year, some even see results. Where they fail is they don’t track those results and therefore never learn what it was that was working for them. Once you learn what works and what’s not you can test and explore new methods to find even better ones. Everyone is different and the habit of testing allows you the opportunity to know your which foods, what exercises and how much sleep is best for you. Do you know what foods drain your energy, how much exercise sparks your cravings and how much sleep makes you feel rested?
- Tolerance– (I know, I snuck in an extra “T”.) One of the top reasons people fail is because they’re sold on the crazy marketing claims of diets and programs that promise six pack abs in 7 days. In other words, instant gratification. True transformation in anything occurs when you learn to tolerate the ups and downs and twists and turns while creating the behaviors needed to sustain the change long term. This is a process takes time and tolerance is the key habit for fulfilling it.
- Streamline– Over time, as you follow the steps and learn what works best for you, then integrating your “wins” and streamlining your grocery shopping, meal planning, and when to eat and exercise within your schedule is the finishing touch. If you fail to make these changes the fabric of your daily and weekly schedule then you’re likely to find they become inconvenient, stressful and you quit. This is arguably the most important habit.
Conforming to the confines of a strict diet or the “perfect” program may help you get a few short term results, but often without the above habits your success will come crashing down. Your body and life are constantly in flux and a “band aid” program doesn’t adjust to the ever-changing demands of your work, family, illness, aging, stress, etc.
Learning these five habits will provide the mortar that helps build better personal success systems for burning fat and increasing energy, but more importantly they hold a healthy lifestyle together for the long run.
Which E.A.T.S. principle is your achilles heal?
Until next time. Be bold,