If You Struggle with Commitment
Everybody wants good habits, and I think most people would say that they want to prioritize their health. For both my clients and my friends, the biggest stumbling block to a healthy lifestyle is not dessert or an aversion to yoga pants, it's commitment.
We live in a culture that can help anyone find a workout that suits them. If you don't like group fitness, join a gym. If you hate making the trek to the gym, workout at home. There are countless options and a short list of excuses. But, just like any long-term lifestyle change, it's not the will to get started that most people lack, it's the commitment to keep going.
Too often, I see people work towards a goal, only to fall off the map after it's completed. Maybe you've eaten healthy all week, but you get derailed by one too many tortilla chips on Saturday night. The key isn't making a vow to never eaten Mexican food again, but rather, a decision to let Sunday morning go back to normal.
In order to make a healthy lifestyle long-lasting, healthy has to be your new normal. If you "reward" yourself every time you exercise or always go for the extra serving because "you ate well all day", you aren't acting like a healthy lifestyle is your normal routine. Building your workouts into your schedule and making healthy meals need to become a regular part of your weekly planning, not an activity formed out of guilt for eating too much on the weekend.
If you struggle with commitment, try incorporating the following tips into your lifestyle, and see how they transform the way you think about your health and fitness:
Set realistic workout goals
If you aren't currently in shape, don't set the goal to workout 6 days a week. Pick something attainable (like 2-3) and grow from there.
Pick a workout you like (even love)
If you hate your workout, you have a much lower chance of sticking with it. Pick something that gets you active for at least 30 minutes and challenges you. Make sure the workout targets a variety of muscle groups so that you don't repeat the same thing every day.
Pre-plan your snacks
Snacking is such an easy way to derail your workout and healthy eating progress. Pre-plan your snacks with something clean and easy, so that you don't binge post-workout. This will help you get out of the "reward mentality" but still fuel your body with the calories it needs.
Remember that every day isn't an occasion
Our culture is not super healthy. It's normal to find donuts in the break room, sugary coffee at every shop, and cocktails at work functions. It's easy to fall into the mentality of, "but this is a special occasion!" In all reality, it's probably not. It's probably just Friday and you want a treat. Balance is great, but if you're using the "occasion" excuse around every corner, it's going to be so difficult to make healthy your new normal.
Learn your ingredients
Lastly, learn your ingredients and do your research. If you can't pronounce it, there's a strong chance it's a chemical. Eat real food, learn about the benefits of food, and avoid processed items as much as you can.