This is why you shouldn’t fall into the trap of a quick fix or crash diet, according to a dietitian who has been there herself.
After a weekend of overeating, it’s easy to say “that’s it. I’m getting back on track!”
Whilst these are all healthy habits, it is nearly impossible to adopt them all at the same time and expect them to stick…
The most common health mistake you may be making is trying to adopt lots of new healthy habits all at once.
When you do so, you set yourself up for failure.
You convince yourself that it’s not extreme. You call it a ‘healthy eating lifestyle plan’ instead of a diet but starting Monday you will commit to a complete lifestyle overhaul:
- Stop drinking alcohol
- Commit to exercising every day (or way more than usual)
- Stop eating all refined sugar
- Stop drinking coffee
- Meditate every day
- Stop having second helpings
- Take healthy snacks to work
- Get more sleep
- Reduce portion sizes
- Don’t go back for seconds
- Walk more, and so on.
You will maintain these healthy habits for a few days, but very soon the habits start to feel too hard/ complicated and life too busy/ stressful.
Come the following Monday – you’re right back to where you started and feel guilty for falling off the bandwagon (yet again!)
You blame yourself for having poor willpower instead of realising you were simply using the wrong approach.
Does this sound familiar?
The most common health mistake is thinking that you can go from zero to hero – and succeed. You can’t adopt 10 habits overnight and expect them to stick. That is a diet and that is extreme.
The secret to weight loss? Patience.
You have to be patient. It takes time allow for your brain to rewire and your habits to shift. If you want to be successful, you need to invest in yourself one easy step at a time.
What should you do instead?
Don’t let compelling before and after photos lead you astray. Instead of making massive changes to your diet or exercise routine, work on adopting a simple healthy habits, one at a time. Here’s how…
Step 1. Choose ONE habit
When you’re ready, pick ONE new habit to adopt (not five or 20).
For example, this week I am adding “drink at least 1.5L of water daily” as a habit. But you can try anything from reducing how often you eat out, to upping your daily intake of vegetables.
Step 2. Work out how – and make it easy…
Ask yourself: how am I going to make it easy to achieve in my everyday, busy life?
E.g. I bought myself a new water bottle that will sit on my desk. I will fill it up with cold water from the fridge (because I prefer it that way and it will make it easier to maintain). You can also do thing like swapping meals with friends to walks (this way, you’ll get active and save money!) or simply go grocery shopping, so you have a variety of healthy, wholefoods at home.
Step 3. Repeat process
Once the habit feels normal, easy and effortless – adopt the next one.
Each habit takes a different amount of time to feel like it’s normal. Some take a few days whilst others can take weeks. If a habit is too hard, either ask yourself how to make it easier, or save it for later and pick a new habit instead.
Yes. This method does take longer to the get the results but in a year from now, you’re going to be so glad that you made the commitment.
Why? Because you will never fall off the bandwagon again and always know how to manage your weight – these are long-term lifestyle changes, that you can rewire your brain to stick to.
Investing in healthy habits, instead of diets and extreme plans (that I couldn’t maintain in the real world), helped me lose 20kg and keep it off forever. I’m the healthiest and happiest I’ve ever been.
Game of Thrones workout by Bodyism’s James Duigan.