Just lately I’m finding a lot of clients are coming in saying that they are struggling ‘to get their head in the right space’ when it comes to staying on track with their nutrition.
Whether it is a change of season thing, where we feel like eating hearty food, and more of it, or whether perhaps the pressure is off to look good in swimsuits or summer clothes, it is definitely something that happens at this time of year. What can you do to get yourself re-motivated and back in the right mood to keep going with your healthy eating?
First, you need to ask yourself, why am I doing this? Why do I want to make changes to my diet and lifestyle? I think for most people the answer is that they are unhappy with the way they currently are. Sometimes it can be because they, or someone they know, has had a health scare. Sometimes it is the ordeal of attempting to get that top button on the pair of jeans done up without feeling like you have been cut in half, or you might seen an unflattering photo of yourself at a social gathering. Whatever your motivation, you need to keep it in mind when the going gets tough, because really, there are only two options - carry on and eventually get to a place where you are happy with yourself, or give up and remain unhappy.
Once you have worked out WHY you want to change your diet, what else can help you stay on track?
Here are some suggestions:
- Let’s get together and write a new food plan and set targets for you to meet.
- Keep a food and exercise diary – no excuses, they really do work if you are serious.
- Decide how and when you will fit in a few exercise sessions per week. The goal would be to exercise at least 4 times a week for at least 30 minutes. The shorter the exercise session, the higher intensity it needs to be. If you want to do it, you will make the time.
If you don’t want to exercise alone in the dark, then ask around and see if you can find an exercise buddy. Or perhaps you could walk with a work colleague at lunch time.
Consider hiring a piece of exercise equipment for a few months.Try it before you buy it! If you like group fitness exercise there are a large number of classes available.
- There are quite a few ‘wrist strap devices’ around how which provide feedback on just about everything you do. From how much sleep you get, how many calories you have burnt, how many steps you have taken, your heartrate, etc. I’ve just started using a Fitbit HR Charge and am loving it. I’ve found that it has really been great for re-motivating me. I use the Fitbit online diary to log my food, exercise, water, etc and have set targets for calories and weight loss. Most of these devices sync to your smartphone and computer so that you can check in and see if you are meeting your targets. I like the fact that it makes me work harder whilst exercising and I also make the effort to get more steps in during the day.
- Accountability is huge and it is one of the reasons most new clients say they want to come and see me. Keep regular appointments and again, keep your diary.
- Awareness of what and how much you are eating is crucial. How easy is it to mindlessly graze a few hundred extra calories per day? A bit of this and a bit of that does add up!
- Plan your menu for the next day. Organisation and planning are absolutely vital to success. You need to know what you will be eating to ensure that you have it on hand, or will be making it available. Random eating leads to random results.