And so the cycle goes.
I've seen this over and over. Rarely does a complete lifestyle overhaul last very long, and it usually leads to overindulging on the very foods we eliminated accompanied by a major drop off in exercise.
And we keep repeating this cycle as if something will change if we just want it enough. What's that cliché about doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result?
The answer isn't found in another insane workout program or strict diet plan. We've already proved that that doesn't work.
What does work is the implementation of small habits done consistently over a significant period of time. Booooorrrrring, right? That's so not sexy or complicated or new.
Aaahhh!!!! I get it, I really do. I'm in the I-want-all-the-results-yesterday club too. And patience is a virtue that I don't possess in great quantities. Trusting the process is hard. Waiting for results is hard. Feeling like you're doing everything right and not seeing progress is hard.
But you know what else is hard?
Killing ourselves in the gym and following a restrictive meal plan only to gain back the weight and then some a few weeks or months later.
So let's stop this vicious cycle. Let's try a new way. Or in this case, an old way that we just don't want to admit works.
Habits are the key. It's our default switch when we inevitably hit the afternoon slump and run out of willpower and we just don't give a shit.
It's the tool that reserves willpower for when we need it most.
It's the strategy that helps us make the best choices when optimal ones aren't available.
Start with one tiny thing that you can realistically do every single day and focus only on that one thing for 2 weeks before adding anything else.
* Stop at 80% fullness (eating "just enough" food and not stuffing yourself)
* Add protein to each meal and snack
* Add an extra serving of veggies to breakfast and lunch
* Eat mostly whole, minimally processed foods
* Reduce liquid calories (soda, juice, coffee creamer, alcohol, etc.)
* Switch out an unhealthy fat for a healthy one (fried foods for olive oil, nut butter, avocado, egg yolks, coconut oil, etc.)
And don't forget to track your progress, whether that's a chart or a check mark or note in your planner. When you are successful at least 80-90% of the time, you know you're ready to add something else. Resist the urge to add too much too fast, and you won't feel the need to cheat or "fall off the wagon."