How to Achieve Your Fitness + Nutrition Goals

Fitness, Nutrition

There are many, many reasons why people aren’t successful in achieving their fitnessand nutrition goals. I am going to cover the most common reasons why people fail and I will also suggest some strategies you can use to overcome these limitations.

I want to start off by saying that if you are not truly ready to change, it won’t matter how much knowledge you have, or how great your plan is, or even how small and easy your new habit is, because you won’t end up sticking to it.

Being ready for change requires commitment, consistency, preparation, flexibility and the willingness to accept responsibility for our behavior.

Even if you are someone who enjoys and embraces change, the initial adjustment period is always going to be difficult because so much is unknown and because there is often a huge learning curve. Combine these two things together, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.

Humans are creatures of habit and when we don’t know what lies ahead, or aren’t familiar with the process, we get anxious, nervous and scared.

These feelings are normal, so acknowledge them and maybe even write down what you fear the most. Are you scared of failure, or maybe even success? Are you nervous that your relationships might change? Are you experiencing discomfort due to lack of control? Are you worried about what people will think?

Being aware of and acknowledging your fears and anxieties will help you move past these feelings in a productive manner and enable you to focus on actually making a change. Once you are ready to make a change, the best way to move forward is to just start walking, taking just one step at a time until you get really good at it.

Research shows that when people try to make even just two changes at once, they are only 35% likely to be successful. If you stick to one change at a time, your odds of success shoot up to 85%.

I even take it one step further and advise clients to choose the easiest habit they can think of as long as it’s in line with their goals. Remember, confidence build success. Then, once you have incorporated a single habit into your life for two or three weeks, you can incorporate another one. Don’t try to do it all at once because chances are, you will fail.

Even when I used to diet down for competitions, I didn’t jump into a new style of eating all at once – I eased my way into it. Each month, my diet slowly got stricter and my body and mind were able to adapt gradually (and prepare for what comes next) because it was happening at an almost indiscernible pace. This way I was able to stay physically healthy and mentally sane.

The second crucial piece of advice to make a new habit stick is to shape your environment for success. Making a lifestyle change is hard enough, so don’t make it harder on yourself by testing your willpower at every turn.

Research shows that when people try to make even just two changes at once, they are only 35% likely to be successful. If you stick to one change at a time, your odds of success shoot up to 85%.

This is one of the reasons that most people tend to blow their diets in the evening. You may not even be aware that you are depleting your willpower throughout the day. Resisting the candy bowl at work, not yelling at your kids, standing up to your boss, finding motivation to make it to the gym…all of these things use up your willpower so that at the end of the day it becomes very, very hard to resist temptation.

My advice is, don’t try. Set up your environment in a way that makes it easy to succeed. Don’t keep treats or junk food in the house. Go to bed half an hour early so you don’t snack in front of the TV. Lay out your workouts clothes before you go to bed. Log tomorrow’s meals into myfitnesspal. Sign up for an online fitness class, or book a session with your trainer so you’re already committed.

The third piece of advice is to set up a strong and positive support network. This can be done in person or virtually in the form of a workout partner, a meal prep buddy,a sports coach / team, a personal trainer, a nutrition coach, or an online nutrition and fitness program (like ours!).

If your friends are sabotaging your efforts, seek out some healthier friends or groups who (virtually or physically) actively help support and encourage your new lifestyle.

Finally, if all else fails, don’t underestimate the power of distraction. Humans were meant to be distracted and we’re not as good at focusing on one thing as most people think they are. Distraction is a powerful tool you can use to divert your attention away from something unhealthy (like junk food, a craving or a bad habit that you are about to engage in) towards something more positive (like taking a bath, reading a book, calling a friend, or going for a walk).

The best way to distract yourself is simply to move from the area of temptation to a different room or setting. This not only works for dealing with overcoming bad habits but also when you’re feeling anxious, sad, or upset (which often leads to bad habits or negative coping mechanisms).

So next time you find yourself struggling, move your body to a better place in order to move your mind to a better place.

Michelle Vodrazka
Owner, PRO Trainer, Nutritionist
www.almontefitnesscentre.com

Michelle Vodrazka is an internationally recognized personal trainer, fitness instructor, nutritionist, with over 25 years of experience in the health and fitness industry. She is a national fitness competitor and best-selling author of three healthy eating cookbooks.