Why Are You Not Sticking To A Healthy Lifestyle, When Others Are?

Get Results: Being healthy isn't a fad or a trend, it's a lifestyle
Get Results: Being healthy isn’t a fad or a trend, it’s a lifestyle

Why do some people stick to a healthy diet, and a productive exercise routine, while others don’t?

If you’re not exercising regularly (even if it’s just regular walking), and you’re not maintaining a healthy weight, you’re not living a healthy life, and you maybe, should be making a change. We all know it can be difficult to shed the pounds, especially as we get older, but most of the reasons for not following through on a healthy lifestyle, are largely due to motivational issues, rather than physical constraints.

ALWAYS CONSULT A DOCTOR BEFORE UNDERTAKING ANY PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND DIETARY PLAN. THERE ARE SOME MEDICAL CONDITIONS THAT CAUSE EXCESS WEIGHT, SO CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR FIRST.

it is common knowledge,  that a mixture of good diet and regular exercise is required to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle, so we will be dealing with both in this article. I’m not going into the particulars about what foods to eat and not eat, and what exercises to undertake and what to avoid, in this article, it’s more about strategy, then execution.

Let’s look at some of the reasons and excuses for not sticking to a good diet and regular exercise routine and then what we can do about them. I have separated them out so that we can deal with them in turn, some of the points are repeated for both, where applicable. These are based on my experience,  you may find some of the points apply to you, and some may not. It is recommended that you make your  own list.

Self analysis

Not sticking to diet/eating plan

  • Giving in to a moment of weakness
  • Giving in to the urge/hunger
  • Inability to resist/delay (taste) gratification
  • Crave the taste/experience of (unhealthy/fatty food)
  • Think “will cut back tomorrow to make up”, but then don’t – (rationalise breaking the rules)
  • Procrastinating “I will start tomorrow/next week/new year”

What we can  do about it

  • Realise there is only ever this moment, so act NOW.
  • Don’t believe or fool yourself and your rationalisations – resist the temptation
  • Frame nice tasting food, negatively
  • Make healthy food more appealing and enjoyable
  • Fill yourself up on water (no calories), so you don’t feel hungry, sometimes thirst can be mistaken for hunger
  • Keep your mind busy, so you don’t think about food out of boredom
  • Avoid distractions and temptations altogether (no chocolates in cupboard)
  • Have an accountability buddy, or some mechanism for holding yourself to account
  • Set yourself a goal, that has no wriggle room and set a deadline to achieve it, hold yourself to account. So you will be embarrassed if you don’t achieve it
  • Set yourself an achievable target, that allows you to enjoy eating some treats (as part of the plan), then have zero tolerance for coming off plan. Mark X’s on a calendar each day you stick to your plan, don’t break the row of X’s
  • Make it part of your lifestyle, who you are, what you do. Make it a good habit. Once it becomes part of your routine, it will be easier to stick to.

Not exercising

  • Want to do something other than exercising, like watching TV, working on laptop.
  • Don’t want the discomfort of going outside, or having to pay and go to the gym, and missing out on doing more fun things.
  • Lack of energy willpower, can’t be bothered – lethargy.
  • Would rather be doing anything else – don’t enjoy exercising.
  • Procrastinating “I will start tomorrow/next week/new year”

What to do about it

  • Realise there is only ever this moment, so act NOW.
  • Try to undertake exercise that is fun to do – has a social element to it
  • Exercise in front of the TV, so you can do both
  • Remove the temptations or distractions, so you can’t do them anyway, even if you don’t exercise.
  • Do short bursts of high intensity, do them in advert break.
  • Have a accountability buddy, or exercise with one
  • Set yourself a goal, that has no wriggle room and set a deadline to achieve it, hold yourself to account. You will be embarrassed if you don’t achieve it
  • Don’t think about it, just set a routine and stick to it – make yourself do it, once it becomes a habit, it will get easier.
  • Set yourself an achievable target, that allows you to enjoy some treats or veto’s, then have zero tolerance for coming off plan. Mark X’s on a calendar each day you stick to your plan, don’t break the row of X’s
  • Make it part of your lifestyle, who you are, what you do

I have put down some of the things that go through my mind when I’m faced with the choice of either eating something I want to eat or eating healthy, and with regards to exercising or not. You should add your own excuses to this list as part of your self-awareness analysis.

Conclusion

First set yourself a GOAL, give yourself some room for TREATS, otherwise you will be miserable (thinking you are missing out too much) and will be unlikely to keep it up. Your goal has to be sustainable, and enjoyable, if possible. Some exercise is better than none.

Develop a PLAN OF ACTION to achieve your GOAL. Set to a timeline, with a deadline. In doing this, you have to tap into your SELF AWARENESS, and figure out why you’re not doing what you need to do, or find out why you’re doing things that are counter-productive to your goal. Try to manage your weaknesses. For example, If you can’t pull yourself away from the TV, stick a treadmill in front of it and do exercise while watching TV.

Then you have to TAKE RESPONSIBILITY. There is no short-cut, or magic formula (be very, very careful about taking slimming aids and quick fixes, they can result in untold damage to your body). Stop making excuses and blaming other people or circumstances and the stresses of life, for not following your plan.

TAKE RIGHT ACTION. Those that take RIGHT ACTION have made it part of their routine. They JUST DO IT. They have found a way to JUST MAKE IT HAPPEN. It can be difficult to go against your bad habits, so either find some form of HACK to fool yourself into complying, or just make yourself do it.

Finally, be COMMITTED to your goal and plan of action, see it through to a successful conclusion.

Good luck

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