Well, it’s been a week since Resolution-Day. How are you holding up?
If you have EXTREME willpower, it’s probably going quite well. You are sticking to it, but you’re starting to feel the stress…
January 1st is the usual day that people decide will be the start of their new life. They will start that diet, they will lose that weight, they will start an exercise regime.
January 2nd is when they realise how much hard work it is, and they hit a brick wall.
The problem here is twofold. First, it’s just been that marvelous Holiday Season, with all the decadent food – and some of that food is still lingering. It’s hard to ignore when it is sat there on the counter, staring you in the face.
The second problem is that it is all too much too fast. Going from Christmas pudding every day to healthy meat-and-two-veg-no-cake-and-eat-it/">dessert and exercise is a very big change that, due to the nature of a resolution, happens overnight.
The best way to change a habit and make it stick is to change one little thing at a time. You may not feel it’s best for you or your body, but the goal is long term and there is no quick fix.
Imagine you go to McDonald’s every day, and buy two double cheeseburgers, a large fries, and a large coke. Maybe your ultimate aim is to eat salad and water – whatever, that’s not important. Depending on your point of view, you are eating too many calories, too much fat, too many carbs, or a combination of the above.
You roll up to McDs, and order a salad and water. You eat it, but still feel starved. So you go back again and order your usual…so end up eating more than normal! Sound familiar?
What if you just bought you usual meal, but changed it to either one double cheeseburger, or two single cheeseburgers? You would instantly cut out 300 calories or more, and a decent amount of fat and carbs. If you do nothing else, you’d be cutting back on around 100,000 calories a year!
Stick it for a few weeks, and then drop down to a medium coke and medium fries.
A few more weeks, maybe go diet coke.
And then, down to a single cheeseburger.
And you’ll suddenly be used to it, and wonder how you managed to eat so much before. You’ll also be saving about a thousand calories per meal!
Calories are not the be-all and end-all. But becoming mindful of what you eat, how much you eat, and when you eat it can all help with fat loss. There is no one true solution for everyone – there are 7 billion people on the planet, and different methods work for different people as we are all unique. But as a general rule, reducing the amount of rubbish you eat often helps!
A few, very select people can cut something out of their diet (or life) and go on as if nothing happened. The other 99% of us are not so lucky. If you’ve gone a week and returned to your old habits, then the chances are that big changes are not for you, and taking small baby steps is the way forward. Each little step is still progress towards your ultimate goal, and don’t give up just because you perceive someone is going faster than you. Remember the tortoise and the hare? Both of them munch on lettuce…but the one that took their time did better overall.
So what to do? Start small, but aim for the stars – and even if you miss, you’ll eventually land on the moon.
Or just eat one less cheeseburger every day.