Let’s face it: planning fitness resolutions is much easier than finding the sustained motivation to keep them going. Figuring out the mantra to stick to a workout routine is tough.
We all have the best intentions on January 1, but as the year unravels, we are once again caught up in the miserable cycle. The cycle consists of sheer determination in the first few days when we feel like we could conquer the world. However, it ends up in misery when we find ourselves faltering on the second day or a week at max.
As the time rolls- the flames of our motivation diminishes along with the will to make a change. We have all been there, done that.
What seemed so attainable a few days ago is now just a distant dream. If you are having troubles beginning a workout routine or following through, you are not alone. Many of us face struggles to get out of our comfortable sedentary zones, despite our best intentions.
However, it is important to remember that sticking to an exercise routine is not always easy. Even the most committed gymholic finds it difficult to get out of bed sometimes. While it is easy to blame various factors like- work, illnesses, hectic schedules, and so on; in the end, they are all excuses.
A healthy lifestyle requires commitment, dedication, consistency, and patience. It is not always about finding the best gym with the best services or the appointments of top-most nutritionists.
Yes, it might help you in optimizing your diets and workouts. It’s just that most people have trouble doing it. But in the long run- it is about finding the workout routine which you can adhere to. It is about religiously following it without a fail. It is about being regular with what works best for you. Staying in shape requires compliance.
Today, I am going to list some quick, scientifically-backed tips and tricks which will help you in your journey to fitness. These facts will help you in identifying the obstacles and helping you overcome them. These mental techniques will help you reach your goals when you’re feeling discouraged, overwhelmed, or simply, lazy.
Avoid Not Resist!
Saying a simple ‘no’ sounds so easy in theory. But what about the times when you see your favorite chocolate truffle pastry or cheese burst pizza?
Yes, you give in to that temptation real quick. Or let’s assume- you ate healthy the entire day starting with lemon water on an empty stomach and ending it on a fruit salad. But now its midnight and your cravings have surpassed all the limits. You are ready to eat whatever comes first in your vision. Have you also faced a similar scenario?
Well, the path of running away from your temptations is a circular one. You will eventually end up at the point from where you started. A series of a study published in the European Journal of Personality found out that people with high levels of self-control indulge in less frequent impulse inhibitions.
In other words, these people may not necessarily be better at resisting temptations. They might just experience it less in the first place.
Always denying food cravings will ultimately put you in a dietary jail. Hence, it is a good idea to show some flexibility when it comes to cravings. The solution would require you to change your environmental settings or daily routine. But if you want a permanent fix, you have to take a deeper look at where you experience temptation. Recognize the patterns and then figure out a way to come out of it.
When people are faced with a temptation, they experience a tug-of-war kind of situation. They are confused about whether they should eat it for pleasure or show restraint? This is because eating is a natural human tendency whereas restraint is not.
If you’re restraining yourself from certain kinds of food, you are increasing the probability of binge-eating it in the future. This is the reason why fad-diets, which deprive you of a major chunk of food groups do not work.
To prove this let us take this research where researchers gave some volunteers a bowl of M&Ms-
- Group 1 was told to eat as many as they want.
- Group 2 was told to not eat any.
- Group 3 was told that they could eat some later.
The researchers then told that the experiment was over and gave them M&Ms again. Now guess who ate the most? Group 2 was initially deprived of eating. And least? Group 3 who were told they could have some later. This is because when you set a specific time frame to indulge in your temptations, your mind and body become programmed to eat it that way.
You don’t engage in frequent consumption of junk food. It is the reason why cheat days are also an integral part of a successful diet. By moving the thought of consumption to the future, the body learns that temptation is not pleasurable or enjoyable.
So, go ahead and set a fixed day and time for your guilty pleasures. Schedule the days when you can enjoy your junk without constant guilt. Enjoy your food in moderation and your body will thank you forever.
Motivate The Right Way
It’s about time to ditch your all or nothing attitude. People believe that they have to finish the workout just as they imagined it. A full 30 minutes HIIT Cardio Workout with sufficient warmup and stretching.
They plan so many things in their heads like “I will wake up at 7 am” or “I will not touch a single piece of high-calorie food the entire day.” And when they fail to implement these imaginative scenarios they end up losing all the motivation again. Trust me, it is not the end of the world.
Even the smallest of victories are still victories. It doesn’t matter if you were unable to perform the full 30 minutes’ workout without running out of breath or panting. What matters the most is that you tried.
You got out of the bed, changed into your workout gear and did it; even if it was for 10 minutes. One slice of pizza doesn’t ruin your entire progress. And similarly, one day of skipping workout will not magically ruin all your efforts so far.
A wise person doesn’t give in when they falter. They take that lesson and come out stronger. If you exceeded your calorie intake today, make sure you burn out those extra calories in tomorrow’s workout. If you missed today’s workout, you might as well skip tonight’s dinner. In the end, it is all about maintaining the correct balance between your diet and exercise.
While it is good to have a structure for your regimen, it is not always necessary that you will work according to that framework. Even if you’ve blown out the workout for today, do as much as you can to compensate for it- even if that’s only 10 minutes.
A recent study conducted by a group of Canadian researchers suggests that your ability to say ‘No’ to temptations is directly linked to the place where your motivation comes from. There are typically two sets of goals a person can create for themselves-
- Have to goals- These goals are motivated by external factors and are set externally. For instance- you have to lose weight because your doctor asked you to.
- Want to goals- These are the goals which comes from inside of a person. They are directed by your own will and comes from within. For instance- You want to lose weight because you want to fit in your favorite dress for an upcoming event.
Researchers found out that people who are motivated by the “have to” goals displayed more effortful levels of self-control. On the other hand, those who are motivated by “want to” goals face lesser disruptions and thus do not need to exert higher self-control.
It all comes down to how you prioritize your goals and set your standards. Start with smaller goals. The reason is that when you set high expectations and are unable to meet them, you end up feeling upset and discouraged.
Mistakes do not always mean failure. It is just about consistency over weeks, months, and even years. So if today you woke up on time but were unable to make it to the gym, it is still a win-win situation.
Benefits Of #Foodporn
Yes, you heard that right. If you have been on social media for a while now, you must have come across this term. For those who don’t know, foodporn is a glamourized visual presentation of food.
Back in the day, it was considered rude to even look at your mobile phones during meals. But now, is it even a meal if you haven’t shared it on your Instagram stories? So, you might be wondering what does this foodporn does to your brains? Well, it turns out that it works differently for everyone.
A series of studies concluded that photographing food is pleasurable for “indulgent” foods like- pizza, burgers, ice-creams, pasta etc. For some people, looking at pictures of their favorite foods can lead to more cravings. But for some, just looking at the pictures and imagining it can be a satisfactory experience.
However, for the larger majority- viewing food porn is pleasurable and yet, surprisingly doesn’t make people want to eat the pictures food. On the contrary, viewing such pictures can induce satiety and decrease the desire for food. Not only food-porn is guilt-free but it can also encourage some healthy eating habits.
A new study conducted by experts from Columbia University and SEAS suggests that these tempting pictures of food may encourage people to make better choices.
Imagine- a hot chocolate lava cake with chocolate oozing out from center topped with some vanilla ice-cream. Sounds delicious. Doesn’t it?
If you happen to see this picture on your Instagram feed, chances are your cravings will be automatically satisfied just by looking at the picture. But when you see your favorite food, let’s say a pizza overloaded with cheese, you are most likely to give up on diet an indulge in it.
So, it time to eat with your eyes and use foodporn to your advantage. The next time you’re craving strongly for that favorite dish of yours, try looking at its pictures for a good foodgasm.
Sticking to a good fitness program or adopting a healthy lifestyle is not a constant uphill battle. Once you can understand the science behind diet and fitness psychology, you are on the right track.
Make it a deliberate habit to enjoy engaging in healthy habits like eating healthy, exercising, and sleeping on time. Focus on one habit at a time. Try to build momentum and you will find a complete change of attitude within a few months.
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