Why New Year’s Diet & Fitness Resolutions Never Work (Part 2)

In part one of, Why New Year’s Diet & Fitness Resolutions Never Work (and what to do Instead) I discussed,

  1. Why New Year’s Resolutions don’t work when it comes to health and fitness, and;
  2. Why a structured, habit-based “behavioural” approach to nutrition and wellbeing over a longer term results in easy and sustainable weight loss.

Here’s the link to read and watch part 1.

In part two of today’s post (the conclusion) I’ll talk about,

  1. How cooking your meals in bulk or meal planning your week reduces decision fatigue, and;
  2. Why there’s always enough time to do or achieve whatever you want in life.

Watch the Facebook Live video

Here’s a link to my Facebook page if the video isn’t available.

Decision Fatigue is making you gain weight

Let’s take a moment to become present. I want you to take a slow, deep breath, now. Inhale through the nostrils and then hold it for a moment. Now, slowly exhale. Let’s do that one more time.

Now, think about your life. Think about how your day started. Do you remember how you felt when you woke up? What did you eat for breakfast? Did you even eat breakfast?

We’re busy. We’re tired. We’re rushed. Most of us live our lives at 100 km/h speeding through decision after decision.

Who has “enough time?”

We’re focused on so many things — problems at work, your kids, or the news. There are so many things demanding our attention and this is what causes decision fatigue. At the end of the day most of us are exhausted and just say “screw it” to cooking a healthy meal or having a workout.

Does this sound like you?

What is decision fatigue? 

Simple put, the more decisions you have to make in a day, the more difficult it becomes to make the good choices later in the day. Your decision-making ability shuts down.

How you can manage decision fatigue to improve your health

Let’s say you’re trying to lose weight. If a particular food is not in your proximity you can’t eat it. No willpower is required to not eat those chips or ice cream because it’s not there to eat.

Eliminate the “bad” choices you don’t want to make in your life.

  1. Make a list of your Red Light or trigger foods. What foods will you eat to excess that you know are bad for you? What foods make you crave more?
  2. Your action step is to make the decision to remove them from your home. When these foods are not around, you don’t have to make a decision
  3. Make your home environment healthy by default, i.e. make if free of unhealthy foods in the cupboards or fridge.
  4. However, don’t deprive, or restrict yourself from eating foods you love. Instead choose to have healthy options always available (your so-called Green Light foods) to make it easier to practice your healthy habits. But when you really need that treat or trigger food, go get it and enjoy it.
  5. You can manage your enjoyment of your Red Light foods by buying a smaller portion, a single-serving, or only enjoying it outside of the house, and so on.

Reduce decision fatigue by planning and cooking meals in advance

  1. You can have a more effective week if you make or remove major decisions before your week starts on the weekend.
    • For example, make an appointment with yourself in your calendar for when you are going to exercise;
    • for when you will shop for groceries;
    • for when you will cook a week of meals on Sunday;
    • or when you choose your meals from a meal delivery service, and so one.
  2. When you have prepared meals in your fridge you don’t have to worry about the “bigger decision” of what to cook when you get home at night. That’s done. You only have to make a very small decision like, “Do I want the broccoli or the sweet potatoes?” Heat up your dinner and enjoy it
  3. You can minimize food decisions on a daily basis if you plan and prepare the night before. What small decisions can you make before bed so that you have fewer decision to make in the morning. Planning ahead allows you to get up and get moving more easily.

Simplicity makes behavioural change easier

When you use these strategies to create more simplicity and reduce daily decision-making, it’s far easier to stick to your healthy habits without having to think or worry about completing them.

There’s always enough time to do or achieve whatever you want in life.

I like what author, Gay Hendrick, refers to as “Einstein Time” in his book, The Big Leap, which means that time is simply a concept and we create our own time.

We decide and chose what to spend time on, thus we are not limited by time. The limitation or scarcity of time is also a mental construct.

While time is simply a concept, what’s more important is connecting with and identifying our drives and motivations that will help us prioritize the actions and habits that will improve our wellbeing and help us to achieve our goals and vision.

When we convince ourselves that we don’t have enough time to do something it’s either a result of fear, self-judgment, or procrastination.

We often procrastinate because of a lack of vision, which is not having a clear understanding of the changes that need to happen.

So going back to what I spoke about earlier, if you were to prioritize cooking meals in bulk you would be more effectively managing your time and creating a structure (a meal plan) for you week. This means fewer big decisions and no need for procrastination because having prepared meals means you can now easily support your healthy eating behaviour.

To change you need to first want to change.

Then you need a goal or a vision, both of which require an action plan that may consist of various projects or tasks that will support the desired outcome.

When we work together, part of the deep coaching experience is to get “emotionally clear and connected” to what you most want, and your WHY for wanting to achieve your desired goal.

Without a deep emotional resonance, there is little power or energy to drive your motivation in the tough times.

What’s your vision for 2017?

Ask yourself…

  • What do you want to be better than 2016?
  • What do you want to stop doing?
  • What do you want to start doing?
  • What do you want to do less of?
  • What are you already doing but want to improve upon?

I’m here to help

If you want to make 2017 a healthier, better year, and want to learn more about my one-on-one transformative coaching, or my year-long structured nutrition program, simply fill out the form below to book a complimentary 90-minute discovery call with me.

Be well.