If you’re visiting this post, chances are you’re ready to, once and for all, take control of your health and your fitness.
You’re ready to look better and, most importantly, to feel better. And if that’s the case, I’m glad you’ve found your way!
You see, the health and fitness world can be – scary. With so much information out there, it’s really easy to find yourself lost, frustrated, and powerless.
But, guess what? It doesn’t have to be that way.
You see, with just a few tweaks in the way you look at food and exercise, you can virtually eliminate the frustration and confusion.
With a few simple strategies, you can virtually guarantee yourself success.
So that’s what we’re going to cover in today’s lesson. 5 easy tips that you can implement to help you be your most healthiest and happiest.
1. Do Less.
People make change hard on themselves by attempting to change too many things at once. They try to overhaul their diet, their exercise habits, their finances, their relationships, etc., all at once — and each of those changes is probably made up of 10-20 smaller behaviors that have to change. That’s a big mistake.
A rule that doesn’t make sense to a lot of people at first: to achieve more, you have to do less.
My own experience as a coach (and plenty of emerging research) shows that people can typically change only one behavior at a time.
Read that again: One. Behavior. At. A. Time.
Human beings are impatient. We want instant gratification. We want everything now — or better yet, yesterday. In fact, one particular client told us that he would have preferred had we taught him all the habits and behaviors at once, instead of doling them out over the course of a few month.
That sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? I mean, if there are things he could have done from the very beginning, why did we wait 4 or 5 months to have him do them? Couldn’t he have done more?
You see, doing more is the problem! It’s what everyone tries to do. They go in guns blazing, making massive changes across the board, only to collapse in a heap of exhaustion and self-loathing when the first promise to themselves is broken. Of course, you COULD change more than one thing at once, but not for long, and never for long enough to see lasting, sustainable improvement — which is what you really want, isn’t it?
Accept the fact that you can only change one behavior at a time, and you will succeed. Try to change more than one thing at a time, and you will fail.
It’s really that simple.
2. Focus on your nutrition — exercise doesn’t work.
You know the old exercise myth perpetuated by gyms across the globe telling us that as long as we exercise a few times a week and eat a “sensible diet”, whatever that means, we’ll have cover model abs.
Well, we’ve got almost 10 years experience and a whole binder full of studies that suggest otherwise. In fact, two recent studies have shown that exercise alone, isn’t all that effective for helping people lose fat, gain lean, and improve their body composition. I know it’s hard to believe. But it’s totally true.
One, done at the University of Texas, showed that with 6 hours of strength + cardio exercise per week for 3 straight months, participants only lost 1lb of fat vs. their completely sedentary counterparts.
Let’s contrast the results of the study above with the results of our last group of clients who’ve been focusing on both nutrition and exercise habits. Over the course of the last 6 months these clients lost, on average, 15 lbs of body fat, while gaining 5 lbs of lean muscle. But that’s just the average!
So, if you’re hoping to change your body significantly this year, whether you like it or not, you’re gonna have to nail down your diet. Research has proven it. Years of experience have validated the research. And the sooner you realise it, the sooner you’ll be on track to awesome results.
3. Find a support network.
Weight gain can spread like a virus. Indeed, a few months ago, we reviewed a provocative study. A study that looked into patterns of weight gain and obesity in communities, and the conclusion was this: Weight gain is contagious.
Now, of course they didn’t mean that someone could cough on you and a few days later you’d wake up with a temperature and fifty extra pounds around your waist. Body fat doesn’t spread like a germ, but it does spread. The study concluded that it spreads through the behaviors we pick up, most of the time subconsciously, from those around us.
Fortunately, leanness also can also be contagious. If you hang out with people who INSPIRE you, who LIFT YOU UP, inevitably you’ll find yourself inspiring others, and lifting up those around you.
Decide today to go out and add some more fitness-minded people to your life. Start small. If you don’t have anyone, find someone. If you’ve got one person, find a second. If you’ve got two people, find a third. Find a training partner. Join a group class. Find a friend of a friend who’s done what you want to do and just ask them for help.
Really, if you don’t have a strong social support circle, people who can help you, people who inspire you, people you can lean on, then that’s one of the first things that needs to improve this year.
4. Give yourself an incentive.
This year, if you’re committing to getting in better shape than ever before, what’s your incentive going to be? Are you going to have a body transformation contest with your friends? With your work colleagues? A holiday somewhere special?
It doesn’t matter what the incentive is. But there has to be one. And it has to be big enough to keep you focused when your motivation drifts. Which it always does, even if for just a little while.
5. Do something — anything — right now.
In fitness and in life. If you don’t do it now, it’s not likely you’ll ever do it.
I know, I know, you like to “do your research”, read, learn, reason, and decide. But, the Chinese have a great saying that tells you exactly where that gets you: one who deliberates fully before taking their first step will spend their entire life on one leg. And you know Nike have a simpler one: just do it.
I’ve found that those who just do it, need 3 things. First, they need a sense of importance. At some deep level, you need to genuinely feel that changing your habits and your body is really important.
Second, you need confidence. Not necessarily in yourself (although that helps). After all, almost everyone starting something new lacks confidence. No, you need confidence in your plan. You need to really believe that the plan you’re about to follow, will work.
Third, you need a willingness to act. You see motivation comes and goes. And the trick is to strike when the iron is hot. To act decisively when the motivation is there.
The key is to do something positive, anything, right now. To be decisive, and act in a way that brings you even an inch closer to your dream. If you can do it on your own, go for it. If you need help, get it. It doesn’t matter what it is. As long as it’s positive and you can do it in the next 5 minutes.