While planning a fitness goal, one should be aware of the goal and the ways to approach it.
Few questions to ask before planning and executing.
- How to make changes?
- What should be the pace to progress the goal?
- Should I go slow or fast?
In the beginning, everyone is energetic to do anything to achieve the goal. The energy lasts for a few days. Soon everything starts to look overwhelming. Things that looked easy now seems to be the toughest task. Within a few days, it feels easy to quit rather than continuing.
A single reason for major failures, people don’t know how to approach the goal. Before moving to take actions, we need to fix this problem.
A plan to make incredible progress in a short period is the biggest hurdle. When you get started, you aren’t aware of how the body will react to the routine. As the body isn’t habitual to a new routine, it will be responsible for stress.
Changes shouldn’t be a source of stress.
Stress hormones can compel us to do things that calm us, as per studies. It makes you quit activities responsible for stress.
Dopamine is the feel-good hormone and it slashes stress out of life. Without dopamine and increased stress due to extreme changes, the body will feel uncomfortable. To lower the stress, the body will force you to quit what it find stressful. Then it will motivate to do things that release dopamine to cope with stress.
If the body feels that your fitness routine is causing stress, it will compel to quit. It’s a reason why major quit fitness routine.
Eating cake is pleasurable as it boosts the release of dopamine, with the least effort. When you quit the cake, you won’t receive enough dopamine. As you stop receiving dopamine from your diet, you won’t feel motivated to continue. The body will resist its best to prevent any uncomfortable condition.
The problem is quick changes, so focus on slow changes. For a lifelong healthy life:
- Go slow and make consistent improvement.
- Make a change at a time.
- Be patient and mindful of what your body signals you.
A lifestyle change should be made like better, rather than adding stress. When you make a slow change, one at a time, you will make changes without stress. Slow changes don’t throw pressure on the body, so it doesn’t resist changes.
It’s tough to quit processed food at once when one someone is addicted for long. When you eat those foods, there is a rush of dopamine (a feel-good hormone) the reason for addiction. With exposure to the excess amount of dopamine for long, dopamine regulators get down-regulated. Down-regulated receptors accept less dopamine so you don’t get the pleasure you were craving. To get the same effect you have to eat more. During that period, if you quit food that provided dopamine, you will feel the craving. Stress level will rise due to lack of enough dopamine. While you will be forced to eat food responsible for dopamine rush without your will.
It’s a common problem everyone face when they try to make extreme changes to their eating routine. To back dopamine receptors to its normal, give around 3-4 week. To avoid any withdrawal symptoms due to the sudden drop of dopamine, make slow changes.
When you reduce the intake of processed food, you still receive dopamine, but less, which you can resist with little willpower. It’s the best solution to reduce processed food. Meanwhile, the dopamine receptors start to function normally, so it accepts most of the dopamine. Healthy food also boosts dopamine, but you won’t overeat such foods. The reason for great feeling is due to improved satiety and energy flow. The best part – you won’t be able to overeat and stay full for long.
When approaching towards a lifetime changes, you will come across two approaches:
- One new healthy habit at a time
Avoid all-or-nothing approach in any condition.
US researchers at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston compared the success rate of people who took an all-or-nothing approach (to quit unhealthy food, cut sodium, added fitness routine, all at once) to people who adopted one-new-habit-at-a-time.
After 18 months period,
In the all-or-nothing approach group, only 6 percent of the volunteers maintained all their new habits.
While in the one-new-habit-at-a-time group, had the major success rate with lowered cholesterol, high weight loss rate and they kept their fitness routine. The success rate is high among people with slow changes as they were able to continue for an extended period.
When you adopt a fitness routine it’s suggested to start slow. The body takes time to adapt to a new level of activity, so don’t rush things and make exercise painful.
Don’t consider small changes isn’t a worth. A 12 week of exercise can increase strength equal to three decades of lost strength.
Small Changes and Compound Effect
Small but consistent changes are the best way to adopt and maintain a healthy routine, experts on it. Aim for one or two change each week.
Don’t think small changes mean less benefit. Small changes will give a great result.
- Add an extra portion of vegetables and cut down potato;
- Eat nuts instead of unhealthy snacks;
- Focus on losing 1lbs each week rather than 2-3 lbs;
- Add more veggies and beans to breakfast than sugar ladened processed foods
- Switch from white bread to whole-grain bread
- Drink unsweetened iced tea instead of unsweetened drink
- Fit 10-30 minutes of physical activity
When adding small changes every week you get the compound effect after a few weeks. Within a month you will have 4-6 healthier habits. When you continue for an extended period, you will have a stack of healthier habits. As you follow those healthy habits you will get a compound effect in the result. You will achieve your healthy weight, lower cholesterol, improve strength, and there will be many good things going inside your body.
As you start with small changes, you start to build a momentum. Your body starts to receive healthy nutrients so it starts to repair its past damages. As changes are small and with habit (act done with the least willpower or conscious decision), your life starts to simplify. You don’t feel stress while adopting a healthier practice, so the body doesn’t resist change.
Key Traits To Adopt For a Lifetime Healthy Life
1. Learn To Be Patient
A healthier habit is the secret to achieve a healthier body.
Without healthy habits, you will spend cognitive energy on making healthier choices. The more time you spend cognitive energy on making the decision, quicker you find it tough to follow. Soon the routine gets tough to handle and you find it easy to quit.
If you want to stay healthy, you need healthy habits. It takes two to eight week to build a habit (second nature). The longer you stick with the routine, better the lifestyle you will build. It will take time, so be patient.
2. Be Consistent
Planned 3-5 days of exercise per week, decided to add 1 serving of fruits and veggies till it becomes 6-7 serving, will walk 30 minutes or decided other plans.
When you plan to make changes, you need to make time. You need to be serious about the task you plan, and stay consistent with that practice.
If you decided to maintain a daily log, then do it without missing a single day. Missing a single day will break the chain of habit formation. To build a habit you have to be consistent.
3. Get Support
“Learn from the expert. You will never live long enough to learn it all for yourself” is a great principle of success said by Kop Kopmeyer.
To achieve a healthy body you need to know about your body, how it works, what it needs, best ways to adopt anything, and much more things; summing up lots of things to learn which requires lots of time. But it shouldn’t be the case, you can find expert or people who have gone through it. They will provide you guidance and save a few months spend on trial and error. With better guidance and understanding, you will make faster progress.
You can find support online, read a book or consult a dietician, or by joining a gym.
4. Small Changes Have Compound Effect
It takes time to build habits and looks like a small change. Small changes in every part of life (eating, fitness, quitting unhealthy addiction) will give a great change in a few months.
Daily little effort will add to give a great result as a Compound Effect.