Not Enough information/The Wrong Information
This one is easily the first one that throws everyone off. Not everyone comes across the same information and there’s a lot of it out there. If we’re not careful, we can find ourselves committing to the wrong bit of information.
Just look how terribly the low calorie thing went. The key here is to avoid leaving our health resolutions in the hand of Dr. Oz. Its easy to believe the hype online or jump on the latest fad bandwagon, but whenever you find yourself getting excited, step back.
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect. – Mark Twain
We can develop great health plans by simply taking our time to weed through the information out there and see what the science says about it. It isn’t really complicated. As long as the studies are controlled, consistent and repeatable, its generally safe to look deeper into that idea.
There is usually a community for health and weight loss. That’s usually a good place to find information and studies. There are plenty of different ones, so just look around. I would recommend taking a look at the Paleo community however.
The second part to this is not knowing enough about the right information. If you just follow a few “to-do” bullet points of a seemingly great diet without understanding the details that make it work, there is plenty of room for error. Sometimes you may run across a questionable food or in some cases, you may be overly sensitive to one macronutrient over the other. Without the details behind the plan, you can’t really refine and personalize your plan.
Relying on just steps alone is a huge failure point as well.
Imagine building a house without a blueprint? Or even simpler, just think how consistent and easy cooking is if you follow a strict recipe.
Not having a plan is the biggest failure point of health resolutions. A good rule of thumb is always to add first, subtract second.
If you’re going to go on a diet, think about the good foods you should be eating and add them to your diet, then slowly replace the not so good foods. Too many people start backwards and operate under scarcity.
If you start taking away the bad food first, and THEN start trying to figure out what to eat, you might have scarce options and crack under hunger when there’s nothing around. There’s no reason to rush straight into that. Add, then when you have more than enough, eliminate the unnecessary.
Start with a few simple recipes that you can maintain easily and have flexible access to. If you eat out often, write down the places you eat at and think about their paleo or low carb options. Have a system set up to cover all possible failure points. You should never be in a position where you’re scrambling for food. You might have to resort to subpar options.
3. Not Consistent
Anything worth while is long term. There, you heard me say it. I’m not a fan of short bursts of excitement and then “back to the grind”. I like sustainability because most worthwhile goals thrive on that. Exercise and weight loss are long term goals. You can’t work out, gain muscle and stop working out. You’ll start to lose it over time. The same for eating healthy. You can’t eat healthy, lose weight and go back to eating crap. You’ll just gain weight again over time.
The key is to have a system that is easy enough for YOU to follow. There are plenty of plans and recipes out there, but we’re all different and have different taste buds. Some of us work long hours and can’t sit there and create gourmet recipes, others don’t know how to cook and don’t have the time to learn.
Find a system that you can easily maintain for the long term. Once you maintain it for a little while and tweak it to keep it consistent, you’ll find that it will form into a habit. A habit, just like smoking is something that’s hard to get rid of. In the case of health resolutions, they are good habits, so it works out just fine.
If anyone has anything specific they’re struggling with, please feel free to reach out in the comments below and I will gladly get back to you!