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Stick To Healthy Diets Effortlessly By Riding Your Motivation Wave

Stick To Healthy Diets Effortlessly By Riding Your Motivation Wave

When creating personal goals and self-improvement strategies, our health is usually at the top of the list. We start off strong – full of motivation and plenty of willpower – but we all know the feeling of losing that after a month, week, or sometimes even a few short hours.

Despite knowing that healthy eating is important for our bodies, keeping up the habit can be a struggle. So how do we tackle losing motivation and create a long-term health kick that lasts?

Demotivation Kicks In When We Don’t See Results Instantly

At the start of a health kick, we’re excited for the changes we’re making but we’re also evolved to want instant results. When we don’t see these immediately, demotivation kicks in. We know the healthy choice we need to make but that motivation wanes.

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Even chopping up the vegetables can start to feel lacklustre and boring. As a result, it’s easy to let your new healthy eating habits fall to the wayside pretty quickly.

Fasten Your Seatbelt! Motivation Is Like A Roller Coaster

Wouldn’t it be great if we could bottle up that initial motivation and keep it going? There is some good news!

According to research by Stanford psychologist, BJ Fogg there is a way to ride the motivational wave that can mean sustaining your motivation for healthy habits for a more extended period of time.

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So what is this motivational wave? Well, these are the fluctuations we experience in our motivational levels. For example, they are obviously pretty high in the beginning when we set out our healthy eating goals, when we’re combining it with exercise, or have a specific weight-loss goal. But they can dip when we’re tired from work, bored of the same food, stressed or fed up.

It’s this wave of ups and downs that play havoc with keeping ourselves on track.

Sticking To Your Habit Is Easy: Do More When You Feel Motivated

When it comes to our healthy eating habits, Fogg explains[1] that the key is to ride this motivational wave when it’s at a high.

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What does this mean? Well, putting in all the hard work when your brain is highly motivated will help you in those times when you want to give up or tempted to break your new habit.

One example is that once you’ve bought your vegetables and other healthy foods from the store (i.e. the wave is high and motivation is strong) utilize this time to come home and chop up and prepare the food so it’s done and ready for cooking later. Then, when you aren’t as motivated, you’ll have less work to do in order to remain healthy.

When You Feel Motivated, Seize The Moment And Do These Things!

So what do you do when you are feeling motivated? It could mean spending this motivational high researching interesting recipes and getting excited for different meals. This creates inspiration and forces the brain to see the long-term and associate healthy meals with excitement.

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It could also mean spending this motivated time to cook a big healthy meal in one go and store it in the refrigerator or freezer. This way you don’t have to deal with cooking it and is ready waiting for you when the wave is low.

It could mean making dates with equally motivated friends or family to come over and cook together as a way to gather up some support and keep the healthy habits going.

It’s all about grasping the time to do the harder work while motivation is at its highest. This means the times when motivation is lower and you’re feeling lazy, it’s all prepared in advance – less slip-ups and less chance of giving up while in demotivation mode. So, take a shot at riding the motivational wave, utilise its peak and see how far it can take you through your healthy eating journey.

Reference

[1]BJ Fogg: Motivation Wave

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Jenny Marchal

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on December 13, 2018

12 Practical Tips To Stay Fit For Christmas

12 Practical Tips To Stay Fit For Christmas

Christmas is approaching fast, and lots of people not only tend to ruin their usual diets, but they also gain a few extra pounds. Based on studies, the majority of people tend to gain additional weight during the holiday season that starts at the Thanksgiving Day and ends with the New Year celebrations. Excessive eating is claimed to be the main cause for the additional weight gain, but it is also due to lack of physical activity and exercise.

A lot of individuals out there tend to set aside their fitness routines during the holidays since they believe that they do not have enough time to perform their workouts. And because they feel guilty after the holiday season, most of the gyms and fitness centers are packed with fresh members. Always bear in mind that you can still enjoy the holidays and stay fit at the same time. If you want to stay fit during the holiday season, especially during Christmas and the New Year’s Eve, here are some useful tips that might help you:

1. Eat Before Heading Out

First, it is best that you eat something before heading out to visits, trips or family dinners. By doing so, you will no longer be tempted to eat a lot or overindulge yourself since you have already eaten. Skipping on meals is not a good idea either, because you will only be forced to eat more later.

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2. Select The Treats

Make sure to select the treats that you eat in a wise manner. You should choose something that you can only enjoy during the holiday season and not something that is readily available all the time.

3. Avoid Skipping Meals

Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast! Even though it can be tempting to skip on certain meals, believing that it will make up for the treats you consumed in the previous day, don’t do it because it will only lead to counterproductive results.

4. Drink With Moderation

It is best to regulate your drinking since alcohol, coke or other juices will only add more calories to the ones you already eaten!

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5. Be Active

You should still perform your fitness routine whenever possible and if you can’t do that, simply walk more, park your car some distance away from the store or just use the stairs!

6. Get Out Of The House

Make the holidays a family affair and plan outdoor activities where everyone is involved. Even a snowball fight in the backyard will burn a lot of calories and will keep the children entertained.

7. Don’t Skip Your Strength Workouts

Always remember to perform your strength training in order to maintain that muscle mass you worked hard to get. You might be tempted to use lightweights and just do some cardio, but you can burn just as many calories by lifting weights. And with all of those extra stakes you had on the holiday meals, you might even gain some extra muscle. And this is much better than gaining some extra fat.

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8. Set Realistic Goals

You should set realistic exercise objectives. Aim for at least half an hour per day and you will be very happy when you will achieve that. If you plan one hour or more and not achieve it, you will only end up disappointed.

9. Enjoy Yourself

Also make sure to set realistic diet plans! Trying to restrain yourself totally from some foods will only make you eat more. Feel free to enjoy the treats that you really love, but in small portions.

10. Drink A Lot Of Water

This can satiate your appetite as well as keep you hydrated at all times. And it will also prevent a possible hangover if you overdo it with alcohol.

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11. Eat Less And More Often

Distribute your meals evenly throughout the day, and do not eat everything at once.  Instead of having 2 enormous meals, have 5 small ones.  Eat your dinner earlier and have a nice walk before going to bed.

12. Prioritize Your Workouts

Try to do them early in the morning while everyone else is still sleeping. This way you will also avoid remarks like “Oh, come on! It’s Christmas…”

So there you go! Twelve simple tips that will help you avoid gaining weight during the winter holidays, but will also allow you to enjoy yourself and have a great time with your loved ones.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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