Advertising
Advertising

See How Your Brain Can Ruin Any of Your Workout or Healthy Eating Plans.

See How Your Brain Can Ruin Any of Your Workout or Healthy Eating Plans.

Exercising. You look great when you do it, you feel amazing when you get through a routine, but sometimes you just can’t muster the motivation to get moving. It’s so easy to tell yourself that you can skip a day, and pick up where you left off on the following day. But you tell yourself that the next day. And the next day. You see where this is going. After a few days of pushing it off, you’ll just abandon the work-out routine altogether.

Dieting can be just as tricky. Cheat days come so far and few between, and sometimes you really just want to eat a flippin’ cookie! With proper diet planning, there is plenty of room for cookies. But that is not the point. Just because we want something, doesn’t mean that it’s going to manifest itself. In order to get the results that we desire, we need to put the work in.

Our brains have created shortcuts to goals, that’s why we now want to burn fat instant as lightning

    Photo credit: Source

    Advertising

    Social media gets a lot of heat for altering the way in which we view ourselves and how we think that our lives should be. To be brutally honest, it’s well deserved. Many of us have become addicted to the pleasure that instant-gratification illusion from social media has provided us with (instant likes, which translates into approval from our peers). Many marketers[1] use this technique to attract us to their products. This addiction to instant-gratification puts us at a disadvantage. Because now, we just expect things rather than seek ways to earn them.

    Many of us unknowingly have succumbed to time preference [2], a concept where we put a heavier emphasis on short-term outcomes rather than long-term. In the moment, we tell ourselves that it is okay not pursue a goal, because at the moment we are comfortable[3] where we are. This relates to why so many people give up on their workout routines and goals; because the “burn” is causing them discomfort, or because they are not seeing the results that they desire right away. In order to breathe some life back into our ambition, we need to kick the need for instant gratification, and focus on the big picture.

    The story of marshmallows does give your life outcome some hints

      Photo credit: Source

      Advertising

      In a study orchestrated by Walter Mischel, a professor at Stanford University in the late 1960’s to the early 1970’s, studying the effects of delayed gratification.

      A group of children were given the choice between receiving one small reward immediately, or receiving two small rewards if they chose to wait. The waiting period was for about 15 minutes, where the tester would leave the room for this time and return with the two small prizes. The prizes were usually cookies or pretzels, but sometimes marshmallows were used, hence the name.

      Years later a follow-up study was conducted on the now grown up children of the Marshmallow Experiment. The results showed that a majority of the children who had chosen to wait for the larger reward achieved better life outcomes down the line. These achievements were determined by factors such as SAT scores, educational attainment, and body mass index.

      When we are willing to wait and work towards a greater outcome, we tend to appreciate it more when we finally achieve it. A personal example of this dates back to my childhood/ early adolescents. My dad always provided me with what I needed, but if I wanted something, I had to work for it. Obviously as a 10 year old I didn’t have the means or working papers to afford what I wanted, so I would offer to perform jobs around the house, or put up my birthday money to pay half the cost of a digital camera, or whatever it was my heart was after. I appreciated and cared for my possessions because I had worked for them. I wouldn’t have viewed them to be as valuable if they had just been given to me.

      Advertising

      This appreciation for dedication and future outcomes are the foundation to fitness and a healthy lifestyle. You need to push passed the temptation to put it off until tomorrow, or bail on your diet, because doing so will only make you feel down on yourself in the future. Stick to your plan, and not only will you look better, but you will feel better, be healthier, and will be less likely to acquire health complications down the road.

      Keep going and you will never want to leave work-out alone!

        Photo credit: Source

        As someone who tries to work out daily, I know how hard it is to get into the swing of things and make it a habit. I’ve been guilty of cutting routines short, or skipping them, only to later stuff my face with countless tacos followed by cake. But I also know how satisfying it is when you commit to a healthy diet (with prospective cheat days of course), and seeing those sexy results in the mirror. It also improves your mood and overall energy level, so once you get going, you’ll start to look forward to your work-outs! (Or at least the post-work out pride).

        Advertising

        The road to health and fitness is a long and harrowing one, but it always leads to greatness. Denying the desire to give in to momentary pleasures such as cutting a routine short, or skipping it altogether will lead you to the euphoric pleasure you will get from achieving the body you want. So don’t give up. Stick to your goals.

        Featured photo credit: Eat This, Not That! via google.com

        Reference

        More by this author

        Jenn Beach

        Traveling vagabond, freelance writer, & plantbased food enthusiast.

        How We Are Confusing Self-Love with Narcissism In This Generation How Traveling Can Drastically Improve Your Interpersonal Skills 10 Best Lumbar Support Cushions That All Desk Workers Need See How Your Brain Can Ruin Any of Your Workout or Healthy Eating Plans. One Small Action Separates Success From Mediocrity.

        Trending in Health

        1 7 Best Probiotic Supplements (Recommendation & Reviews) 2 Signs of a Nervous Breakdown (And How to Survive It) 3 How to Find Weight Loss Meal Plans That Work for You 4 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go 5 How to Manage Anxiety: Sound Advice from a Mental Health Expert

        Read Next

        Advertising
        Advertising
        Advertising

        Last Updated on March 13, 2019

        How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

        How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

        Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

        You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

        Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

        1. Work on the small tasks.

        When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

        Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

        2. Take a break from your work desk.

        Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

        Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

        Advertising

        3. Upgrade yourself

        Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

        The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

        4. Talk to a friend.

        Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

        Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

        5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

        If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

        Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

        Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

        Advertising

        6. Paint a vision to work towards.

        If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

        Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

        Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

        7. Read a book (or blog).

        The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

        Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

        Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

        8. Have a quick nap.

        If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

        Advertising

        9. Remember why you are doing this.

        Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

        What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

        10. Find some competition.

        Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

        Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

        11. Go exercise.

        Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

        Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

        As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

        Advertising

        Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

        12. Take a good break.

        Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

        Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

        Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

        Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

        More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

        Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

        Read Next