There are so many conflicting theories & philosophies about nutrition & weight loss, it's no wonder people feel confused & overwhelmed. But, after coaching hundreds of men & women, here's what we've come to realize: It's not so much which specific habits you decide to adopt. What really matter is how consistently you practice those habits.
We recently came across Gretchen Rubin's "Habits Manifesto" from her book Better Than Before. The book is packed full of strategies for making and breaking habits. The manifesto distills the principles of habit formation into a few basic points.
Here are the first five and how we can apply them on our journey to lose weight or improve health.
1. What we do every day matters more than what we do once in a while.
● Exercising 30 minutes every day is better for your health, and more sustainable, than taking a 5-hour hike once a month.
● Eating a home-cooked dinner four times a week every week will get you closer to your goal than eating 100% clean all day every day for one week & then giving up and going back to old habits because you got burnt out.
2. Make it easy to do right and hard to go wrong.
● Prep & pack your meals the night before. In the morning, just grab & go and you'll be eating healthfully all day long.
● Sleep in your exercise clothes and you'll be ready to work out first thing in the morning.
3. Focus on actions, not outcomes.
● The more you obsess about whether or not the scale is moving, the less focused you'll be on what you need to do.
● Acknowledge each good decision & each positive step, and success will build.
4. By giving something up, we may gain.
● Give up an hour of screen time in the evening, and gain an hour of sleep.
● Give up a Sunday afternoon to prep your food, and gain a stress-free week with healthy meals ready to go.
5. Things often get harder before they get easier.
● Forming a new habit is rarely smooth sailing. Once you understand and accept that there will be challenges, you can push through until the habit becomes a new routine.
You can read the rest of the Manifesto here, but we'll wrap up with our favorite, the last one:
"Once we’re ready to begin, begin now."
What can YOU do, right here, right now, to improve your healthy habits?