Everyone knows that eating better and getting more active will help you lose weight and get healthier, but what very few people know is that there are a lot of little actions that you can take that will make these two things easier.
Telling an obese 300lb man to diet and exercise is a lot like telling a fish not breathe water, 1 it doesn’t make any sense to the person you are telling it to, and 2, it they have no clue how to do these things.
I am not going to cover what to eat in this post, but here is a great post if that is what you are looking for.
Today I want to cover goals and interventions that you can place into your life that will enable you, and make you more likely to actually stick with diet and exercise.
I have found that most of the people I work with already know what foods that they should and shouldn’t eat, and most of them already know they should lift weights, do cardio, or get more active, and even if they don’t, they can hire a personal trainer or ask a friend about what to eat. What most people I work with really need is a plan.
What the hell am I talking about? Is this some sort of secret underground cult brainwashing technique to lose weight and get healthy?
Well, no, not exactly, but it is about the little things that you can do underneath the obvious to fix what is broken.
See, telling someone who is 300lbs to eat healthy and exercise is not really going to be very effective unless they are convinced that they are going to die if they don’t do it, and that is exactly where I will begin for my list of 10 things to help anyone stick to a diet and exercise plan.
- DO or DIE.
The first really beneficial tip I have for anyone looking to lose weight, build muscle, or just get healthy is this: you need to cultivate an attitude of do or die.
Most of us think of things in terms of “That would be nice.”, or “I wish that I could ____.”, but please listen to me- and I apologize for being harsh-, but you are NEVER EVER EVER in a million years going to do anything telling yourself :I should be doing” this or that. The only way to are ever going to take control of your health is by saying “I will do this, I am doing this starting right now.”
Failure can’t be an option. You really need to tell yourself “I would rather die than eat that twinkie.” or “Life is going to have to kill me to stop me from going to the gym today.”
You are the way you are because your motivation is broken. Anyone who ends up 300lbs is either broken or has serious health issues, and either way, they aren’t going to change it unless they make the determination to just do or die.
- Throw away all junk food and don’t buy anymore EVER.
If you are trying to eat better, get healthy, or lose weight, then junk food has no place in your life, it just doesn’t. Eating that crap is what has gotten you where you are, and if you keep it around you are going to keep eating it. Don’t lie to yourself a moment longer, if its there, its going to go into your stomach, plain and simple.
You don’t have the willpower to stop from eating that stuff or you would have already done it, so do the next best thing and just get rid of it all, and don’t buy anymore. You wouldn’t find a recovering alcoholic with a stocked up liquor cabinet, and you aren’t going to find any fit and healthy people with a cabinet full of junk food.
- Meal prep and buy healthy foods.
Each week you should be getting groceries 1-3 times, and you should buying only the healthy foods you know you should be buying. Buy lean protein (chicken, fish, steak), healthy fats (nuts, avocados, 80%+ dark chocolate, coconut oil and olive oil), a lot of vegetables (1-2 serving of leafy greens daily minimum [spinach, romaine, kale, mustard greens, etc.], and a lot of other veggies like carrots, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, peppers, green beans, etc.), a few healthy fruits (berries, papaya, banana, melons, apples, and oranges.), and finally a very small amount of carbs and grains (brown rice, rolled oats or steel cut oats, whole wheat bread, etc.)
Then, 1-3 nights per week prepare all of the food you will need for the entire week. Buy tupperware and pre-prep all of your meals and snacks so you will always have healthy food ready to eat, and this way you will have no excuse to eat out, buy junk food, or prepare something unhealthy.
It may be boring, but trust me if you don’t have healthy foods ready to eat, you are going to find a way to eat junk anyway. Check out my post and video about meal prepping
- Pack your gym bag in advance and sit by the door.
If you are planning to go to work in the morning before work or after work, pack everything you need to go the gym the night before and take it with you. Not only does pre packing your stuff for the gym signify that you mean business and further cements your dedication to what you are about to do, but it also removes potential excuses and obstacles from your path.
If you get done at a long day at work and you have to drive home and grab your gym clothes before you can go for a run or workout, trust me, you are going to end up on the couch or in the bed instead. Tell yourself you are serious and take your stuff with you, that will remove another possibility of you deciding not to do what you know you should be doing.
- Get an accountability partner ASAP.
All the things that you are planning and all of the goals you set, pick an accountability partner and make them promise to hold you accountable and not take any shit from you about why you aren’t doing what you are supposed to do.
Wake up calls at 6am from your partner to remind you to go the the gym, or someone smacking that snack cake out of your hand and onto the floor might be annoying, but it will only suck if you aren’t doing what you KNOW you should be doing. And after all, do or die right?
- Learn as much as you can about health and fitness.
Buy diet books, read nutrition articles, subscribe to a fitness magazine, or follow your favorite health and fitness blogger (you can always check out MY weekly health and fitness related post each tuesday here on MYBS).
If health and fitness is important to you, then you should always be reading about it, learning new techniques, diets and workouts, trying new things, and applying the knowledge that you pick up. There is so much great information and encouragement out there for people looking to get healthy, exercise more, or lose weight, use some of it.
- Make a dream board and put it up on your wall or ceiling.
Maintaining motivation and keeping a reminder of what you are trying to achieve can be hard to do, especially over prolonged periods of time, but a dreamboard can be a powerful reminder of what you are aiming for and working towards.
Try getting pictures of people eating or preparing healthy food, pictures of people with great bodies, people’s before and after photos, or even stories from people or bloggers who overcame obesity or health challenges to get healthy.
- Get a workout partner.
Find a workout partner who will hold you accountable to go the gym or workout together based upon a schedule you can both agree upon. The ideal candidate is someone who is already fit or already works out regularly as they are going to push you more than someone who doesn’t do these things, but just getting someone is better than having no one.
On the days you feel like skipping a workout or feel like just taking it easy instead, your partner is going to be waiting on you, ready for you to join them, and not only does this add extra incentive for you to get to work, but they are going to be on your ass if you don’t show up as well.
- Use apps or your phone to remind you to do stuff.
Try putting a reminder in your mobile phone’s calendar to get groceries, go to the gym, or do your weekly meal prep cooking. An alarm blaring at you is a literal wake-up call to what you should be doing.
It is a lot harder to not go to the gym or do your meal prep when an alarm goes off reminding you how important it is to get to work. You can also try finding an app, an app I use is runkeeper, and if I dont run in a few days, it will pop-up with a little reminder to get busy, unfortunately it doesn’t know I do other stuff besides running! But I won’t tell if you don’t.
- Make a weekly plan for all of your food and exercise commitments and chores.
Each week take a look at your commitments and schedule in time to do all the health and fitness related stuff you need to get done for the week. Going out of town Monday and Tuesday? Schedule an early morning run before the day’s activities, or plan some two a days when you get back.
Just the act of looking at what you have going on each week and creating a time in your mind to do the things you should be doing makes it that much more real. It is much harder to default on something you know you need to do when you already plugged it into your calendar or daily schedule.
These tips and goals don’t guarantee your success, but they will GREATLY increase the chances of you getting what you are after.
Whether you want to lose weight, look and feel better, or just get healthier, all of these tips and goals can help you meet your desires head on. The most important thing to getting healthy is your attitude, it has to be do or die, because if it isn’t important to you, then you are never going to do it, no matter what goals and plans you have in place.
What things have you tried to build a foundation for health? Like any of the tips you read here? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think and please if you know someone that could benefit from this article share it with them!