Setting Yourself up for Failure!
6 habits to avoid
Many of you have taken the quizzes I have gathered for new members. For those of you who have not, one of them involves a "Behavioral Audit" which is designed to help you pinpoint habits or patterns that sabotage your health.
I thought I would make it easy for everyone by spelling out the 5 most common ways people undermine their own efforts to stay healthy.
Here is the list in order of importance as based upon your answers and my personal experience
1) Not keeping emergency foods and snacks in the house. When you need something to eat right away - usually because you have broken item #2 - you will eat whatever food is on hand. If you haven't planned ahead and purchased things like fresh fruit, mixed nuts, quality (not processed) sliced meats you will eat whatever is quick and easy. "Quick and easy" usually means "bad for you". If you have not grilled some meat, prepared some veggies or mixed up a salad ahead of time, you are setting yourself up for failure.
2) Going long periods of time without eating. If you wait 4-5 hours between lunch and dinner (the most commonly seen mistake) you will tend to eat VAST amounts of food at dinner time. Remember, you need to eat more frequently in order to lose weight. Eating more to lose weight is counterintuitive, but is the correct way to eat. This means eating the right foods every 2 ½ to 3 hours.
3) Not keeping control of portion sizes. Many people tell me they are sticking with protein and veggies, but are still not losing weight. While this may be true, the mistake is not in the type of food, but in the sheer volume of the portion size. Some of this is simple self-discipline. NOTE: It takes roughly 20 minutes for the signal to reach your brain that you are full. As we all know, you can eat a LOT of food in 20 minutes. How do you beat this one? Slow down when you eat. Drink a glass or two of water about 10 minutes before you eat to simulate a full stomach. Snack on ½ cup of cashews 15-10 minutes before you eat dinner. The fat from the cashews (its "good fat" don't worry) will send the signal to the brain that you are already somewhat full. Eat the veggies and protein first. This will also fill your stomach before you hit the potatoes, rice, pasta and bread. Also, don't request bread when you go out to eat. Talk about tempting...
4) Trying to change the world over night. While this may be a worthy goal for an activist with a cause, it is NOT a great plan for someone trying to make changes to bad habits engrained for years. Pick one "poor choice" habit and work on that. Many small successes will accumulate over time. If you attempt to change multiple massive personal challenges, the failure in one area can lead to a domino effect of failure in all the others.
5) Getting insufficient sleep. I lump these to together since I consider them a "tie" in how often we see them. We were "designed" to sleep 8 hours per night. Our current on-the-go society works against us here, but lack of sleep is often linked to habit rather than necessity. Close the computer, turn off the TV and get to sleep! Studies show that individuals who get less than 6 and more then 10 hours of sleep per night are heavier than their counterparts who sleep roughly 8 hours
6) Being dehydrated. Your metabolism simply cannot function optimally when deprived of this vital ingredient. Your muscles are more susceptible to injury, you cannot assimilate protein well and very few of your systems can function as they should when you are dehydrated. Strive to drink 50% of your bodyweight (in pounds) in ounces of water every day.
By Art McDermott
If you are in the Rte 93 are north of Boston and TPS is too far, go to Matrix for top flight personal training. Matrix is TPS approved.