If you want to change your current results (weight, fitness, health), you need to change your current habits. While each section of Results 101 can be reviewed on its own, each section has been placed in a specific order that will maximize your chances for success.
The most important factor for getting results isn’t what you do, but why you do it. For most people, this boils down to a combination of three factors:
- Health: Avoiding a Disease or Pain
- Body Composition: Losing Body Fat or Gaining Lean Mass (Six Pack Abs?)
- Fitness: Perform Better at a Sport or Activity
Explore this section to determine what will drive you towards achieving your goals, even when the going gets tough.
- What’s Your Why?
- Stuck? An Activity to Overcome a Chronic Dieting or Defeated Mentality
- How We Make Healthy Lifestyle Changes
- Weight Loss Success Stores: Pulling Inspiration from Jealousy
- The Seven Questions: A Journey to Sustainable Fitness: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
2. Eating Better (Not Necessarily Perfect)
The best way to know how to improve your eating habits is to assess where you’re starting. You can fill out an initial assessment form or track your meals and snacks for a few days to get a baseline. You can use a paper-based three-day food record or an online app such as MyFitnessPal, FitDay or LiveStrong.
This process will be beneficial in two ways:
- The act of tracking what you eat will increase your awareness, which may positive impact your eating decisions.
- It will present you with hard evidence of what you eat, which may give you ideas of where to improve.
Making some changes will be easier than others. Again, it’s all about what you want to accomplish and why. If the motivator is strong enough, you’ll be willing to put in more effort. Generally, improving eating habits revolve around two sets of abilities – check out more info on each if you’re interested:
Physical Skills (Meal planning, portions, cooking, etc.)
- Thoughts on Meal Frequency, Calorie Restriction and Weight Loss
- Use Nutrient Density to Lose Weight by Eating Better, Not Less: Part 1, Part 2
- Crucial First Steps to Eating Healthier
- Tips for Restocking Your Pantry at Home
- Healthy Meals and Snacks at Work
- Cooking at Home: Meal Preparation Tips, Tips for Healthy Meals, Tips for Cleanup
- Great Resources for Healthy Recipes: Eating Well, Cooking Light, Food & Nutrition, AllRecipes, NY Times, FoodNetwork, HealthyEats
Mental Skills (Dealing with travel, stress, emotional eating, etc.)
- Do You Eat to Live or Live to Eat?
- Combat Food Cravings Part 1: Determine Your Triggers
- Combat Food Cravings Part 2: When to Fight and How to Indulge
- Mindlessly Eat Better at Mealtime
- Eating Out the Healthy Way
- Eating Well While Traveling: Getting to Your Destination, Indulging Wisely Without Guilt, Planning for Long Days
3. Moving Better and Moving More
Much like eating better, getting more active revolves around determining how physically active you are right now, and then creating a plan to make improvements. Notice I don’t say exercise. Being physically active can really be anything you enjoy – running, sports, going to the gym, hiking, dancing, Pilates, gardening, swimming, Frisbee, or brisk walks.
Granted, there are certain fitness-related benefits to performing higher intensity activities (resistance training, cardiovascular training, etc.) including a greater calorie burn, but you need to make sure you’re performing more advanced training correctly to minimize injury risk – hence “Moving Better” in the title. The best rules of thumb are:
- If you want to start something new and you’re not sure what to do, or have a history of injury, ask someone who is qualified to give advice and guidance.
- If it hurts (and I don’t mean a muscular burn during a sprint or heavy weightlifting set), especially near one of your joints – stop and let it heal. If it becomes a chronic issue, get it checked out. Little things that can be fixed in a couple of days with some foam rolling and reduced intensity can spiral into much larger issues if you don’t listen to your body (add link).
Here are some ways to tackle both:
- Push Yourself Mentally, Listen to Yourself Physically
- Exercise: Quality vs. Quantity
- Effective Movement Considerations for: Running, Squatting, Pushups
- Three Tips to Safe and Effective Interval Training
- Inside the Trainer’s Brain: My Training Philosophy
- What One Muscle Does Every Exercise You Do Target?
- How Hard Should I Train? Stay Between the Lines
- Three Tips to Maximize Exercise Results Each Session
- Modifying the Seven Minute Workout
- Small Change, Big Results: Replace Social Eating with Social Activity Once a Week
- Newton’s Laws of Motion and Physical Activity
- Over 60 Exercises To Get You Started (and How to Do them Correctly)
4. Sustaining Change / Planning, Accountability and Support (Goals/Measure?)
Anyone can restrict their eating (no sugar, no alcohol, etc.) or go on a five-day-a-week exercise binge for four, six or eight weeks. But if you have an “end date” in mind for this extreme way of living, what do you do the day after it ends? Wouldn’t you like to keep the results you just worked hard to earn? That’s where sustainability comes.
Once you’ve determined what changes you’re going to make – the real challenge begins: turning those new actions into sustainable habits. Which create sustained results. Not temporary results that just stick around for a two-week vacation or a wedding and then retreat when old tendencies come roaring back (along with the weight).
There are three primary ways to promote sustainable change, take a look and see which ones will be the most beneficial for you:
- The Olympic Pursuit of Health and Fitness
- Achieve Weight Loss & Fitness Success By Setting the Bar
- Making Resolutions Stick
- How Do You Deal With Game Changers?
- Want to Eat Better or Lose Weight? Write On!
- Measuring Fitness Results Beyond the Scale
- There’s No Such Thing as Failure, Only Feedback
With any great mission, there will be challenges and obstacles to overcome. Just remember, “There is no such thing as failure, only feedback.” Your actions dictate your results. So if you don’t like your results, you can always change your actions.
Taking the Next Step…
These four simple ideas cover the process of achieving sustainable health and fitness. But as many wise people have said, “Simple is not always easy.” That’s the goal of Death of the Diet: to turn simple into sustainable with resources, support and empowering you to separate facts from fads. The smallest of actions means more than the greatest of intents.
So why not take action? We’d love to email you a link to access a bunch of resources to get you started including many of the forms I use with my clients:
- Fitness and Nutrition Assessment Tools including:
- A 3-minute method to create a personalized healthy food shopping list
- Determine how often you can indulge while still getting the results you want
- Over 60 Exercise Videos to Get Your Workouts Started
- E-books to Provide Motivation and Help You Bust Through Common Weight Loss Plateaus
Just enter your email below and we’ll get it sent to you right away. Give it a shot for a few weeks and let us know how it’s going!
Getting Professional Guidance
We realize that some people can take the resources on Death of the Diet and hit the ground running while others may be looking for guidance. Check out Death of the Diet’s professional Concierge Coaching services to learn more about teaming up with credentialed fitness and nutrition professionals to keep you motivated, informed and accountable.