Increasingly, one can come across the idea that only a change in lifestyle entails the desired external changes with a sustainable result. Episodic weight loss and training outbreaks either lead to nothing, or lead to disappointment and a rollback to previous values. But how to change this image? Is there a standardized method when you follow the instructions “one, two, three” and life begins to change?
So as with weight loss. To lose weight, determine your daily calorie intake, create a deficit, make the diet stable and balanced, stick to it most of the time.
Or with training: progressive strength training, sufficient protein intake and recovery.
It is possible that such a method exists.
His one post describeswhich studied the behavior of people who went to Healthy Lifestyle Centers (this is such a state program in Norway).
During the year, people were observed, periodically interviewed and pulled out various valuable meanings. Combining them, it turned out something like a recipe.
This is not true. And many, having switched to the study, quite rightly get to the bottom of the sample of participants (14 people in total).
However, this work interested me because many points matched with my coaching experience. Many of the ideas from there I have been promoting for several years as an approach. Usually, after reading the studies, you bet for a long time with the thought “and how to apply it?” But this time this was not the case, everything is described practically. I think that it will give you some scheme of action and self-confidence.
And if you have your own tricks and life hacks, successful personal cases for changing your lifestyle, then share them in the comments. It will be useful for me to read and consider for practice.
The work is divided into three major themes with sub-themes. The first topic is about motivation.
Motivation is not constant and relying on it entirely will be short-sighted. It’s a wavy curve that can go from the “need right now” extreme to the “fuck it all” extreme.
Learning not to go to extremes will be a valuable acquisition. And here two approaches will help you: gaining autonomous motivation and changing the environment with gaining a community.
1a. Get autonomous motivation.
Scientists divided people into two types of motivation: autonomous motivation and controlled motivation. Both of them work and lead to change, but controlled motivation is less reliable.
Controlled motivation These are changes that take place in response to external pressure. The most common extrinsic motivators are: wishes of a spouse or family member, doctor’s recommendations for a change in lifestyle. As well as the influence of culture, society, which set the criteria for appearance and media coverage.
People noted that when external pressure was reduced or this factor was eliminated altogether, it became more difficult for them to support further changes, someone even stopped.
Autonomous motivation is so called because change is driven by intrinsic motives, independent of external conditions. These motives are personally important and valuable for a good life, and not for achieving an attractive image or for meeting someone’s expectations.
You can control yourself, keep yourself under external pressure, constantly convince yourself “I need it,” but this quickly turns into an exhausting task. Productivity decreases, as a result of which the result stagnates, the desire to continue decreases. Then breakdowns and waste from a healthy regimen begin for months, or even years, and then epic returns.
Finding intrinsic motivation in this case will be the best solution. What will be your motivation, only you know. As a coach, I heard a lot of amazing and unexpected motivations. Despite this, they worked and fueled the desire of those who cherished these values. Get your motivation. So you will quickly come to automatism without the need for constant control.
1b. Change the environment and find a community.
Changing the environment and community, the search for like-minded people are also necessary.
The environment and community serve as a place where you will gain competencies and knowledge on a healthy lifestyle, without which you will not go far. In this regard, the Internet is easier for all of us. The main thing is to find objective sources of information.
The environment is more difficult. An unhealthy lifestyle often has a social connotation. We behave as is customary in our environment. There are many stories about how a change in lifestyle led to a complete change of environment. Whether this is good or bad is not for me to decide. But the fact remains. Often our unhealthy behavior is a reflection of the habits of the community and environment, not just our personal habits. Therefore, find a place, an environment, a community where you will express yourself differently, where different behavior is valued, and a healthy attitude towards yourself is considered outstanding. You need to go there.
Also in communities you will receive support in moments of emotional instability.
At this stage, many turn to trainers, who close the need to receive information about healthy lifestyles, and act as support, and the environment in which healthy lifestyles are valued.
It would be very short-sighted of you to hope that the entire transformational period you will have super motivation, everything is smooth and even. After all, you want to change, so you will! No😅
Sooner or later you will face difficulties: stress, poor self-esteem, illness, trauma, problematic relationships, loneliness, depression, and other negative life events.
All this brings emotional discord, switches attention and reduces the enthusiasm for a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, it is necessary to develop a strategy of behavior to balance the emotional component.
2a. Change the way you think.
Positive visualization and reduction of catastrophic thinking. If your imagination is used to drawing worst-case scenarios, cultivating anxiety, you need to learn how to switch to positive visualization. On the contrary, imagine how much good you have already done and will continue to do. Always remember what bonuses you have already received and how proud you are of yourself for working on your health. Remember that the mere fact that you have already begun to monitor your health is already an achievement at any given time. Don’t underestimate him.
Stop self-flagellation. “I can’t do anything”, “As usual, I can’t do anything”, “Yes, I know myself – I’ll give up in a week” – this is a moral torture of oneself and self-burrowing definitely does not lead to something creative. The thought that “Someone did it, I can do it too” more inspiring. You are no worse.
Get rid of the dichotomous (black and white) style of thinking. “I ate chocolate/drank alcohol, so the previous three weeks of the diet were ruined.” “I missed a week of training, does it make sense for me to return to them?” And so on. In my opinion, this is one of the most destructive mistakes. (I wrote more about this style of thinking in my own blog, join.)
There is nothing unambiguously good and unambiguously bad in transformation.
The main thing is the direction of movement. And only you decide whether you continue to move in the right direction or not.
If you think chocolate is the end of your diet, then it is. If you decide that chocolate is part of your diet and nothing terrible has happened, then it is so.
2b. Set realistic goals.
Many people set goals in kilograms for n months, they find an attractive image of an idol that they want to match and start working.
It is absolutely impossible to predict progress in kilograms and over time, because it is impossible to predict the conditions in which a person will change and genetics. Therefore, such a goal is deceptive and at some point you might think that it is not achievable if you cannot reach it in the allotted time. And the motivation built on the basis of this goal begins to fade.
Set goals that are easy to achieve. Not to gain muscle, but “do three quality workouts a week for 6 months.”
And if you have a workout on your schedule, you don’t have to ask yourself “Am I ready?” , “Won’t it be hard for me today, I’m tired?” , “Suddenly I can’t make it”. Always come to class, and if in the course of training it really becomes hard and bad, only then finish it. But you must come anyway.
2c. Conscious nutrition.
Stop excluding foods or their categories from your diet. By exclusion, you immediately put yourself in a position of deprivation, in which it is difficult to be, especially in conditions of surrounding abundance.
Instead, expand your grocery basket, experiment, try new things. Take advantage of the diversity that the food industry offers, but with a focus on whole, unprocessed foods. Your diet should include vegetables, and fish, and sweets, and whole meats, dairy products, and vegetables, and pizza, and fruits. Of course, the choice should be dictated by taste preferences.
2y. Release yourself from feelings of shame.
Or rather, do not think about your inconsistency with the standards of society. Follow internal criteria and evaluations. This will be an important step towards autonomous motivation.
This is the third pillar of the new way of life, which has been noted by the researchers. They also divided this big point into three sub-points.
Many start healthy eating and exercising as a way to control or lose weight. And overall it’s great. It’s like a marketing funnel that captures as many people as possible with a similar broad query, but then moves them further and further into a deep and individual query.
However, the researchers noticed that during the year at the Healthy Lifestyle School, participants began to view lifestyle changes as an integral value, although initially they started only in order to lose weight.
Yes, I write a lot about how a good figure is a bonus to a lifestyle. But it doesn’t have to be where you start. The case when you move from the opposite also works. The desire to become beautiful will develop into a way of life. We just need to find a way.
To do this, consider the quality of the body as the result of a change in behavior in relation to your health.
Creating space for new behavior.
By creating space in the study, we meant to allocate more time to new habits. If it is not there, you will constantly return to your usual behavior.
“How tired of choosing what to eat for dinner!” Familiar to many tense moment. And very unstable.
This state is the line between the new unusual behavior and the old way of solving. If you do not curb it, you will jump off and do what is simple, fast and not energy-consuming. And, as a rule, it is also very high in calories.
You need to accept that you will spend more time reading labels, or weighing and writing down meals, thinking about dinner and the next day’s diet, looking for protein foods or more balanced snacks. All this will be, whatever one may say. If you avoid this, you will fall into webs of quick fixes.
More precisely, not just accept it, but consciously set aside time for yourself, set boundaries. This is the time for your health.
Concentration on the positive.
Look for the pleasure of moving forward and the process. From the realization that you are changing your lifestyle. Do not focus on a specific result, but look at it.
The beginning of work on oneself is already positive changes, and they will always be such, even if half a year has passed since the start. It’s something to be proud of anyway.
Lots of points. Like work. Start with what seemed to you the most simple and quickly applicable in your living conditions.
Hope this points you in the right direction. Successful way!
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