What would happen if on your first day of school, your new teacher gave you a calculus exam or algebra test? Most likely than not, you would fail.
This same situation applies when it comes to diet and exercise. Most people set themselves up for failure right from the start. Instead of setting a good foundation that you can build upon, you might end up trying to go for the super diets and super exercises that would help you achieve your weight goals and health goals fast.
In most cases, when I am working with new clients in order to help them achieve their health and exercise goals, things usually follow this pattern:
- You get on a plan. You are quite excited about it and you commit yourself to following it.
- You find that you have lost motivation to work out and stay on your diet. This most likely takes place by the fourth week. Going to the gym becomes a challenge and you get stressed out about eating healthy. Some people quit at this stage. Others just don’t work quite as hard in the gym anymore and compromise on their diet.
Well, I don’t have a magic solution that will make all your problems go away or give you a wonder drug that will ensure that you stick to your diet and exercise goals.
The issue in most situations could be that the diet plan has its own problems. It can also be that you have chosen the wrong type of diet for your body.
The main problem is not that you are not motivated enough to stick to the plan. There are so many places where you can get motivation. Lack of motivation is not a problem, it’s just a symptom of bigger things.
Waiting to get motivated so that you can continue with your diet and exercise plan is a lost cause. Willpower alone is not all you need to be successful. You need more than that if you want to push ahead.
Why You Lost Motivation?
Your prefrontal cortex is the area of your brain that’s in control of your willpower. It’s also responsible for helping you carry out your day to day activities, helping you focus, and your short-term memory. In other words, it’s overworked.
That shows you that just relying on willpower alone is not going to cut it. If you want to succeed in your fitness and diet plan, you have to come up with a plan that will strengthen your mind and not weaken it further.
The Art of Body Transformation
Since willpower cannot help you attain your fitness and health goals, then what can?
The answer is dedication and goals. These two elements will provide you with something real and concrete to help you.
Numerous studies have shown that writing down your goals and being determined to stick to them can make a great difference towards ensuring that you achieve these goals. Write down specific goals that you want to achieve. Chances are that you will achieve these goals.
A research in the British Journal of Health and Psychology breaks down how this whole process works. An experiment was done to figure out what made people stick to their workout sessions. Three groups of people were tracked. The first group tracked their exercises. The second group would read how exercises help minimize the chances of getting sick.
The third group of participants had to write down their intentions in the following way:
Over the next week, I will do at least 20 minutes of strong exercise on [DAY] at [TIME OF DAY] at/in [PLACE].
The people in group one and two had 35% compliance, while the people in the third group had 91% compliance.
The same concept also works when it comes to dieting. According to researchers in Norway, individuals who come up with a plan for their diet have higher chances of succeeding than those who don’t.
Why it works?
With a step-by-step process, your brain has less to process. It’s more likely to follow through with the pla if you have a clear and simple goal to follow.