How to Make Lasting Changes to your Diet

Nutrition

How to Make Lasting Changes to your Diet

Committing to a new, well-rounded gym routine is all well and good. But what you commit to outside of the weights room is the true test of diligence. In fact, it’s what completes the entire package — if you’re grinding out the reps but slacking on your dietary and lifestyle choices, it becomes significantly harder to see the results you’re working for. So, what can you do to make sure that you’re doing the most for your training, outside of your workouts? Below, Rachel Butcher (ANutr), Head of Nutrition at Natural Fitness Food, walks you through four ways to make lasting changes in both diet and lifestyle, each complementing your progress in the gym. 

 

Motivation: Know Your ‘Why’

“Finding your true why can be the ultimate motivation boost, not just to get started but to keep going,” explains Butcher. “Why do you want to move more? Why do you want to eat well? Why do you want to take care of yourself? Take some time to reflect on what truly matters to you and identify that intrinsic motivation. Having an aesthetic goal is just as valid as any other if you are positively motivated in this way, they can be valuable as long as you can maintain a positive

relationship with yourself, your body, your training routine and your health.”

 

Consistency Is Key

“Nobody is perfect when instilling a new habit and no one should expect perfection every single day. There will be little inconsistencies here and there but if you stick to your goal more often than not, you are still moving in the right direction and all is not lost from a slip-up. Research demonstrates that there is a lot to be said for the importance of failure, studies on goal-setting by John Norcross showed more than 70% of successful ‘resolvers’ felt that a slip-up made them try harder and rekindled a commitment to their goal. So, give yourself a break if things don’t go to plan 100% of the time.”

 

Set Goals That Stick

“Whatever your fitness goal, turning up and getting it done won’t alone make you stick with it, you need to enjoy it and that isn’t just from a self-love perspective,” says Butcher. “​​If you choose to move in a way that’s just plain painful it’s unlikely to stick. If getting more exercise is your goal, instead pick a form of exercise you truly enjoy; be it strength training, walking, running or dancing – once you find your thing, you’ll never look back.”

 

Start Small for Big Changes

“The ‘small changes’ approach has been extensively studied and is associated in particular with an increase in physical activity and improvement in nutrition,” says Butcher. “To make that resolution stick, take the habit you want to adopt and scale it back. For example, if you want to start meditating daily, start by making it five deep breaths away from your screen a day. Then, pre-empt when you will do it by scheduling it into your calendar and continue to make prompts that will help you stick to it.”

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