Lack of motivation, preparation and self-doubt are 3 of the most common reasons why we fail when starting a new diet or training program. It takes 21 days to create a habit and 90 days to change a lifestyle but, it’s not always easy to make it to those key markers. So, here are my ‘5 Tips for Keeping on Track’ to make your journey a little easier.
- Prep your food in advance
You probably hear this all the time, ‘failure to prepare is preparing to fail’, and it’s the most important part of creating a healthy change. Clear your schedule for a few hours to make food in bulk. I personally spend my Sunday’s cooking and freeze my meals for the whole week however, if you prefer fresh meals, plan a time mid-week as well.
The other half of preparation that will keep you on track in unforeseen circumstances (sleeping through your alarm), is separating your supplements/vitamins into snap-lock bags and measuring out and combining any dry ingredients. When you are busy, everything is ready for you to make quickly or grab on the run.
It may also be a helpful to separate a shelf in your fridge, freezer and pantry into days of the week and place a checklist on your fridge, to ensure you grab everything you need for the whole day, before you walk out the door.
- Set alarms on your phone
Sounds silly, right? Who would forget to eat?
If you normally consume 3 meals a day and you’re changing to 5, or you have a busy schedule, it’s easy to let time pass without noticing you’ve skipped a meal. Set alarms with details of what you need to eat, vitamins you may need to take and reminders to drink more water.
- Keep a record
You would have seen training journals and meal planners, but a key part of nutrition is knowing what does and doesn’t work for your body. Everyone is a little different, so keep a journal and take notes on your energy levels, any bloating or discomfort, sleeping patterns, loss of appetite, etc. If you keep a record, you can easily narrow down or pinpoint what is causing an issue.
- Stay away from the scales
When weight training, it’s important not to jump on the scales too regularly – muscle weighs more than fat and on a bad day, it’s hard to remember you are moving forward if the scales aren’t moving down. Instead, record your weight only once a week, take front, back and side photos and measure your waist, hip, and thigh circumference. Make sure you take your photos at the same time of day, in the same clothing and under the same lighting to have an accurate account of your changes.
- Have a backup plan
Keep a few things in your car or at work to help you when life doesn’t go to plan. These might include: a spare set of training clothes and shoes, protein powder, vitamins, a bag of nuts and dried fruit. Instead of skipping a meal, you can improvise and remain on track.
There you have it, a few handy tips that are tried and proven to make the process a little easier, when you lack motivation or you are being too hard on yourself. We are our own worst critic – we see ourselves in the mirror every day and find it hard to remember just how far we have come. Make these 5 changes in your routine and I guarantee you’ll find it a little easier to create a habit and change your lifestyle. Happy Prepping!