What if Dieting were Easy?
Imagine this. A person walks up to you and tells you that you now have an unlimited budget, only to be spent on reaching your health and fitness goals in the near future. What would you do? First you may want to thank that individual for your new found fortunes, but once the shock has passed and you have time to think, what are the things you would immediately purchase, outsource, hire for, and do to be successful?
While we can’t promise you’re going to get that visitor soon, it does bring up some good questions. If you had all the resources, what would your path look like? What would you do differently? Let’s go over some of the common things people struggle with:
- Emotional eating – Take the time to understand what your triggers are, using skills like “noticing and naming.” Once you know YOUR triggers, you can change your response to them start to insert small breaks between your trigger and eating that food. Doing something as simple as closing the fridge or freezer door and doing something on your phone can be enough, or for stronger relationships you may need to pick a more consuming task such as answering emails or working on a project you need to finish. Even if you are able to create an initial understanding of your triggers you are already moving in a great direction.
If it were easy you’d have a clear understanding of what causes your triggers and have simple processes in place to use every time they come up to avoid making decisions based on your emotions.
- Lack of planning / Lack of time / Eating out frequently – What if I told you I could give you a set of tools that would help you measure almost exactly what your portions should look like when you sit down to eat at a restaurant or table? Those tools are actually your hands. When eating out, or even before you leave for the restaurant, review the articles on our website, "5 Tips To Manage Your Diet Away From Home" and “Eating Better When Dining Out” to double check and make sure you pick your lean protein, veggies, high quality carb sources and performance fats.
If it were easy you’d have simple graphics and educational guides to help you know your best options no matter where you are eating. Then you could reference these tools and make portion control decisions based on simple visuals like your hand, thumb or palm.
- Lack of knowledge - Fad Diets, Crash Diets & a lack of knowledge of Basic Nutrition – Do you remember what your mom used to say? No not about the clean underwear, but the part about eating your vegetables? She may have been more spot on than you realized at the time, as doing the simple, basic things really well can lead to much better improvements in your health and push you closer to your goals. Being able to follow the basic tenants of picking a solid protein source (fish, lentils, chicken, beef), a vegetable source and a carbohydrate at EVERY meal can lead to huge benefits, and if we look at the previous note about portion measurements we see how easy it is to figure out about how much we should be taking in each meal too.
If it were easy there would be a simple and great website with articles and posts that would help you understand each diet, its pros and cons, and a support system of people to remind you of what the big rocks are in your fitness journey and how to make sure you strive to fill your jar with those at every turn.
- Mindless eating – Remove the phone and other tasks at hand and just focus on eating your food. Slow down your day and ENJOY your food…when was the last time you did that? Make it the one important thing you do for the next 15 minutes. Mindfulness on your eating will help you consume less while feeling full. It will also help you develop a better relationship with food instead of just eating while scrolling the gram. Still having problems putting it all together? Try an eating emotion journal that will allow you to understand why you are eating at those times and see what emotions are driving you in that direction.
If it were easy you’d be able to call up your nutrition coach for tips and encouragement on how to practice being more mindful during the day and especially while eating. You would have coaches, friends, and family who would act as accountability partners and provide you with awesome support as you work your way through mindful eating.
- Lack of habits OR “Lack of Willpower” – Unfortunately, we’re not robots… yet. We often make the mistake of assuming emotions should drive action. This emotion-based decision making often leads to us choosing a less than optimal meal over the more appropriate one. Emotions are great, and I’m not here to say otherwise. They are what makes us amazingly human, but they also make terrible bosses and leaders if they were used to make every decision. Many think that when it comes to changing your lifestyle and trying to become a healthier individual you need steel-like will power… not the case. We use science to support our habit changes, which is why we stress only working on or changing 1-2 habits at a time. You can get a better understanding of this method by checking out our article on habit forming.
If it were easy you would be taught how to rethink small daily habits that would lead to great results and a life time improvement in your relationship with and understanding of food.
- Poor Support Structure – Thankfully you don’t need the large clearinghouse check for this one, so you can start ignoring everyone who isn’t 100% on board with your new-found lifestyle! Just kidding, it doesn’t work like that. We understand that it can be difficult and when you try something new often the people around you are confused and a bit scared or uneasy that you are doing it. This can make holidays, family get togethers, etc. much more difficult. There is no greater example than when you try to navigate the Thanksgiving food line with a new found purpose of eating fewer pieces of pie or trying to avoid the usual 3-hour food coma by eating just a little less.
If it were easy you’d build a support system that is there for you to answer questions, be positive, and help you grow during your fitness journey. This is something we pride ourselves on and work to help you with- not only for accountability and education but also creating a sense of belonging. Sign up here to start doing this right away with the people in your life.
- Unrealistic Expectations / Overly Goal Oriented / Lack of Clear Goals – Sitting down and knowing what success looks like should be one of your first actions when you decide to change your life. When you start at Powell Performance it’s one of the most important questions we ask on our intake (Link here) form. We want to know exactly what you want to accomplish so we have our sights on the same thing and can help guide you to your goals which will hopefully help you live a better and longer life.
If it were easy you’d have the ability to understand goal setting, what big audacious goals are and how to slowly and methodically reach them. Here at PP we called in one of our favorite clients, goal setting and achieving extraordinaire Brian Fitzpatrick.
- Quit too soon – are you still reading this? This plays well with #7, but people who don’t reach their goals immediately or have unrealistic expectations decide to quit due to frustration or lack of perceived progress before they reach their goals. Often stress or previous experiences with diets, coaches, family members, etc. shape a lot of this decision. That’s why we try to take a holistic approach to many of these problems and realize that it’s not a lack of motivation or will power, but many times the issues are due to an inefficient approach. We then try to correct the approach by helping people make small changes to daily habits and recognize their triggers instead of overhauling every part of their life.
If it were easy you would be able to make small daily changes that would help you with your new identity. This identity would define your actions and your actions would define your identity. The two can quickly drive each other to make a great feedback loop of positive action.
- The first step is often deciding what type of person you want to be, and you then become that person by proving it with small wins to build habits each day. If I want to be a marathon runner, then doing an intelligent amount of aerobic work every day is my way of voting for my new identity. To quote Atomic Habits author James Clear, “Your identity emerges out of your habits. Every action is a vote for the type of person you wish to become.”
If you want to make changes easy and work towards being an even better version of yourself make sure you go to our website and sign up today!