When it comes to making any sort of behavioural change, success is often dependant on discipline. Unfortunately most of us are very diligent until we hit a hurdle and then find a million reasons why we can deviate just this once from our goals. After you have compromised your goal once it’s very easy to repeat the infraction and soon after completely ditch the whole effort. We see this with diets, training plans and many other undesired habits that we try squash and often fail because we are missing something.
That something is often structure. Structure gives us a behavioural edge over the average Maverick, we can use it in times of self discipline depletion and rely on it when it comes to time management. Having a structured plan leaves you with peace of mind about your desired objective and since you have a clear path of where you would like to get to, you are more likely to find your way there.
Training goals usually comprise of losing weight or gaining muscle, both rely heavily on a structured training plan and a well organised eating regime. CrossFit like many other training modals provide structure, you have a general time slot that works well for you, the coach keeps you accountable and the group of friends you make often provide a social pressure side that makes you feel like a contributing team member. Hence a lot of people see great results from the training.
Food and general diet habits tend to be a little bit more difficult to rein in. Especially for people who live very busy lives and don’t have the time to allocate to a good healthy diet. Unfortunately no matter how hard you are working on your physical goals, without a good meal plan (and adequate sleep) you will most likely always fail and not hit your optimal goal.
Deciding on an easy to follow strategy is going to be very important, you need a plan that you can follow even when you are tired. This usually involves pre planning meals or having someone prepare your meals for you.
Set times for eating and stick to them, don’t deviate and don’t make excuses.
Having a cheat day is fine, but keep it to one day and don’t try bend the rules you will only fool yourself. Remember it’s not a 24hour binge but rather a sunrise to sunset sort of idea.
Make sure you have a fixed goal, this is the planner in you.
Follow through with your plan, this is the doer in you.
Have someone to keep you accountable, this can be your coach or even a friend that keeps you on track.
Always ask yourself at the end of the day if you really tried to attain your goal, give your self a rating from 1-10 in terms of effort.
Regularly test and retest your current standings to keep yourself motivated.
A simple strategy that I have tried and tested has been the food delivery companies. After trying a few different ones I settled on Eatology. Note, I have no affiliation with Eatology and I don’t gain anything from them receiving more business, this is just my opinion and experience that I would share with a friend if they asked me.
There a few factors to consider before looking into a company like this, I will share the ones that made the difference for me.
Price – When I first decided to try a food delivery company, my first choice was the cheapest I could find. This ended up a failure as the quality and taste of the food made a difference, more than often there would be a meal that I really didn’t enjoy so I would end up spending more money to get a meal of my preference. Looking at price alone can therefore be a bit deceiving, looking at how much money I spend in total worked out a lot better to give me an idea of which works best. This meant I went with one of the more expensive companies but I ate more of the food provided so on average was not spending more.
Variety – The first week or two the meals are all new to me but a common problem I found initially was that I started to feel bored with what I was receiving. This in turn meant I was craving other food and not the healthier option I was hoping for. Before writing this I spent 6 weeks with Eatology to really get a good idea of the food. There are similar meals but I can’t say that I have had the same meal yet in the last 6 weeks, this keeps me engaged and I don’t worry as much about boredom.
Taste – Poor tasting food will more often get wasted than not, the food from Eatology has been so good that I am often excited about what I am going to get. Don’t take my word for it, just go online and look at their menus.
I highly recommend trying out a food delivery company for at least 6 weeks, be strict with your self and don’t eat any additional junk because you think you have built a health credit. After 6 weeks check your overall results and from there you can decide which course of action works for you. Even if it means just getting you into a structured routine.