At any given time, there are probably millions of people starting a new diet. At any given time, there are millions of people working out hard at home, at a gym, or outside.
So why, at any given time, is the average American overweight, and borderline obese?
In 2020, 83 percent of men and 72 percent of women will be overweight or obese. Currently, 72 percent of men and 63 percent of women are overweight or obese (people who are overweight have a BMI of 25 to 29, people who are obese have a BMI of 30 or greater). In 2020, 77 percent of men and 53 percent of women will have dysglycemia (either diabetes or pre-diabetes). Currently, 62 percent of men and 43 percent of women have dysglycemia.
Direct from the AHA – American Heart Association
There are more gym memberships now than ever. More diet options than ever. More “health” foods on the shelves than ever…yet America is sicker than ever.
So why do we fail the test at improving our health?
Impatience and Overzealousness.
In the most classic American way (and to be honest, the rest of the developed world is right behind us…) we want things to happen now, and we want to go BIG!
Nobody gets 50 pounds overweight overnight, yet they want to lose 50 pounds in 6 weeks.
How will they do it? Shakes, wraps, bars, funky drinks, supplements, cutting out whole food groups, demonizing foods, stopping all social interaction…
…and for those of you nodding along and saying – that’s me… how did it work out?
Little Hinges Swing Big Doors
I’m all for improving your health and going all in. But it’s got to be something that you can sustain forever. Yes, forever. You can’t start a lifestyle change, change your life, and then go back to what you were doing before.
Lifestyle change – it’s not as scary/bad/painful as it sounds. You make little changes over time, and after a few years – the “new” habits and the new you will be the normal you, and the old habits and old stuff will be special occasions.
How might this look with diet and exercise?
I always use the analogy of upgrading your system. Where you currently are is You 1.0. All you need to do is upgrade to You 1.1 and you are improved!
If you currently don’t exercise AT ALL and are very obese – start purposely walking 5 minutes per day. Yes, 5 minutes every day. It’s been proven that when starting a new habit more frequency is better than less frequency with more duration/effort.
If you currently exercise 3 days per week – that’s awesome! Can you add a 4th? Or can you add more steps to your day? Or can you add more intensity to your training? There are many ways to “level up” without just adding MORE!
Lastly, there are some people who need less. Training is great. But if you are training multiple times per day, 7 days per week, sleeping like garbage, and totally neglecting your diet – you are likely setting yourself up for injury, burnout, more sleep issues, hormonal disruption, and a whole slew of other issues.
Find something that you can stick to for the long haul, miss as few days from your plan as possible, be patient, be consistent and watch your body change.
This is the biggie. More people struggle with nutrition than with exercise. It used to be the other way around! We didn’t have to think about food choices, and lifting weights was only for weirdos.
Our current food environment is terrible. You can consume 1000+ calories in minutes, not even feel full, and never leave your couch. Our bodies are not meant to handle this.
The amount of calorie-dense foods available to us at the snap of our fingers is more than it’s ever been. Yes, there are more healthy foods now than ever as well, but we don’t gravitate to those, and oftentimes they are falsely labeled on the front and can be confusing as hell too.
Same as with your exercise, take one step at a time. If your current breakfast looks like this…
You could make a very simple swap, and greatly improve this meal to…
Now, before you health zealots crackdown on “THIS IS STILL UNHEALTHY” – shut your mouth. Is this perfect? No. Is this a huge improvement from You1.0? You bet.
Let’s take it further, and see how it can evolve over time.
Don’t get too caught up with the calories and macro numbers (this would be a tiny breakfast for me 🙂 – but see how the calories are changed first, then we focus on the quality. And yes, this might be an evolution over YEARS!
Little hinges swing big doors.
I had a client recently message me – “I think I need to go Vegan!” after 3 weeks of working together.
I asked “why is that?” to which she responded – “everyone raves about it and I feel like I need to change it up!”
So I asked “what is it about going vegan that is appealing to you outside of the claims people are making?”
“Nothing, it sounds terrible and it would suck”… okay! She answered her own question.
If you are already thinking about a diet as being miserable or looking forward to your first “cheat day” – why would you start that diet? Just like a relationship. Would you go into a relationship, looking forward to cheating??
Be patient with your changes, and your journey.
You won’t be perfect every day. You will have slip-ups. But the key is you keep moving forward, and you get back up from those slip-ups.
Over time, the hard things will become easier, and the easier things will become more painful. The more you find your health, the more painful it feels to be unhealthy. But until you take that first step, that first walk, do that first squat, that first “no thanks” to seconds…you cannot change.
Start slow, be consistent, and remember…
Little hinges swing big doors.
If you need help getting started, look no further than online coaching. Training and nutrition! Let me help you find the best plan for you – from anywhere in the world.
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