You’ve taken your health and fitness for granted a little bit way too much; celebrated that night with your friends for way too long. All good, we’ve all been there. You’ve had the best intentions to get yourself back on track but the lure of fun night outs, good company and good food have been too irresistible to turn down.
Now it’s time to get back on track because now you’re feeling the full effects of over indulging. Some of your clothes don’t fit anymore, where you were toned you’re now flabby and your overall confidence and energy levels aren’t the same.
Some will tell you that it’s part of the ageing process; that you just become less optimal. You know better because you know how good you feel when you’re eating healthy and when you’re training regularly.
The only thing you need is a kick-start.
Here’s how to get back on track in 4-Steps:
1. Eliminate Everything that Doesn’t Serve Your Health
Why it becomes so hard to get back on track after a period of being less healthy is due to a change in your gut bacteria. The more bad gut bacteria you have compared to good gut bacteria means that your gut is going to crave more of the so called bad stuff; alcohol, processed foods, salt, sugar and fat.
Unhealthy gut bacteria also compromises your health, immune system and energy. Your immune system is always being called upon to to work to reduce inflammation caused by bacterial infections. The more your immune system is working the less time your body has to actually relax and rejuvenate your energy.
It comes down to reducing stress.
Start in your kitchen pantry and start by eliminating all processed foods from your house. If it’s not there you’re not likely going to be tempted to have it. If you only keep good food in your house than you’re only going to eat good food.
Keep it simple and only eat foods that can be hunted, gathered, fished or plucked; food from land or sea. You’re going to be reducing your stress load from nutrition and start rebalancing your gut flora with good gut bacteria.
A probiotic followed by a pizza isn’t going to cut it yet.
You almost might want to clear out your schedule for the next 2-weeks and dedicate it to fitness and health.
2. Have More Than a 1-Week Plan
Anyone can follow a nutrition and training plan for 1-week and only few even past the 2-week period. Your plan has to be long term, motivating and sustainable. Once you’ve done the hard work to get your best conditioning back you want to put yourself in a position where you’re going to be able to keep it for life and still enjoy life at the same time.
Unless you’re wanting to put on some serious size or you’re competing in fitness competition there shouldn’t be any phases of “bulking” and “cutting”; that’s just an excuse to eat crap.
Say you want to get back to your best shape and enjoy life at the same time.
Your plan might look like this:
- Month 1 – Fat loss (Reduce Stubborn Fat)
- Month 2 – Learn Strength Training (Get strong)
- Month 3 – Improve Body Composition More (Apply New Strength to Fat Loss Programs)
- Month 4 – Get Even Stronger at Different Lifts (Variety)
- Month 5 – Improve Fitness/Fat Loss Energy Systems (Lactic Acid Systems)
- Month 6 – Set X Amount of Chin-Up Goals (New Strength Goal)
There you go, I’ve just written your next 6 months worth of training cycles for you.
Cycle strict nutrition with more relaxed nutritional approaches. This can be cycles in days, weeks or months depending on where you’re at. If you’re training hard to improve your fitness and body composition every second month you’re putting your body in a better position to eat more carbs without getting fat because you’re more insulin sensitive. You can utilise that extra energy to get even stronger.
It will make your training fun and something to look forward to.
A sustainable plan should be done in waves, not a linear straight line process of 12-weeks no carbs and hard training. That would be nightmarish and would put you off living a healthy lifestyle all together as it wouldn’t seem worth it.
You want to somewhat enjoy it.
3. List All the Benefits of Achieving Your Goal
If you’re wanting to get back into your health regime but can’t, your pull needs to be bigger than your push. If you physically can’t, sometimes it’s matter of doing it, feeling terrible at first before it gets better. That’s because in the beginning your body is not using the best of fuel sources to fuel your workout, once you’ve excreted those toxins out through wee, poo and sweat and you’ve got good nutrients in you (Step 1), you’re going to start to feel way better.
Mentally if you’re struggling to get started again you have more reasons not to get back into your best shape than to get back into you best shape. Start changing your state around this by listing as benefits to achieving your goal as possible, so much so that it physically feels pulling to start taking action.
It’s going to take more than a list of 10 benefits.
4. Get Accountable
With so much knowledge out there, getting educated about what you need to do isn’t the problem. Having too many options is a problem and being too comfortable is a problem. If you’re not invested in your health, on a day you don’t have an appointment scheduled or on a day you’re feeling a bit off you have no real reason or consequence to do the work you know you should be doing.
“People will do more to avoid pain than to gain pleasure.”
If you have a lion chasing after you versus a suitcase full of money in front of you which one is going to cause you to react more quickly? The lion scenario because you don’t want to die.
That’s why most people are stuck at the “At some stage I’ll get to it” stage. They wait until it becomes a necessity to do it. They’ll wait until Spring hits and the rays of the sun hits their skin which will be their trigger to start getting healthy and training again because the consequences of not is not being at their best during the summer months.
Another e.g. is cramming your assignments on the last day before it’s due. It’s amazing what a time bound goal with real consequences will do to you, you always find a way.
To get accountable create necessity and a pain consequence that hurts if you don’t achieve your goal. From experience one of the most effective ways is putting my money down; an amount that’s enough for me to do the work and get pissed off if I don’t.
I’d regularly book in a holiday or sporting event once every 3 to 4 months where it requires me to be in good shape or else I wouldn’t enjoy it as much. Staying in shape after that is easier because you’ve a got a real contrast that you can compare it to, how you’re feeling and looking when you’re healthy compared to when you’re not.
It’s hard to go back once you’ve experienced it.
Already got a coach?
Step it up a notch, book in a photo-shoot, sporting event, social event or holiday where you really need to be in the best shape of your life.
There are levels and you have to play at your own.