Step 1: Purge your Pantry
With a pantry purge, you clean out any foods you don’t want to be tempted by. That means tossing or donating all the processed foods, sugar, and industrialized oils from your cabinets, fridge, and freezer. When you remove the foods that tempt you, and replace them with ones that support your goal, you have the best possible chance of succeeding. So, take this opportunity to design an environment that makes it easy to make smart decisions.
To avoid getting overwhelmed, do this task when you won’t be disturbed and start with one area, like the fridge. Begin on the top shelf and work your way down, reading labels and setting aside foods that don’t fit into your healthy eating plan. Keep in mind that doing a pantry purge when you’re hungry is a recipe for disaster, so fill up on protein and healthy fats first.
Step 2: Toss, Donate, or Place Out of Sight
You can donate your purged foods to a food bank or dump them in the trash or compost and recycle the containers. Dead set on keeping certain foods around? Your best bet is to place them out of your direct line of sight. That’s because foods that are placed at eye level tend to be eaten more frequently.
Ever wonder why grocery stores put candy and other processed convenience foods at the check-out line? It’s based on a concept known as decision fatigue. Psychologists found that the more decisions you’re faced with, the more fatigued your willpower becomes. And the more you open your fridge and see leftover pizza, the less likely you’ll be to cook up a pack of bison burgers.
Step 3: Replace with Healthier Foods
You don’t have to fill your cart with 100% organic, grass-fed foods. Just buy the foods that support your health goals and make you feel energized. And here’s the kicker, don’t purchase that junk food again. Even for “just in case” reasons. If you don’t want to be tempted by it, don’t buy it in the first place. Full stop.
Foolproof Your Workouts
It’s not just about the workout, it’s about creating the habit of working out. You’re creating a new routine in your life and in your daily schedule — and that takes mental and physical effort.
Take actionable steps so that exercise becomes a non-negotiable part of the day. It might look like:
- Deciding when you’ll exercise (what days and what time of day)
- Figuring out what kind of workout you’ll do (and where you’ll do it)
- Blocking off time on your calendar
- Setting out exercise clothes and shoes (and equipment if necessary)
- Finding an accountability buddyto help you stay on track
- Discovering your “why”(why is exercising important to you?)
- Getting clear on the consequences of not completing your workout
The Psychology of Creating Habits
Look at this a different way. Let’s say you normally brush and floss your teeth at night, and then one night you’re so exhausted that you decide to skip it. Do you get frustrated with yourself and decide to skip brushing for the rest of the week, month, or year?
No, you brush them when you wake up in the morning. Tending to your oral hygiene is an important part of your overall health (and generally makes you feel good). The same thing goes for working out. You don’t need to beat yourself up if you miss one day. You just need to pick up where you left off and then keep going.
Start Small (These Exercises Count Too)
Remember, exercise doesn’t have to look like an epic run, 90-minute boot camp class, or two-hour bike ride. It could be as simple as:
- Taking the stairs instead of the escalator
- Walking around the block
- Doing tricep dips or squats while you’re waiting for your Zoom meeting to start
- Holding a plank while you’re waiting for the next Netflix episode to load
- Parking in the furthest spot from the store
- Gardening, dancing, or playing with your pet
- Any form of microworkout(these are workouts you can do in 2 minutes or less)
Every form of movement counts. Start small, be consistent, and before you know it, exercise will be as automatic as brushing your teeth.
Chloe Maleski is a board-certified Primal Health Coach and personal trainer with a bachelor’s degree from Duke University and a master’s in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University. She is Head Coach at myPrimalCoach, the premier online health coaching service designed to help you lose weight and take control of your health for life. Excerpted from the web site: marksdailyapple.com