“We are what we repeatedly do? Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
On the surface, nutrition is simple. Eat quality foods in the proper amounts for the goal you choose (Leaning, Bulking or Performance). Whether you want to get jacked, empower your performance, or lean up for a Top Gun style beach volleyball game, you are going to have to make a change in how you eat. You are going to have to become a different person.
Change is hard. If change were easy, we wouldn’t have over 40% obesity in your adult population. It is not for lack of want, consider that 3 of the top 4 new year’s resolution in 2021 were exercising more 50%, losing weight 48% and eating healthier 44%, (1). Clearly people set goals for what they want to do but why does it stop there? Why do the goals fizzle out? Because setting a goal is not enough.
Goals are good but habits are a superpower
No matter what you want to accomplish, setting goals is a great start. By definition, a goal is a desired result. Even a well-designed goal is not enough. If you really want dig that goal in like an Alabama tick, then you need to drill the goals down to manageable habits. A habit is a regular practice
For example, if your goal is to lose 10lbs of fat or gain 10lbs of muscle, there are habits that must take place to realize the goal. The first step is to determine what habits are necessary daily habits for success. Successful people plan, prepare, and execute many of the following habits:
- Weekly Meal Plan– Having a weekly meal plan provides a framework for success. You know exactly what you will eat and when. This also provides you the opportunity to plan for meals that you do not control like work dinners, holidays, and gatherings with friends.
- Prepare grocery list- Having a grocery list ensures that you buy goal supporting foods.
- Shop for groceries- Shopping for the groceries ensures that you have goal supporting foods on hand making it less likely to go off plan.
- Prepping food (cooking proteins, cutting vegetables, prepping meals, etc.) – Being prepared is essential to staying on plan. Lack of planning leads to fast food trips, eating out, etc. where you have no control of food preparation.
- Tracking food consumption- Much like prepping, tracking food is essential to success. You need to know how much you are eating to keep on plan. This will show if you are eating too much or too little depending on goals.
- Regular weigh ins– This is so you can track trends going up or down. Regular weighing allows you to make quick adjustments if needed.
- Bi-weekly circumference measurements- This goes hand in hand with regular weighing. This is your proof of concept. Sometimes the scale does not tell the whole story.
- Reflection on the success of a plan- This is where you reflect on the plan and look for signs like stalled weight loss or gain and determine next steps to keep on track towards hitting your goal.
Practice Tiny Habits
Starting new habits can be as difficult as stopping a habit. Think about trying to stop a bad habit; it is hard, which shows you how powerful habits are. It is time to replace bad habits with better ones. For instance, if you are doing none of the above habits, then trying to implement all the habits is a recipe for failure.
In his book The Tiny Habits: Small Changes That Change Everything, BJ Fogg recommends attaching a new habit to an anchoring moment, something that you already do to help make it stick. (2) For instance, right after you brush your teeth pack your lunch for that day or upon rising on Sunday morning write out your menu for the week. And once you do it celebrate it with something like a fist bump.
After a week or two you will likely have the habit rolling, so add another small new habit. In time you will have a set of habits that lead you to where you want to be. The investment in tiny habits will grow over time much like compound interest
Practice the habits relentlessly. Remember the definition of the habit is a regular practice. Turn your habits into the superpower that they are.
Analyze the Results
Success leaves clues. Be inquisitive and look at the information that you are compiling from your habits. You may find that some of the habits are working well and some not so much. A powerful question to ask yourself is “how is that working?”. If you are finding progress keep it. If it is not working, it needs to be tweaked.
Look for resistance to certain habits and ask yourself why you are resisting. Perhaps you aren’t ready or perhaps that is where you need to focus. Use the data to determine your next steps. For instance you may need a little more time with a habit before adding a new one.
Become 10% Better
Proper nutrition is powerful, but not easy. There will be mistakes and stumbles along the way. It is easy to judge yourself harshly and just quit. Instead accept that mistakes will happen and move on. Allow yourself to get 10 % better. The better you become at implementing habits into your daily routine, the more success you will have.
Get a Coach
A coach is a tour guide. Together you work through selecting what habits to focus you on toward your goal. The coach keeps you accountable by checking in, help to interpret the data, help looking for trends, and help adjusting your focus to keep progress rolling.
Nail down your daily habits and you will nail down any nutrition goal. Make consistent habits your superpower by building a set of habits that will allow you to Eat the Weak and crush it. If you’re interested in an empowering consultation with one of Power Athlete’s Nutrition Coaches, please fill out the form below.
1 Ballard, J. (2020, December 17). Exercising and sticking to a healthy diet are the most common 2021 New Year’s resolutions. Retrieved January 08, 2021, from https://today.yougov.com/topics/lifestyle/articles-reports/2020/12/23/2021-new-years-resolutions-poll
2 Fogg, B. J. (2020). Tiny habits: + the small changes that change everything. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
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Rob has been in the fitness/strength and conditioning industry for 21+ years. For the last 12 years, he has owned and operated CrossFit West Houston. Through CrossFit, Rob found Power Athlete the methodology course and earning his Block One. Nutrition is a passion which lead him to currently pursuing a Masters program in Nutrition at Lamar University and Power Athlete Nutrition coach.
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