RJ’s Fitness Blog: Focus on habits versus goals

This week I want to talk about something that helped me as I was working to get back into shape. While goals are important, sometimes habits need to come first.

Think about all the people you know who want to lose a few pounds. At some point, everyone wants to drop about ten pounds. Now think about all the people you know who have dropped that weight, but then within a few months put it back on.

Why so many people drop weight then put it right back on?

For the most part, it is because there is little to no follow up after that goal was hit. Right now I can name you five people I work with who are on some kind of diet. The problem is many diets come to an end.

Take a moment to think about many popular diets. Many last between fifteen and thirty days. So what happens the day after the diet challenge ends? All too often the person goes back to past eating practice.

This is why people should focus less on a number based weight goal and more on a long term habit. Lock in some good habits and that weight loss will happen.

For example, a close friend had been complaining about how she watches everything she eats and works out but still was not seeing any weight loss. After asking talking in depth about what she was eating, I found out she was also having an average of two or three glasses of wine every night. Over a week that adds up to about 2,000 calories, basically, she was adding a full day of caloric intake to her week.

She decided to limit herself to only one glass per night. That is still about 800 calories for the week. The next week she cut out the drinking. At the end of that two weeks, she was down five pounds.

Just think about some habits that could be changed.

If you eat out at fast food every day for lunch could you change to a meal replacement shake?

Do you need a high-calorie Mocha Frappuccino or could you just get plain coffee?

Could to use the stairs every day versus the elevator?

Now for the big secret. Don’t try to change everything at one time. Just pick one habit you need to change and make that change. Don’t try to add some other habit till the first one is part of your normal routine.

Most diets have a start point and an end point. While on a diet people dream of the first day off when they get to indulge. So don’t diet. Change your a habit or two and reap the rewards.