Why being boring with your lifestyle habits reaps the biggest rewards
Have you been searching for that magic exercise, that magic pill or specific food diet to change your life?
You might think to yourself - “there must be an easier way to stay healthy for the long term”. You see other people have success - why can’t you?
Through the years there have been many, many different experts who claim that eating a specific concoction in the morning can reap huge benefits and rewards. Take for example the lemon water, apple cider vinegar, bulletproof coffee (for those paleo/keto!).
Dieticians have made millions off weight loss programs, juice cleanses, 30 day ab fat burner programs.
It can feel overwhelming to decide which one you should do and where to even start.
In this post today I want to go over why the basics always come out on top and why it’s not as glamorous as other big promises made in the fitness and diet industry.
The quick fix problem
Abs in 30 days? Hell yeah! Sign me up…!
I can just drink this magic drink and lose up to 10 lbs in 7 days? Wow that would really start me off right!
Follow this workout video 7 days a week and I’ll feel great? I’m in!
The quick fix problem is real...if you’ve ever muttered those words above you might know the feeling of being super excited to start something - only to see it fail miserably 1-3 months later.
I’ve talked about this one on here before, the outrageous claims that diet industry products or programs make.
If you’ve tried anything like those claims above - I’m sure you know how it feels to be duped!
I don’t think these companies and people have a vendetta against true health and life change, I do believe they genuinely want to help.
However they take advantage of the fear of not changing - they take advantage of our
short attention span, and dire need of change.
It makes sense, if someone has been battling weight and food problems for years - making a product or program that seemingly can reverse that in only a few days, or weeks is a godsend.
It’s like the clouds opened up and delivered directly to you - the magic formula for quick changes.
After years of dieting - this might feel like a relief...
“Wow I’ve been doing things wrong all this time, meanwhile all I had to do was fast for 20 hours a day and drink this apple cider, lemon water, turmeric magic drink!”
However the truth of the matter is that changing your life, weight, energy and overall physique is a long, slow process.
I’m not saying that no one can have success in these products or programs, however I do believe that the far majority of people will end up right where they started. (96% of dieters return to their weight after 5 years, how ineffective can this get!)
The excitement of novelty
I think a big reason why many of us get trapped into this quick fix thinking is because of the novelty of a new thing.
Take for example a new gadget, a new piece of furniture, a new car, new house, or a new relationship!
These things are super exciting at the start. You haven’t yet had any experiences with it yet so you still have yet to build a history with this new aspect to your life.
You don’t yet have negative experiences with this , it’s like you're wearing those rose colored glasses and everything is looking like sunshine!
Novelty is what makes life interesting at times - of course you want that new iPhone that has that cool face recognition, or super good camera etc. You haven’t yet experienced it so the fact that something is different and new is a driving force into your excitement and eventual purchase of the iPhone.
Novelty is nice - it feels good and it feels fresh. This is why that new car feels so good for the first month or 2. Having something new fulfills that excitement and completes the intrigue that you might have had prior to buying it.
The same can be said about new diets. If you’ve been on many diets before in the past, once a new diet gets shown on your morning news talk show - your interest peaks because...hey that might be the answer!
I haven’t done THAT yet!
Who knows that might be what my life is missing. It feels fresh and exciting. Maybe this new diet or program calls for you to eat a food that you’ve been missing out on or thought wasn’t “good”.
Take for example the Keto diet:
If you’ve been following the weight watchers program prior to keto , you might not have been eating as much as avocados. The points are high and you’ve only been allotted maybe half of one in your day.
Now here comes the Keto diet flexing it’s fat! Avocado’s are now the golden child, and you now have the novelty of enjoying this food again according to the new diet you are choosing to do.
I’m not saying that novelty, and that newness factor isn’t important in our lives. I love my new video games, and new at home gym equipment. These things get used a lot when I first get them!
However just recognize that novelty wears off….the fun and excitement does wane. Ask yourself what you’ll be left with after it wears off.
This goes doubly true for weight loss programs and products. Once your body becomes adjusted to the new way of eating, you’ll most likely hit a plateau and feel the need to find something else that’s novel.
Maybe it’s some fat burning pills, maybe it’s a new fasting protocol. Whatever it is - you will hop ship and move onto the next shiny object!
Why the basics always win out
Okay so if those fancy diet programs and products don’t work for the long term because they run out of steam - what does?
Hate to break it to you, but good nutrition and good health is very simple.
It’s almost too simple to sell because we all KNOW what the basics are.
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, move 20-30 minutes everyday, eat until you're satisfied, get plenty of sleep, drink enough water each day, and make sure to take time to de-stress.
….That’s pretty much all you need to do to be in the best shape of your life.
No magic program, no magic pill or food. It’s just the basics.
It’s stuff we’ve learned back in grade school - the basics of taking care of ourselves. Sure there might be some nuance to the basics. However if you just did the above day in and day out for a year, you would be a drastically different person.
Tell me - have you given this an honest shot before? OR does it just seem too easy, or too basic to have an impact?
To prove this, let’s take just ONE of the above basics.
Eating until satisfied.
I’m going to assume that most of us at some point everyday, eat past our fullness level. If you ever have felt that stomach pain, bloat, or just overall fatigue after eating a big meal...you probably ate past what your BODY was telling you it needed.
Let’s put a number on it, let’s say for dinner you tend to have a little bit extra food. A little extra food might come out to 250 calories more. (I know, busting out calories...but bear with me here).
So if you ate 250 calories more every single time you ate dinner (and 250 calories can be 2 drinks with dinner...it can be a half cup of pasta more..4 more pieces of steak etc.) in a weeks time you would of had 1750 calories more per week than you would of if you just stopped eating when you were satiated.
1750 calories over a month’s time comes out to 7000 calories extra. 7000 calories will equate to about 2 pounds ADDED in a month's time.
And this ONLY factors in that 1 meal, once a day that you tend to overeat a little bit on.
I know I’m a culprit of this when it comes to my post dinner ice cream. I feel uncomfortable after eating the ice cream and sometimes will feel it in the morning afterwards as well.
So then to potentially avoid adding 2 pounds a month just from that one meal, just try stopping eating when you are satiated and not overly stuffed.
The basics doesn’t mean it’s easy
I get it - sometimes we need something to be easy for us to really adopt into our life.
Life is super busy with our careers, family, kids, social events, birthday parties, nights out, and vacation. Who has time to do something difficult ON TOP of all of life’s responsibilities.
So even though the basics are things you already know - that doesn’t mean it’s easy to accomplish.
It’s difficult to find 30 minutes a day to move when you are working 10 hours, preparing meals for family, seeing friends or family. It’s difficult to always find the time to SLEEP 7-8 hours (which I would imagine many of you don’t do!).
Being in the best shape of your life isn’t EASY. It’s certainly worth it, but it’s not easy to implement these “basics”.
However I see it like this: If you are going to spend your time doing anything to improve your health, why not spend the most time doing the things that have worked for years, and years.
Why waste your time and money on products or programs that promise easy changes, quickly?
If instead you used the time it takes to find a new diet and implement it to INSTEAD work on applying the basics everyday, you’ll be using your OVERALL time much more efficiently.
It takes years of practice to master these “basic” habits. Even I, someone who has authority to speak about these things, still struggles with getting enough sleep, and being able to pay attention to my hunger level.
However I know that no magic diet or abs program will leave me feeling better than how I feel right now because it will only be short lived. I might as well continue working on getting to sleep a little earlier each day.
How this shift in mindset can help change your life
Let’s compare investing in the stock market, to investing in your health.
How many times have you tried a “get rich quick” scheme?
Have you ever dumped money into a stock, only to see it fall horribly? Was part of your excitement and motivation to do this, motivated by that potential of the get rich quick mentality?
Instead, I like to consider the most famous investor’s advice. Warren Buffet states “Go long” and hold onto a company that you believe in forever.
Warren buffet also states “Be skeptical on those things that appear too good to be true”.
Both of these quotes highlight exactly the issue with the diet industry. Too many people invest too short a time into themselves making changes. 30 day diets, 3 day cleanses, 12 week exercise program.
And when things appear too good to be true, they probably are. So next time you see that magic tea or fat burner, approach it with some skepticism.
Life just doesn’t work as quickly as we would hope - it takes time and momentum to build. This is exactly why I talk about making habits last FOREVER.
If you can just focus on the basics day in and day out - you’ll be able to not only change your life for the better, but you’ll also free up your mind and time from programs and products that will ultimately fail you.
So remember - even though the basics are boring...they work.
A little patience and perseverance is needed...but I know you can do it!