When it comes to our overall health, exercise and diet are the two primary components to our well-being. However, a rather large subset of the population live with ailments that can be attributed directly to poor lifestyle habits. Diabetes and heart risk are more surprisingly more prevalent than ever in North America, despite all the research that has been made available to us in the last three decades. So, why is this the case? Interestingly enough, it all boils down to two things – habitual training from birth and self-destructive psychological factors that lead us down the wrong path. Of course, the two aren’t mutually exclusive.
As a Toronto personal trainer with more than fifteen years of experience, I have seen everything when it comes to poor lifestyle choices. The path to healthy weight loss was rather simple for most of our clients. Eat regular small meals every two hours to speed up your metabolism, exercise, drink more water, reduce simple sugars and carbs, increase healthy fats and lean proteins – all of the usual advice, but following it was easier said than done. It wasn’t until we started to train their minds that they saw some measure of success. We used cognitive behavioral therapy in most cases and saw about a 30% success rate, whereas, we saw a 17% success rate in significantly reducing obesity without it.
One of the best tricks to changing these behaviors is teaching moderation rather than restriction. Elimination diets have proven time and again to be completely ineffective over the long-term. Fitness and regular exercise all boils down to routine. It’s almost like when someone looks in the mirror and tells themselves either negative or positive affirmations. If you do it for long enough, you cement those ideas in your mind and it’s very difficult to undo them. If you tell yourself that strength training is fun every day and change your perception of it, then it actually becomes fun. These are the most important steps for self-motivation.