It is that time of the year again, where we look at our lifestyle and food choices and try to pick one or two things that we want to give up for the next 40 days, lent. Most people will say they will give up a certain type of food like chocolate or crisps, which they have probably been trying to give up for the last number of years and it has never really worked for them. If you are one of these people, you must be honest with yourself and ask yourself is your method working for you? Insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. If you want to change the result you’re seeing, you must change the process!
During these 40 days of lent people can go down the road of being so strict on themselves with giving up this food, that they can’t stick to it. We must have control over this and have balance. We must avoid making an unsustainable habit. For people who give up something so drastically, they create a void in their diet. They feel there is a gap and they fill this gap by eating more, eating better but eating more. It is important to remember you can overeat well just as you can overeat on the bad, more unhealthy foods. If your goal is weight loss, you must keep your calories in a deficit.
You shouldn’t be giving up something unless it is something you can give up long term! Things like smoking, it’s not the best habit to have and it would be great to look at taking it out of your life long term. We have to have a controlled and balanced approach to this-there is very little point giving up the bad stuff now only to undo it on the other side of lent.
Everyone has given up more than enough in the last 12 months, there’s already a lot of negativity around the things that we have had to give up, like our social interactions. So with this in mind, instead of taking away more, how about focusing on adding something to our daily routine that will add value to our lives over the next 40 days. For example, putting 30 minutes aside everyday to go for a walk. This will give you more energy and will make you feel better about yourself, which will make you want to do it everyday, making it more likely that you keep it up after lent is over. This might be a better approach, to create better habits rather than taking things away. Don’t fall into the cycle, much like a new years resolution, where you feel like you have to give up this and that and putting this extra and unnecessary pressure on yourself.
Having a controlled and balanced approach to everything will give you long term, sustainable fat loss and fitness rather than being so strict on yourself and not being able to keep it up, ultimately finding yourself back at square one again. If you’re going to be serious about it, let’s look at changing our habits instead of looking at things we can give up.
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