HomeLIFESTYLEReal Ways to Eat Better, Exercise More, and Get More Results

Real Ways to Eat Better, Exercise More, and Get More Results

If you want to know how a rich actor gets in amazing shape, you are in the wrong place.

Brad is a University Lecturer with a Master’s Degree in Kinesiology and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). He has competed as a drug-free bodybuilder, is a cancer survivor, and is a 21-year veteran of the Air National Guard, Brad has been a Primer contributor since 2011.


Getting in better shape seems like a constant roller coaster for many of us. We start the new year with a bang, with a new diet, new workout, and a new commitment. But then predictably fall off the wagon and fall back on our old habits like a childhood security blanket.

We will continue this process of starting and failing again and again. It’s a sick game we play with no winners.

You know what to do

This all or nothing mindset is a tricky mindset. On the one hand, it is a powerful and complete strategy designed not only to change our lifestyle and habits, but also to change our perspective and strengthen our motivation to make a big change.

The truth of the matter is that we already have the foundational knowledge to be successful. We all know some of the basics of eating right, which foods are toxic to our goals, and the need and benefits of exercise and leading an active lifestyle.

So, this massive overhaul we subject ourselves to over and over again can seem like overkill. Small changes to our existing habits will have greater and longer lasting benefits for change, and could not be easier to implement.

Think of it this way: No one starts running with the goal of running a marathon by running 26.2 miles on day one. We take our existing capacity and gradually increase it over time.

Again, we know what to do, we just need a plan to get there without turning our world upside down.

how to develop better habits

Behavior change of any kind is a product of developing effective daily habits. Focusing on the day-to-day practice of a new habit is a far more powerful strategy than some abstract, ill-defined goal.

Yes, we need goals, but the best bet is to set our goals and then work on them daily. process How exactly do we get there.

And this is a daily process.

A 2009 study in the European Journal of Social Psychology concluded that it can take between 18 and 254 days for a person to form a new habit. Don’t be surprised yet, it was concluded that the average time for a behavior to become self drive was 66 days [1],

Now, considering some of those “bad” habits you’ve ingrained in your brain over the years, 66 days feels like a drop in the bucket of time. It also becomes painfully clear that reaching your goals isn’t about making big, audacious plans, turning over a new leaf, or changing who you are. it’s more about focus daily practice in which a will be compounding Versus an overnight change.

eat better

Let’s start with what we eat. How can we eat better without the fanfare of going from potato chips to tofu? The trick is to start small. Start with something that is easy and almost unnoticeable like drinking soft drinks three times per week or changing only one meal per day in a healthy alternative.

For example, you can either skip breakfast or have a sugar-laden meal first thing in the morning. Now you can decide to start your day with a healthy breakfast rich in protein, complex carbs and fibre. This could be something like oatmeal mixed with fruit and a cup of Greek yogurt.

bowl of oatmeal

Again, nothing major: just a small change to implement over a month or two until it becomes your new, automatic behavior. Changing that one little thing will eventually lead to a very powerful and compounding effect on your mental discipline. In turn, you’ll build real momentum to change the other behavior.

It is similar to building work force. It is a slow but highly effective process that will help develop other strengths along the way.

Now let’s take a look at some of the eating behaviors we can realistically change without any new inventions.

remember, Try practicing just one to three of these at a time In order not to get too overwhelmed:

pitcher of water

body fat loss

  • Drink more water. Keep a half-gallon container of water in your fridge and plan to empty it by the end of the day.
  • Plan your meals: This will reduce snacking throughout the day.
  • Cook ahead: This will prevent you from eating fast food on the go.
  • Eat slowly. Taking time to eat will allow your brain to receive the message that you are full, so you will eat less.
  • Look Ahead: If you’re on a calorie-reduced eating plan, cheat meals for the weekend will allow you to look ahead and solidify your adherence.
  • Be aware: Be aware of what you are eating and how it tastes. Being present with your food will give you more control over what you eat.
  • Ditch the scarcity mindset. We often subconsciously believe that the food we want is in short supply so we must eat it now. Remember that we live in a time where food is plentiful.

gain muscle

  • Plan Your Meals: Along with losing fat, building muscle will require quality calories as opposed to fast food. Prepare your own food and never be without it.
  • Focus on protein: As the building block of muscle, protein is also important for keeping you satiated.
  • Get complex: Focus on complex carbohydrates as your main source of energy. This will also maintain your blood sugar level.
  • Avoid fasting: Even though there are many iterations of fasting diets that are trending these days, they are not that effective in building muscle.
  • Break up your meals: Taking in more calories can be difficult. Break your meals into smaller, more frequent portions.
  • Cut down on alcohol: If you indulge, start slowly reducing your consumption.
  • Grow slowly: Don’t rush the process of building muscle. have patience.
  • Keep your gym clothes and shoes next to your bed at night to make it easier to go first thing in the morning.
  • If you’re having a hard time getting to the gym, lower your expectations of what will happen when you get there. Allow yourself to do only one set. On days when you’re feeling unmotivated or busy, this will make it less likely that you’ll quit altogether. The good thing is, usually once you get there, you never stay on one set.

workout hard

man running

Is this you? You see a trendy workout program online and a month later jump on it only to see another and are tempted to try it? This is called program hopping. We see shiny things and keep diverting our attention with little or no result. Then we conclude that we are not ready for this fitness stuff and leave.

Or maybe you’re the type who works out and is stuck in a constant plateau, desiring ever greater fat loss or greater muscle gain.

For those who program hop the solution is Pick a sound program and stick with it for at least three months, Those standing still will need to embrace the fact that something will need to change in order to make progress.

However, both groups would be best off practicing smaller changes than overhauling their programs.

Just like with diet, it’s the small shifts compounded over time that will have the biggest impact.

Training to get lean or build muscle is not rocket science. Placing energy and resistance demands on the body will lead to burning body fat and replacing it by building muscle tissue, respectively.

Let’s look at some of the things we can do on a daily basis to encourage these changes.

getting leaner

  • Walk: High-intensity cardio is great, but start small and plan to walk for 15 minutes per day for three days per week.
  • Weight lifting: If fat loss is the goal, be sure to participate in short weight training sessions twice per week.
  • Talking Speed: You should still be able to carry on a conversation while doing cardio.
  • Try something new. If you’ve been doing the same type of cardio and need a change, try something you’ve never done before, like swimming.
  • Sports Count: Cardio doesn’t need to be long, boring bouts on the treadmill. The game of basketball matters too.
  • Stand and walk more: Take the stairs, configure your work area to a standing desk, set a timer to get up and walk every hour.
  • Limit screen time: We tend to sit for long periods of time when we look at our devices and lose track of time. Make a plan and schedule to limit screen time each day.
men playing basketball

build muscle

  • Get down to the basics: Simplify and focus on big, compound lifts and cut out all the unnecessary fluff.
  • Keep doing what you’ve been doing. If you’ve been on a program for less than four weeks, keep going and try it out completely.
  • Commit: If you’re new to lifting, start with two full-body weight training sessions per week for 30 minutes.
  • Keep a Journal: Record your exercises, sets, reps, and weight used for motivation and progress.
  • Ask for help: Hire a trainer or get a lifting partner for added motivation, accountability and education.
  • Progression: Aim to add more reps and/or more weight to one exercise per week.
  • Stay the Course: No matter how slow your process is, stay in your world and move forward to develop and solidify those new habits and behaviors.

in closing

Eating better and working harder is a marathon, not a sprint. Building those behaviors will take time and progress will require you to take small steps forward. You have to play the long game if you want those new and better habits to stick. Think about where you would be in a year if you didn’t.

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