We can all agree that it would be nice to have everything run on autopilot. Chores, exercise, eating healthy and getting your work done just happening automatically without temptations and everyday normal problems popping up putting us on the spot against our new goals and routines. But do you ever feel like you’re not being able to stick to your new eating habits? Like you have that roller coaster feeling when it comes to food of doing really well for a while and then doing really “poorly”?
Diet change, weight loss, healthier lifestyle, no fast-food, less sugar, etc, are amongst the most common New Year’s resolutions every year. According to a survey by Inc Magazine, those items are present in 71% of new year’s resolutions lists across the U.S. According to the same survey, “about 60 percent of us admit that we make New Year's resolutions but only about 8 percent of us are successful in achieving them.”
If you ever feel like you can’t stay constant on your new eating habit and routine it’s because of the start-and-stop cycle. The start-and-stop cycle is a continuous pattern that people can experience in pursuit of eating healthy that prevents them from experiencing a sense of balance, ease, peace, and freedom with food. When you’re in the start-and-stop cycle, you find yourself eating “perfectly” for a period of time, but because it’s too restrictive and difficult to maintain for the long-term you end up getting off-track. That period is then followed by guilt which leads right into feeling like you need to “reset.”
Starting a new diet and clean eating habit has to come alongside a massive behavioral change, which also brings up the question: Am I really ready to make a change at this point of my life? Everything we do, feel, and think relates to our well-being. In my opinion, wellness is considered a way of living, an integration of the body, mind, and soul. It’s not just about your looks, but your health as well: overindulging in unhealthy habits can endanger your life in more ways than one, and avoiding this situation is a must.
While this start-and-stop cycle can also look different for each of us and can also have different levels of severity, it’s definitely safe to believe that we all have found ourselves in this cycle before and we can see just how easy it can be to repeat this cycle several times. This cycle continues to repeat itself, following similar variations of the same pattern, until we make a conscious decision to seek out a solution that doesn’t require too many restrictions or that guilty feeling.
In this blog I want to give you the perfect tips on how to hold on to the new diet or eating habit you set for this year!
1. Don’t try to change your eating until you have mastered important skills, such as how to motivate yourself every day, how to get yourself to use good eating habits, how to withstand hunger and craving, and how to get yourself back on track immediately when you fall short on a plan.
2. Partner Up: Report (whether or not you have used good eating habits and followed your eating plan) to another person–daily–through email, texting, or voice messages. This advice is cliche for a reason – it works. You are likely to stay motivated and moving in the right direction if you have a friend or a community of like-minded individuals to support you.
3. This one is super important in my opinion: stop looking for the perfect diet or the perfect combination of foods. Eat in a very healthy way but allow yourself to have one favorite food, in moderation, every single day. Don’t try to completely change your life in one day. Although it might seem simple to make those changes, it is extremely hard to keep up with them.
4. Teach yourself the difference between hunger (that empty feeling in your stomach when you haven’t eaten for a few hours) and craving or the desire to eat (which you will feel in your mouth or throat). Ultimately, you want to just label what you’re feeling (hunger, craving, tiredness, boredom, or a negative emotion) and tolerate it without eating. In the short-run, have a list of powerful distractions to turn your attention away from food. Restructure your environment so it won’t tempt you. Remove junk food (Don’t even go through the isle when you're grocery shopping) from your house maybe.
5. Regularize your eating with a set plan of meals and snacks. Some people do well with no snacks, some with a snack after each meal, some with two snacks after dinner. Basically, try and eat only when it’s time to eat; not when you feel like eating.
Remember: Every time you eat something you weren’t supposed to, you strengthen your giving in muscle, which makes it more likely that the next time you’ll give in and the time after that and the time after that. Every time you stick to your plan when you’re tempted to eat something else, you strengthen your resistance muscle, which makes it more likely that the next time you’ll resist, and the time after that and the time after that.
Choosing minimally processed, real foods that provide maximal nutritional benefits is the main idea behind the switch to clean eating lifestyle focused on longevity. My biggest advice is to start slow and small, with one or two products you heavily consume already and then see how that goes and start implementing it with other product categories. The main goal is to consume foods that are as close to their natural state as possible.
With the increase in demand, the availability for natural and organic products of all types has also increased so it shouldn’t be hard to find substitute foods and drinks for what you already have been consuming.
Things such as “Low-sugar”, “No Artificial”, and “zero calories” should do the work in getting your attention, but make sure you read the labels and be aware if the packages are lying or not.
One of my favorite parts of the whole process is to search and get to know more about products that fit into my fit lifestyle and are on the same page as me in terms of longevity in what I do. I might be a professional swimmer now and somehow be ‘forced’ into watching my diet and what goes into my body, but I know for a fact that one day when I don’t swim anymore I will still be very worried and concerned about my health.
Luckily the availability for low-sugar natural products has been on the rise and I have been able to refuel and replenish my body with the right amount of calories, vitamins and electrolytes while staying on track of my lifestyle goals. Products such as Hydra Guard Sports Drink are available on the market and online and they help me on a daily basis with my training routine.
Paul Millsap, 4x NBA All-Star and Hydra-Guard Partner has always made his nutrition and health a priority this year, which reflects his elite performance and extremely successful long career in the NBA. Paul’s ability to maintain playing at the highest level has been nothing short of amazing. It's a professional career that every athlete strives for. Hydra-Guard Sports Drink caught Paul’s attention in early 2019, when he officially partnered with them in efforts to bring the brands healthy benefits more readily available to more households across the country.
"Being a professional athlete naturally encourages me and my family to live a healthy lifestyle. Hydra-Guard Sports Drink raises the bar to unprecedented heights with its beverage innovation. It’s packed with electrolytes, and being an all natural sports drink with low sugars is a game changer, this product is changing the industry," says Paul.