THE PALEO DIET CHALLENGE
Change is difficult. It’s a challenge to change our ingrained habits, whether we are going from a sedentary lifestyle to exercising daily, or going from gorging on chips and ice cream in front of the couch or grabbing whatever food we want on the go and going from that to the Paleo lifestyle.
But there are things you can do to help yourself change out bad habits for good ones.
If you are reading this page, you want to make a change so congratulations on making that decision! In a society that is becoming more and more sedentary and gets by on processed junk foods, this puts you in an elite group, and you should be proud of that fact.
Changing your eating and exercise habits are two of the most difficult challenges to face. Our society revolves around comfort and convenience – remote controls for everything, fast food drive-thrus, etc. Also, food is a centerpiece around which social gatherings revolve. Swimming against that tide is tough.
Changing your nutrition and exercise habits can make it easier to make other changes in your life. I think all positive changes flow from the positive change of your diet and exercise habits. You get so much more than just a body that looks good on the beach (although that’s fun, too).
You develop self-esteem, confidence, excellent health, discipline, and the ability to set and achieve goals.
All of these things flow into your personal and professional relationships, and you’ll suddenly find positive changes throughout all aspects of your life.
This is about the Paleo diet and lifestyle but let’s talk about exercise for a moment (don’t just eat Paleo, get active).
If you already work out, you may have noticed an interesting phenomenon. The vast majority of the members at your gym look the same year in and year out and never improve their bodies. Talk about banging your head against the wall.
These people are on autopilot. They are just going through the motions of a fitness lifestyle. Working out has just become another thing that they do.
You also may have noticed that your gym is packed with people in January. By mid-February, most of those new people have packed it in and gone back to the couch.
Don’t let this happen to you!
Let’s take a look at some ideas and strategies that can help you integrate the Paleo diet into your life so that you can stick with it over the long term.
I realize this may be boring to a lot of you. I can hear the groans and feel the rolling eyes, but please hang in there. If you embrace it, the following can do a lot for you, and not just with a Paleo diet, but with any goal you have or positive change you may want to make in your life.
Think on paper: Only about 3 percent of adults have clear, written goals. These people accomplish five and ten times as much as people without written goals.
Step 1: Decide Exactly What You Want.
Deciding what you want will allow you to prioritize so that you are spending the most time on high-value tasks that move you closer to your goals. If your goal is to add 20 pounds of muscle, there isn’t much point in using up a lot of you training time by jogging 5 miles a day, doing high volume low intensity work or focusing on the so-called “shaping” exercises.
If you want to stick to the Paleo diet and lose some body fat, there is no point in keeping boxes and bags of bagels, potato chips, or ice cream in your kitchen.
Step 2: Write It Down.
Again, think on paper. Written goals are a powerful thing. They have an energy behind them that helps you move toward them that unwritten goals just don’t have. In fact, you’d do even better by writing down your goals every day. Yes, every day. It will only take a few moments and will help you
tremendously. An excellent way to do this is right before bed at night or first thing in the morning, do a quick review for that day.
Step 3: Set A Deadline On Your Goal.
Create a sense of urgency and positive pressure. Without a deadline, you will procrastinate and do the little things that may damage your short term goals. If you are trying to lose twenty pounds and are having “after” pictures taken in three weeks then you are much less likely to swallow that bag of popcorn, than if you are just getting in shape…eventually.
A sense of urgency is why physique competitors get in such fantastic shape. When they enter a contest, they have a hard deadline looming in the future. They don’t want to be embarrassed by showing up on stage out of shape.
Could you imagine an Olympic swimmer not training for the two months leading up to the Games? Hardly! And that includes sticking to their nutrition plan.
If you don’t have a deadline, you will have no sense of urgency. If you don’t have a sense of urgency, you are more likely to sabotage your goals. Let’s look at an example.
You’re eating Paleo, but it’s still pretty new. You’ve been working out. You’ve dropped a few pounds. But you didn’t set a specific goal, and you didn’t give yourself a deadline. You’re at a family gathering, but you’ve prepared yourself by bringing your own nutritious meals. Your family is devouring some of your favorite high-calorie meals with no nutritious value.
In this scenario, it’s likely that you may give in and sabotage your efforts.
Now, what if your goal was to lose 20 pounds of fat by May 1st, which is only 12 weeks away and it included eating Paleo strictly for all 84 days (12 weeks)? Do you think you would be as likely to sabotage your efforts the way you might have in the previous example?
Step 4: Make a list of everything you can think of that you will need to do to help you achieve your goal.
Leave nothing to chance. The more planning you do ahead of time, the more likely you will stick to the plan and achieve your goals. The more prepared you are, the more success you will experience.
Step 5: Organize the list into a plan.
Organize your list by priority and sequence.
Step 6: Take action on your plan immediately.
Do something. Get started. Start building positive reinforcement and momentum RIGHT NOW.
With the Paleo diet, this could be as simple as throwing out that bag of potato chips that is sitting on the kitchen counter.
Step 7: Resolve to do something every single day that moves you toward your major goal.
If you continue to focus on and perform these seven steps, you’ll be amazed at the results you’ll see, whether it’s the Paleo diet, your new exercise program, or getting things accomplished at work.