Training and nutrition – keeping accountable
HOW CAN I MAKE SURE I DO WHAT I SAY I AM GOING TO DO?
For most of us it is easy (particularly if we are feeling very lazy after a huge meal) to say to yourself: “From today I am going to change the way I eat and train for the better.” It is much harder to summon the discipline required to stick to the plan for the long haul. Accountability to yourself or to others can be a powerful tool.
- Write a plan. Yes write it down – what you are going to do this week/month/year around nutrition and training. Be as specific as you can. For example – I am going to have 3 plant based meals this week. I am going to make enough for leftovers for lunch. I am going to train 3 times this week. It is almost like a commitment you make to yourself and it is more of a big deal if you write it down rather than just thinking it. Not as easy to conveniently forget.
- Write things down after you do them. Keep a food journal for a week and have a look back over it. Write down what you ate and how you felt at the time (hungry/bored/stressed). You might be surprised what you see when it is there in black and white day after day. Habits start to emerge. You might also be less likely to deviate from your plan if you know that you have to write it down. Keep a training journal too. As well as recording what training you did write down how you felt that day. This type of record can be a good way to help you work out what kind of workout schedule suits you best.
- Work with a buddy. Make a plan to meet each other in the morning and go to training, like Simone and Suzanne did through the long cold winter months (see photo). Simone knew she had to get out of bed because Suzanne would be waiting for her out the front of her house and vice versa. You can do the same thing with nutrition. When you feel like you are going to “bust out” and eat a whole pizza when it is only Tuesday night and your healthy eating plan started on Monday call your friend and discuss!
- Work with a coach. Training with a coach is a great idea because you tell them you are going to be there. It feels bad when you have to make up an excuse to cancel. Much more difficult than just telling yourself you are going to cancel! You can also use a nutrition coach (like me) to help you plan and then keep you accountable if you need assistance with getting your nutrition on track.
- Tell people around you what you are going to do. Tell your friends or your partner or your kids about your plans for training or nutrition. This makes it real. Once people know you have become someone who is a healthy eater it is more difficult to explain why you are eating a family block of chocolate for breakfast: “Mummy is just taking a break from her healthy eating plan this morning”. Once you tell people it is more likely to feel “locked in”.