How often do you hear "I'll restart my diet on Monday" or "Tomorrow I will be good"? Imagine if you never stopped and just kept going- where would you be today? Very few of us actually commit to the point where it becomes a lifestyle and an enjoyable/maintainable journey. A common trend with starting a new health and fitness program is either being all in or all out. One little slip up or bad weekend and the towel is thrown in and next minute we find ourselves ordering uber eats or eating everything in sight as we prepare for the restriction and deprivation to start again on Monday when we start our diet all over again.
Does this sound like you? Could this all or nothing thinking be sabotaging your results and progress? It may not sound like an issue as this mindset pushes us towards perfection which gets us to our result quicker right?
Wrong- this couldn't be further from the truth. Perfection is unattainable and unsustainable; you need to enjoy the journey and make it work with your lifestyle. A 70-90% approach is much more realistic and enjoyable then a 100% which cannot be sustained for a long period of time without impacting other areas of your life. Setting these high standards is setting yourself up for negative self-talk and feeling like you failed when in reality you are only human!
One of the most common issues with the all or nothing approach is the constant starting over. If you miss a workout, have one meal off plan or eat a donut you should just give up and restart, right? You have ruined any possible progress by not being perfect right?
NO- life and progress is continuous. Just pick up and keep going and you will reach your goals much quicker then constantly stopping and starting.
Overcoming the all or nothing mindset can be challenging but shifting your mindset will help you not only find balance and enjoy your journey but reach your goals and maintain them! Here are some tips on kicking the black and white thinking to the curb:
- Be conscious of your thoughts, when your mind starts to take this all or nothing approach address it and be aware.
- Don't deprive yourself, follow rules, label foods as good or bad.
- If you slip up don't punish yourself, restrict or do extra cardio just pick back up and keep going.
- Ease in and build up- Don't start at 100%, make a realistic exercise plan and allow yourself room for life to happen. Slow and steady will come out on top!
- Avoid cheat days- committing to a plan during the week and letting loose on the weekend can trigger this all or nothing mindset and lead to restriction during the week then eating as much as possible to make up for it when your "allowed" on the weekend.
Separating yourself from this idea of perfection is not easy but remember all it is doing is holding you back! Set realistic expectations of yourself, be kind to yourself, allow room for life to be lived and if you fall off track just pick back up and keep going. Make this lifestyle work for you and you will never feel deprived again. Remember one bad meal won't make you fat just like one good meal won't get you to your goals.
*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.