First off, we're creatures of habit. Most of us like some sort of routine in our lives. It keeps stress levels down and he's us feel more in control of our lives and destinies. When we decide to completely change our routine it's a relatively traumatic upheaval for our mind and bodies to cope with. Yes our will power and determination to be healthier will keep us going for a few weeks but after a while we become tired from the constant battling. We become stressed from the constant challenge of avoiding temptation and pushing ourselves through more workouts than we're really used to. People around us are seemingly enjoying the 'bad' stuff and we feel like we're missing out. Fundamentally it's extremely difficult to keep to our new lifestyles. So, eventually, we crack. And when we do crack it's usually quite dramatic - binge eating those foods we've lived without is a great example we see quite often. In summary, it's difficult to inflict massive change on ourselves all at once, especially when we're surrounded by temptation at every turn.
To break it down little easier there are a few of ways to help us achieve success.
Firstly we can take baby steps. Personally we managed to change our health and fitness through a 12 month plan of small step changes. 12 months may seem like a long time but it's not really. It's much shorter than the decades some people have been trying, and failing, to change their health and fitness with the method mentioned above. A change or two a month is relatively easy compared to changing everything at once.
Secondly we can use the 80:20 rule. It's simply means that 80% of the food you eat and daily activity is in agreement with your new health and fitness regime. The other 20% is a little off track. You build in an allowance that says you can eat a little bit of 'naughty' food or exercise less / differently for a little bit. The great thing with this is it enables you to allow yourself moments to satisfy your cravings without going overboard. It allows you moments of weakness. To some this may seem like odd advice bit read our next paragraph to find out why...
Lastly, don't get stressed over it. Stress is bad. Worrying and getting stressed about your new chosen lifestyle almost makes your changes pointless (almost). As we've explained so many times, stress is a killer. There's a lot of scientific evidence to show how stress is a major contributor to almost all of the big killers out there - heart disease, diabetes, obesity etc... This is where the 80:20 rule is helpful. If, during your journey to true healthy and fitness, you feel you want / need to diverge from your chosen path for a small moment in time then allow yourself to do it. Don't feel stressed about it once you've done it either. So long as you can stick to your chosen plans 80% of the time you'll still feel massive benefit. Eventually you'll be sticking to the 'new' plan more than 80% of the time without even realising it.
We he those 3 pointers will be heful in ensuring your success with any new changes you'd like to implement in your lives. Remember, allow yourself to diverge from the 'perfect' path a little - you're only human after all!