Start by adding

 
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By Nathan Kesterson

15 January 2017

 
 

We all have improvements we want to make to our bodies.

Lose some body fat. 
Sculpt our abs. 
Define our arms.

All of these are good goals. However, the problem comes when we create action plans that look something like this:

“I’m going to stop eating chocolate.”
“I’m going to give up ice cream.”
“I’m going to stop drinking wine.”
“I’m not going to eat after 7:37pm.” (or whatever arbitrary time we choose)

We have all been there.

The moment that you decided, “no more ice cream,” your brain can’t stop thinking about ice cream. 
For a few days you’re able to use willpower to keep the ice cream urges at bay. 
Then, BAM, you can’t resist and you eat ALL of the ice cream.

It’s as if we are hardwired to crave the thing that we tell ourselves that we can not have. Even with great intentions and all the willpower we can muster, the success is usually short lived. Very soon that ice cream, chocolate, or wine has found its way back to our freezer, cupboard, or counter and back into our routines.

Rather than use a technique that almost inevitably leads to failure, implement a different technique that can lead you to success.

Start by adding.

The deprivation method only works short term. Everyone’s willpower is in limited supply. You want lasting, sustainable results. Rather than take food away, begin by selectively adding pieces that your body will be thankful for and in a manner that will facilitate your success. 

To do this, you’ll need your strategy to be completely achievable for you.

For example:
We have all heard that you are supposed to drink half of your bodyweight in ounces of water per day. For most of us, that is a lot of water. Especially when compared to our current intake. 

Instead of suddenly increasing our intake to an unmanageable amount, we need to remember to make the goal completely achievable. Success breeds success and we want to get started on the right foot.

Set the goal to 1 quart (about one shaker bottle) per day to start. This is a far more manageable goal and one we can undoubtedly be successful with. 

Spend a week successfully executing the 1 quart of water per day strategy. Once you have done that, continue with your water goal and add a new behavior. 

The next goal could be even more water (2 quarts a day), or it could be something new such as: adding a palm sized serving of protein at lunch this week or making sure you have veggies with dinner everyday this week.  

Whatever it is, it should be something that fills in the gaps in your current nutrition and also be a goal that you know you can achieve. 

The Start By Adding strategy will not only provide your body with better nutrition to support your goals and training, it will also start displacing some of the food that have been problematic in the past. All of this can be done without a sense of deprivation. 

Leave a comment to let us know how you implement the Start by Adding strategy on your journey to achieving #leanhealthyhappy!