We make many decisions over the course of a day, a week, month and year – all of which impact on our weight, our lifestyle and overall health.

We only have a finite amount of willpower and when we make those many decisions over the day it can become exhausted – we decide what to eat for breakfast, for morning tea, for lunch…. Throw exercise, meditation, all the other things we feel we should be doing into the mix, as well. Then someone offers us cake for afternoon tea and – bam! – the willpower is exhausted! We might even end up not just having a little sliver of cake but the biggest damn piece of cake that can be swallowed!

“Oh dear”, you think, “I’ve blown it now so I may as well go to the bar with the girls after work and have a few wines” (/beers /cocktails /drink of your choice). This follows on with “it’s been a long week and I’m feeling tired so I’ll skip the gym, too. And, suddenly, instead of losing weight this week you’ve put weight on. You feel discouraged, don’t go to the gym for a week or two and now your gym clothes don’t fit. How did that happen?! Does any of that sound familiar?

If only that multitude of decisions we make each day which impact our health so much didn’t have to be made.

There’s ways of reducing the number of decisions:

  1. There’s ways we reduce them quite unconsciously – we start habits. A habit is something you do regularly, often without thinking about what you are doing. So think about what positive actions you do now and how you can keep doing them – turn them into habits.
  2. Planning is another way of reducing the need to make decisions. Plan meals for the coming week, shop for ingredients, you can even bulk cook some meals. You can choose the exercise classes you will take for the next week – put them in your diary.
  3. Now you’ve got your meals planned already, but what about food to eat while you’re at work? Pre-pack lunches and snacks – not only will you have what your want but you’ll save yourself money, too.
  4. Make appointments for yourself. Book yourself time to exercise, make it easier to not allow yourself to change your mind by exercising with a buddy or booking a trainer or planning it for first thing in the morning, if that works for you.

Do this for a couple of weeks and you’re well on your way to establishing new habits. More habits mean fewer decisions so there’s less opportunity to fall off the wagon with your healthy lifestyle.

Okay, so let’s recap:

  • Think about what you do regularly now and give yourself a pat on the back for your healthy habits – and keep doing them.
  • Write a menu plan, then shop for the ingredients; bulk cook if you can.
  • Pack lunch and snacks for work everyday.
  • Get the diary out and block out exercise time.
  • Get a trainer or buddy to join you when you exercise.

And wallah! This week you’ve eaten healthy, exercised regularly, and maybe even lost weight!

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Post byDale Cooke

I'm a nutritionist, dietitian and personal trainer with 29 years of experience helping people improve their health. I really like using a non-diet philosophy to achieving a healthy lifestyle. Can I help you improve your health?