What motivates you?

I bet many of you struggle to maintain motivation to eat healthy, be consistently physically active, and many other healthy lifestyle struggles.

As a Peer Fitness Trainer, I have recently started trying out a few challenges with some of my coworkers that I can tell want to make some changes in their lives.  These challenges are still fairly recent and new, but so far they are appearing to be quite successful and a lot of fun for both myself and the person achieving them (way to go to those people who’ve successfully completed one of my challenges!).

But, it’s got me wondering…why do people need some sort of challenge from an external source (i.e. me) to hold them accountable for their actions?  Why isn’t the internal motivation of “I want to be healthier” or “I want to feel better” or “I want my pants to fit better” enough?

I definitely don’t know the answer, but I do know that external motivation is the key factor in a lot of people achieving their health and wellness goals (myself included).  Think about it…people sign up for a fitness class with a friend.  Why?  Because they know they will keep each other accountable and actually attend the classes.  People sign up for group sports for the same reason…accountability.  Money can also be a motivating factor….if I’m spending all this $$$ on these classes I better actually attend the classes.  Weight loss groups work in a similar way…being held accountable to the group, or the weigh ins, or the inches lost, etc, etc, etc.

I don’t care what motivates you, but you HAVE to find that person or reason to get yourself going!!  Here are some suggestions for keeping yourself motivated and accountable:

  1. Find a buddy!  This would be my #1 recommendation!  Find a friend who has the same interests as you (whether it’s fitness or nutrition) and hold each other accountable at all times.  Start a FB group, or text message group and talk as often as you need to in order to stay on track.
  2. Ensure your goals are SMART:
    S:  Specific.  “I’m going to walk 30min a day 3x a week” vs. “I’m going to walk more”
    M: Measurable.  “Eat at least 4 servings of vegetables a day” vs. “Eat more veggies”
    A: Achievable.  If you hate running, do NOT make a goal that you are going to run!
    R: Realistic.  “I’m going to do yoga 5x a week and run 3x a week and play soccer 4x a week…as well as work full time, spend time with your family, etc”.  That is definitely not a realistic goal in my world!
    T: Time.  There has to be a deadline.  For example…my first SMART goals I made with my coworkers had a deadline.  Once that deadline hits I made contact with them to see how they did (and also contacted them through their challenge to see how it was going, and made them aware that they could contact me at any time).  And, it allowed us to make new SMART goals with a new deadline.
  3. You have to want to make a change.  Be honest with yourself.  If you have no ambition or desire to make the change (no matter what it is or how big or small it is) it won’t be successful.  Everyone wants to be healthier or fitter or look better in a bathing suit, but if you aren’t serious about it it’s not going to work.  You just have to think a little harder about a more achievable or SMART goal that you actually want to accomplish and can be successful at.
  4. This one fits in with the “T” of SMART goals….but make sure your goal has a deadline.  Training towards something will also help you be successful.  Some examples…a run (there’s tons of races around Saskatchewan and area in the summer!), a physical test (our PFT test, a hiring physical, etc), your wedding, someone else’s wedding, a certain birthday/anniversary, etc, etc, etc.  Having that end goal is often huge for people!

I can blabber on all I want about how to get motivated, but unless you find that thing that gets you started all this talk is just talk!  I just hope one of my suggestions will sink in and help one of you!

Please comment and share with me what motivates you!  I’d love to hear it!

Advertisements

Front Label Trickery

Screen Shot 2016-04-24 at 15.38.00.png
http://www.theexercisepro.com

I would bet you have seen some of these health claims (& likely many others) on food labels of items you’ve bought.  And I’d bet that you have been suckered in to buying items based on these claims…I’ll admit that I have.

Here are some truths behind some of the common health claims you’ll see on food labels in Canada…

“Calorie Free” – less than 5 calories per serving size.  The “per serving size” is the catch here…you then have to look at the nutrition label to see how big the serving size is.  The serving size may only be ¼ or less of the actual size you’ll eat at a time.

“Low calorie” – 40 calories per serving size.  Same catch as above…you have to check the serving size.

“Reduced calorie or fat or sodium ” – the food is processed or otherwise modified so that it contains at least 25% less calories/fat/sodium than the regular version.

“Fat-free, Non-fat, etc” – less than 0.5g per serving size.

“Low fat” – less than 3g of fat per serving size.

“Lean” (as in ‘lean ground beef’) – contains 10% fat or less.

“Extra lean” (as in ‘extra lean ground beef’) – contains 7.5% fat or less.

“No saturated fat” and “Trans fat free” – less than 0.2g of saturated fatty acids or trans fats per serving size.

“Low in saturated fat” – less than 2g of saturated fatty acids per serving size.

“Cholesterol free” – less than 2mg of cholesterol per serving size.

“Low cholesterol” – less than 20mg of cholesterol per serving size.

“Sodium free” – less than 5mg of sodium per serving size.

“Low in sodium” – 140mg or less of sodium per serving size.

“Sugar free” – less than 0.5g of sugars per serving size.

“No added sugar” – no added sugar, and no ingredients that contain added sugars. (“unsweetened” falls under this category as well).

“Source of fibre” – contains 2g or more of fibre per serving size.

“High source of fibre” – contains 4g or more of fibre per serving size.

Any vitamin or mineral that claims it’s a “source of” – contains >5% recommended daily intake (RDI) of that item.

“Good source of” or “High in” a vitamin or mineral – contains >15% RDI of that item.

“Excellent source of” a vitamin or mineral – contains >25% RDI of that item.

“Fortified” or “Enriched” – usually means the food has been altered or processed.

“Natural” – the manufacturer started with a natural source, however once processed it usually doesn’t resemble anything natural.

“Organic” – trust only “certified organically grown” if you want true organic foods.

“Made with wheat, multigrain, etc” – doesn’t tell you how much whole grains are in the product.  Look for 100% whole grain products.
The list is long, but all items in the list are similar and misleading.  You MUST check the serving size as there are no regulations on this (meaning, the manufacturer can make the serving size ridiculously small and then include a health claim from the list above).  You also need to be aware of what “high in” or “low in” means in regards to fats and nutrients.  Zero does not mean zero in the world of health claims!

And as I said in the previous post…it is best to choose items with no ingredient list when possible (whole foods), or choose items with a small ingredient list and items you can pronounce!

References:

http://www.inspection.gc.ca/food/labelling/food-labelling-for-industry/nutrient-content/eng/1389905941652/1389905991605

http://www.freedieting.com/food_labels.htm