I sorta, kinda, maybe want to do a three post series about the obstacles that we’re faced with when trying to develop good nutritional habits, exercise habits, and lifestyle habits. We all face certain barriers in our life that are difficult to overcome. Some are quite small and some feel like the Great Wall of China.
But the fact remains that we have the ability to overcome them all if we just use our noodle and get creative enough.
You might be saying to yourself that you’re not the creative type. That’s cool too dude, or dudette. Harness the other superpowers that you have to overcome those barriers.
So the following is a list of 10 obstacles that I am sure most of us face, and I know this man because I get emails about them 🙂 There are of course many more and if you’d like to address them post to the comments or connect with me privately via email or mobile. This new thing the kids are using called Skype is kinda cool too.
Obstacle #1: I don’t know how to cook
So you’ve got as much skill in the kitchen as Shaq had at the free throw line (burn).
No worries, I got you.
Good news is if you know how to turn on a stove, open up packages (veggies, not crap) and have 5 minutes to spare you can cook. No body is asking you to be Booby Flay here. Just throw some shit in a pan and cook it. Not literally of course, that would be gross but you get my drift.
- Step 1: Turn on the stove and spray with Pam
- Step 2: Add in protein (grass-fed, organic, free range)
- Step 3: Add in 1 tablespoon oil
- Step 4: Throw in some veggies, as much as your heart desires
- Step 5: Pat yourself on the back. You have a solid meal.
Tip: Cook in bulk. Pick two days out of the week that are good for you and cook all of your meals. I do sunday and Wednesday for the most part. This way you don’t have to fuss about it later in the week and now have more time for exercise, play, and activities that make you smile.
Obstacle #2: I”m not sure how much/what to eat?
How many calories, how much protein, how many carbohydrates, how much fat?
There’s a couple ways to go about this. One if you like numbers and two if you don’t.
I like numbers: If fat loss is your goal I recommend starting by taking your weight and multiplying it by 12. So if you weigh 150 pounds by 12 that gives you 1800 calories to play with. This is not an exact science but it gives you a great place to start. It will vary depending on activity level but you can always adjust up or down depending on the progress you are making. (See obstacle #3)
I hate numbers: Me too! Lets go with the quality over quantity approach. I love this route because I am not obsessing about food and numbers all day long. I focus on eating the right things based upon my current goals. See the attached food list and use the simple serving size guide below as a reference.
Choose one item from the protein, veggie (carbohydrate), and healthy fat sections in order to create meals. Stick to this list 90% of the time and you will do just fine and dandy!
For portions just eyeball.
- Dudes: Protein about the size of one hand, veggies about 1-2 clenched fists and typically 1-3 tablespoons of coconut, olive, or grass-fed butter, 1/2 avocado, or small handful of nuts. If fat loss is a goal have no more than 1-2 fruit servings; 1 apple, 1 cup berries, etc… Grains suck! Skip’em.
- Dudettes: Protein about the size of a palm, veggies about 1-2 clenched fists, and typically 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil, olive, oil, or grass-fed butter, 1/4-1/2 avocado, or a small handful of nuts. Again, Grains suck! Skip’em.
Obstacle #3: You don’t celebrate success!
I don’t know how many times I have worked with some folks online who have dropped 1, 2, and even 3% body fat in a month or have lost 4-5 pounds and are all down and out about it.
- Even if you only drop a pound that month. Celebrate it! You lost 1 pound. That’s great! Weight is not only the only measure of success. Are you sleeping better, have more energy, does you skin look sexy?
- Are you learning new exercises, running your first 5K, or getting stronger and lifting more weight? Able to beat your kids in a race? That’s called progress too!
Also, take measurements! Is your waist getting smaller. Are you trying to add some lean muscle and your arms are getting bigger? The scale isn’t much of a truth teller. Take some pictures. See how your body composition is changing.
Plus, when you are celebrating and jumping around you’re burning some calories.
Obstacle #4: You change your approach as much as you change your underwear
One week your low-carb, next week you’re bulking up, now you’re doing Paleo, now you’re Vegan. Pick one and stick with it!
What ever your approach get educated, learn as much as possible and give it 30 days before you decide if it works for you or not.
Jack Cannfield says it best
99% is a bitch but 100% is a breeze.
Which ever approach you take just give it 100%. Do it for 30 days and evaluate after that. Since you just took measurements, pictures, are aware of how food makes you feel and weighed in you should have plenty of markers to go off of now 😀
Obstacle #5: Other people, social settings, and cravings
BZZZZZZ…. If we were on Family Feud right now I would be buzzing you and saying “Sorry, wrong answer.”
Guess what? The cool thing about cravings is that they don’t have arms and legs so the only way they are getting in your mouth is if you put them there. Got a sweet tooth? Try sugar-free jello and a tablespoon of whipped cream. I know, it’s not “real food” but beats the hell out of a Milky Way. Need something salty? Add a little Himalayan salt to your next healthy meal. It won’t kill ya and should do wonders.
Same goes with other people. They don’t decide what you eat, you do. Bring food with you when you go out so that you are prepared, check out the nutrition info at the restaurant you are all heading to and pick something healthy, skip the booze be the designated driver. Not only are you ditching the calories but you’re being a good friend.
This may be weird for them but don’t make it weird for you. You’re trying to improve yourself, live healthier, and dominate LIFE! Explain it to them. Tell them what your goals are, why you are doing it, and ask for their support.
Obstacle #6: Unrealistic goals
I am all for setting the bar high… I like to set it real high. There’s less competition at the top because the majority are too afraid to go big.
However, be realistic. If you have been trying to lose weight for a few months with no success just take it one step at a time. Chances are you are not losing 20 pounds in a month or adding 20 pounds of muscle. Not to say you can’t but odds are against you.
.5-2 pounds of weight loss or gain is very doable per week. Some may destroy that and some may find that to be even difficult. But again, celebrate any success and find other ways to measure success outside of just the physical. Mental, spiritual, and emotional success can also be achieved though changes in your health and wellness.
Obstacle #7: Foods that should be healthy are not
Read labels! If it has one ingredient it gets a GOLD star, if it has two ingredients it’s OK, and if it has three we can WORK with it as long as you can pronounce all three. Anymore than that and we may have some issues.
I went to buy cashews the other day and could not get to Whole Foods to buy them in the raw so I went to the local market. I’m not sure what was in the can was cashews. All I saw on the label was a bunch of industrial seed oils that toxify my body, essentially poisoning me, and words I could not pronounce. All I wanted were some cashews!
Same goes for dried fruit. It should be fine but then a bunch of sugar, sulfur, and god knows what else is added to it.
Simple solution. Avoid labels all together. Free range, organic, and grass-fed meats. Fresh veggies, at the farmers market if you can, and same goes with fruit. Frozen veggies should be fine and same with fruit, just make sure it has no added sugar to it.
Learn to make your own smoothies if that is something you dig. Here are a few recipes. Typically the ones you buy when you’re out and about are loaded with sugar and other empty calories.
Obstacle #8: To many empty calories
Alcohol, juice, and creamer/sugar to coffee and tea. It all adds up in the end. Stick to just water, unsweetened tea’s and coffee, and limit your boozing to no more than 1-3 drinks a week. A glass of red wine is not a bad idea. Opt for that as opposed to a giant margarita.
Obstacle #9: You’re to strict!
Lighten up a bit! You don’t have to be perfect all the time. If you can dominate your nutrition 80-90% of the time you are doing a pretty darn good job.
If you eat five times a day over the course of seven days that’s thirty-five opportunities to eat really well. If you F-it up 10% of the time that’s 3.5 meals. That’s pretty damn good.
Don’t stress out about it. Just get back on that saddle and roll again. No need to go into a food bender and get a case of the “I’ll start again on Mondays.”
Best approach is to schedule out those three “cheat meals.” Just put it in your head that you are going to eat something off your plan on a certain day at a certain time. Other than those times…. FORGETABOUTIT! As you progress, try and limit those meals as often as possible so eventually you have ZIP!
Obstacle #10: Analysis by paralysis
There is so much info out there it can get overwhelming. Especially when it comes to nutrition. Don’t get all wrapped up in it. Educate yourself by reading books, blogs, and talking with experts when it comes to the field of nutrition. Stick to a small group that you trust and then trial and error takes over.
When you try something stay with it for at least thirty days. Become aware of how certain food makes you feel when you eat it and after as well. Keep a log in order to learn. In a few months you will have detailed record of foods, habits, and practices that you benefit you as well as some that don’t.
Now you’re the expert because you know yourself!
So what other obstacles are there? I know there is more than these ten. Let’s hear ’em yeah?
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