How to Form Good Habits, Even When the Going Gets Tough

How to form good habits.

Habits – we all have them! Good habits like brushing our teeth and bad ones like hitting the snooze button.

And I know you know that ALL habits can be created and broken…so why do we STILL have the bad ones?

While in New Orleans, I had the honor of hearing Darren Hardy speak on the subject and he did something pretty profound. He put up slides of generic people and how they look today and then how they could look years later after continuing with their bad habits. Made me think…”Man, I need to create an App where you can put in your bad habit or crutch and it’ll compare your picture today with a picture of you 20 years from now and the adverse effects it will have on your well-being!”

Could you imagine, if you happen to be a smoker, fast food junkie or tanning bed-aholic, how much more effective having a 20 year before and after, side-by-side, photo would be in helping you make the decision to quit that unhealthy habit?

I’ve always been a sun worshipper and I was that 20 year old slathered in baby oil. At 43, I’m dealing with the damage I did so long ago. Now I’m the crazy Mom chasing her adult children around the beach trying to slather them up with SPF 100!

What is usually so good for us, like eating the salad instead of the bread basket or having the sparkling water instead of the rum and Coke, has ZERO initial positive results. In fact, it’s the opposite. When we eat the pizza, curl up on the couch or light the cigarette, we are much happier…but only for the very short term.

Creating long-lasting fitness habits

When I start working with people on their fitness journey, one of the most common responses I get after the first week is, “I don’t know how you’ve been able to do this for so long… It’s so hard!” There are cravings and addictions that make your enthusiasm for change SO HARD to stick to.

I always respond with, “At first, it IS hard. Because you have old habits that you’re trying to break and new habits that you’re trying to create…You have a routine that’s just tough to change. But it can be done and you will wonder how you ever lived the lifestyle that you used to.”

Not only that, but I have seen it hundreds of times. When you start to really see changes in the way that you look and feel… It actually makes it easier to hang onto those new habits and never go back to the old ones, because you appreciate the NEW YOU so much more. That’s when healthy living actually becomes a habit…a habit you don’t ever want to break!

For every 20 messages that I get from people thanking me for changing their life with The MADE Diet, I will get one where people aren’t seeing quick enough success. It’s usually because they’re doing one or two mindless things keeping them from losing weight and getting lean while adapting to a higher fat, lower carbohydrate lifestyle.

Let’s talk about 3 of those common mistakes “MADE”:

#1 is still eating too many carbs. This usually happens by finishing off your child’s grilled cheese sandwich or having a few pieces of fruit with your morning omelette.

In the beginning of making this transition, it’s really important that you try to stay around 50 grams or less of carbohydrates per day. This way, you know by how you look and feel after those 7 to 10 days, if you’re insulin resistant or sensitive….which will help you gauge future carbohydrate intake long term. Just one large grapefruit has over 23 grams of sugar.

Grapefruits can be healthy but for the 27 grams of carbohydrates attached to them, I know a way better source of nutrition for those kind of carbs. We’ve got to be picky and green veggies and Shakeology are, by far, the best bang for your buck!

#2 is falling for those “fake foods” that are on the market today. When I ask people who are claiming to not be seeing results, what they are eating, they are normally incorporating some sort of low carb bread or low carb protein bar into their daily diet.

I’ve said it a million times and I’ll say it again… we need to eat less from the factory and more from the farm. These foods that are full of sugar alcohols and ingredients that we cannot pronounce are just not good for us and they just totally confuse the body! Our brains are savvy too…if it’s sweet (even chemically sweet), it’s going to raise insulin levels. Remember insulin is the fat storing hormone!

I know life is busy and having a quick go to food seems to be non-negotiable but I still want to implore you to only eat three large meals a day and if you HAVE to snack, grab a small handful of macadamia nuts or drink a Bulletproof coffee. More and more coffee shops are adding that to their menu. And this may be a shameless plug, but my daughter Taylor, will be offering Bulletproof coffee at her coffee shop opening next month. #proudmom

#3 – the 3rd thing might actually surprise you. Most people who eat a higher fat, lower carbohydrate diet don’t get enough salt. Not having enough salt in your diet will actually make you feel miserable and have you wanting to give up on the whole lifestyle.

For decades, we were told to avoid salt because we had way too much in our diets. This was when TV dinners and prepackaged foods were at their highest. That stuff is crazy loaded with sodium. But over the years, we have gotten wiser about eating less “boxed” food and processed carbohydrates so getting salt from our foods has gone down significantly. So those of us that eat a lower carbohydrate diet have actually become salt deficient.

When you’re salt deficient, you feel tired, it’s hard to focus, and headaches might develop more often. This is especially true in the first week of The MADE Diet.

A great way to test if you’re salt deficient is to dissolve half a teaspoon in a big glass of water and drink it. If you feel better within 15 minutes (maybe your headache went away or all of a sudden you have more energy) then you probably were suffering from some sort of salt deficiency. I recommend that you use pink Himalayan sea salt.

OK, I’m on my soapbox now and I have a bonus mistake for you.

People still have a fear of fat. So when they go on The MADE Diet, they have no problem lowering their carbohydrates but because of their fear, they increased their protein too much instead of increasing their fat enough.

I have also mentioned in the past the metabolic pathway called gluconeogenesis. In simple terms this means that eating too much protein on a low carbohydrate diet will cause the liver to convert amino acids found in protein into sugar. Protein is so important in our diets but eating too much can sabotage your results. How much is too much??? I help you find the perfect amount for your lifestyle in my ebook.

Perfection sucks and I wouldn’t want to be your friend if you were perfect…that’s boring! But being good 85% of the time still allows you to occasionally have a bite of the grilled cheese or some berries with your eggs. But I really encourage you not to be “less than perfect” for at least 10 days when starting this lifestyle so you can TRULY appreciate how eating this way makes you look and feel!