When you embark on a new plan, such as this one, what you have essentially done is set yourself new habits to stick to. These habits are generally ones taken from someone else, or taken as scripture from past experiences as things that we must do in order to achieve that which we want; usually more energy, weight loss, body fat loss, better fitness, health, confidence and happiness. They sound like this…
- Exercise before breakfast for better fat loss
- Drink water and lemon
- Plan healthy meals in advance
- Cook all your foods from scratch nothing bought
- Prep your food on a Sunday evening
- Drink a glass of water before every meal
- Write a diet diary
- Go to sleep at the same time every day
- Meditate everyday
- Eat one piece of fruit a day
- Exercise regularly
- Go for a run
For many of us, this will not be our first rodeo, some of you may be skeptical about the length you can stick to this plan because it’s never been a great track record in the past. Quite possibly this is primarily due to one element, which is knowledge; knowledge about habits, the foods we eat, why we exercise and most importantly how this relates to us as an individual.
Firstly…what is a habit?
This word is thrown around a lot with diets and fitness! A habit can be defined as “a behaviour that is recurrent, cued by a specific context, often happening without much awareness or conscious intent, and is acquired through frequent repetition.” Most of us would not say sticking to a plan or program is like this. Most of us find it tiring, time consuming and a great deal of effort. So, how do we change this? And make these habits happen more naturally, with less effort and actually stick?
…a behaviour that is recurrent, cued by a specific context, often happening without much awareness or conscious intent, and is acquired through frequent repetition
Habits make change possible, but they can also make us feel frantically busy if they are the wrong ones. So, we need to focus on just a few at a time, and ones that will give us the largest return on investment. A few means manageable, and ones that give us the biggest return on investment mean more motivation and drive as we see the changes happening.
Everything has a foundation, the stronger the foundation, the stronger the structure. You may already be thinking I should be exercising early in the morning, I should be doing this and doing that. It’s these thoughts of ‘should’ and ‘should not’ that tire out your mind and make a plan harder and more effort to follow. The only thing we want you to focus on through the entire 30 days are these 4 things, which will give you that strong structure you need.
These things are;
- DIARY – Logging and checking your food serving sizes per day
- EDUCATION – Reading, learning and asking questions
- FOOD – Focusing on working to your serving sizes per day
- FITNESS – Getting to your minimum workouts per week – aiming to never go under these
To help you remember these, we have created the ‘DEFF’ formula. The urban dictionary defines this as “One who cannot hear shit”. But of course, our meaning is simply to help you remember the focuses within our plan. If you do all of your tasks and follow these foundations, you are going to be tuning out all the ‘shit’ that has been less than helpful to you in the past; all those learnt beliefs about ‘should’ and ‘should nots’.
Your DEFF tasks are the umbrella tasks you need to do each day. But to help you further, we have listed below some general suggestions for following this plan.
Plan your workouts for the following week, or even month, giving yourself a schedule makes it easier to keep on track and helps you to plan these around your normal everyday tasks so that you don’t see it as a chore or a hindrance. It’s important to always plan your workouts, days/times and put them in your diary (to help you remember of course, we know how it is) and so that you can plan other things around them so as not giving yourself any excuses to cancel last minute. Many of our clients do this at the start of the week as it helps them to manage their time more effectively.
We also recommend that you sit and analyse your daily serving sizes, either at the end of the day or the beginning of the day for the previous day. Look at where you possibly went over, under, and take time to think about what you might be able to put in place next time to make you more prepared.
If you had to rush out and get lunch a couple of days in the same week which took you slightly off-plan, you may want to sit and contemplate why this might have happened. Mostly it’s down to not planning effectively, taking into consideration the likeliness of having a busy schedule and not being able to make meals fresh all the time. You can improve this by jotting it down and reflecting on it so that you can make some changes based on this and improve on the following week. Reflection is a very very useful and helpful tool to use.
Use fridge reminders or calendar notes (or any other places in the house that you use to plan your schedule), and for the digital ones, calendar notifications on your phone! Put your daily tasks, focusses and end goals in a place you just can’t ignore. We have had some clients put sticky notes on the inside of their wardrobes as they wanted the details to be private but needed daily reminders on what they needed to do. But, whatever works for you is the best place.
If you set yourself a time each day to read through your articles without fail, you will be more able to keep up with your daily tasks. This is a good one. Your emails come early morning, but are accessible on your online portal anytime. Most of our clients do it early mornings on the way to work, mums sometimes do it early morning (when breastfeeding) and others in the evening. Find a time without fail to read and educate so that you don’t miss the most important aspect of this plan…knowledge.
Learn to make the plan work for you. If it’s food logging, mix it up, try what works for you. You don’t have to use our daily food planner but it helps you to understand what you need to do. Ultimately you need to find what works for you so that you can be consistent with it. There is nothing worse than forcing yourself to do something that just doesn’t resonate with you and how you do things. Maybe you prefer to take photos of your foods and drinks and write the ingredients next to them or maybe you can use the dartboard and some makeshift darts to throw at it (also good for releasing anger and tensions when hungry fyi).