EAT your way to Better Health and Fitness: Part 1
Written by: Michael, General Manager at EMPOWER Personalized Fitness Raleigh & Durham.
If you are reading this article you are probably a health and fitness enthusiast perusing topical subject matter, or you are realizing how you failed to keep last year’s New Year’s Resolution to get more fit and healthy and now that the holidays are here your not-so-great eating habits and lack of exercise patterns are exacerbated. I am thankful the title of this article grabbed your attention, but I would like to ask a question. Which part drew you in, the instruction to “EAT”, or “Better Health and Fitness”. Or maybe the thought of being able to eat more and attain better health and fitness piqued your curiosity. In either case I am sorry to disappoint you, because EAT, is simply an acronym I am using to deceptively draw you in and hopefully show you how you can achieve better health and fitness if you remember to EAT.
I found for myself and I think this is true for many others that in order to make any type of behavior change or learn something new, it helps to have cues and key points that are easy to remember. So let’s look at the acronym EAT and find out how 3 simple letters that make us hungry can help us become Stronger, Healthier and Happier!
Establish a goal. No lasting behavior change ever begins without a SMART goal. (Did you see how I threw another acronym in there? I’ll bet you didn’t see that coming). The only good goal to have is a SMART one. Goals need to be challenging and if they follow these simple guidelines, you will increase the likelihood you will be successful in reaching them. Come up with a goal and then ask these questions.
Is it Specific? Your goal needs to be clearly and concisely written. An example of a non-specific goal: I want to get healthier. SMART version: I want to run a half-marathon by next June.
Is it Measurable? In addition to being simple and clear, your goal needs to be measurable so you can track your progress and make adjustments if needed. An example of an immeasurable goal: I want to exercise more. SMART version: I want to exercise for at least an hour, 3 days per week.
Is it Attainable? It is always important to set yourself up for success and while a goal should be challenging, it also must be realistic. An example of an unattainable goal: I want have six pack abs like the model in ________ magazine. SMART version: I want to lower my body fat percentage so my abs will be more defined.
Is it Relevant? If your goal doesn’t have meaning to you, how hard will you work to achieve it? A goal that is relevant and important you on an emotional level will keep you motivated even in the face of obstacles. An example of an irrelevant goal: I want to be able to drink a gallon of milk in less than an hour. Smart version: I want to increase my strength and cardiovascular levels so that I can enjoy playing sports and being active with my children.
Is it Time-Bound? Without a time limit, there is no sense of urgency to accomplish your goal. An example of a goal not bound by time: I want to run a marathon. SMART version: I want to run the ___________ Marathon this year on ________.
So now you have tools and an assignment to set a SMART goal. Stay tuned for my next article, which will explain the next component of EATing your way to better health and fitness.