Are you a moderator or an abstainer?
What if someone is told they need to cut sugar out completely? There are some who are just fine with abstaining from a product or a habit and they succeed by setting a rule and changing their behavior with little temptation. But for those who take changes in moderation, this can be a disaster.
“A lot of times those are the (moderation) people that tend to feel deprived. And that makes them want it even more,” said Best, and they can actually consume more.
You need to find this answer out for yourself. There is no wrong answer if you are staying true to yourself and tackling the healthy habit challenge.
RELATED: Sustainable Weight Loss
Slow and steady or all-In
If you want to start a major fitness goal, maybe run your first marathon, do you get up today and start running? Or do you start small by working out for a few minutes and building on that in the following weeks?
“If you are a slow and steady person then you are kind of the classic tortoise. It’s baby steps. So slowly over a longer period of time you see the accumulations of those changes,” Best said.
“For a lot of people that is easier because you don’t need to completely overhaul your life.”
But you can be a person who needs to make the change rapidly. Maybe you had a life change and want to begin a new start, a new you. You are going to work out more, diet, get more sleep, and work on stress reduction. If adding major steps all together is what works for you then sprint forward.
“Then you combine that all at once and you are going to see the impact of that,” Best said. “It’s a lot more dramatic than if you were going to take the baby steps.”
Evaluate what went wrong before
If you are wondering what kind of method to use, then look at what has not worked in the past. Maybe you abstained where you should have been a moderator or vice versa.
“It’s probably going to be the best indicator of what works in the future,” Best said.
Give yourself grace
Whatever your approach, Best said you still need to cut yourself a break.
“I feel like there are so many people who beat themselves up when they get on the scale and don’t see what they want,” Best said.
If you slip in your habits then tell yourself you are going to get back on track tomorrow. Celebrate the small wins. Reward the milestones instead of beating yourself up for the faults along the way.
“I think often times that is a better goal than setting a number you want to get to on the scale. But I think your self-worth is not determined by how much you weigh either,” Best said.
“And so many times we place too much emphasis on that.”
Learn more tips on developing healthy habits at intermountainlivewell.org.