Congratulations! You’ve made the decision to improve your health and have picked a workout routine to commit to. But that’s only half the battle. After a long day at work, what happens when you don’t really want to exercise or stick with eating right—especially if it means missing your favorite show or happy hour with your friends?
And what about your dinner-and-a-movie date the next night? And, don’t forget Sunday brunch to throw off your healthy eating plans.
To complicate matters, when you try to explain that you’re on a diet or you’ve already made plans to work out, friends and family seem to take it personally, as if you secretly think they should be on a diet! If you’re like me and have an old-fashioned family that eats big, calorie-loaded dinners all the time, telling Mom or Grandma that you’re trying to cut down on portion sizes virtually guarantees that you’ll get handed a second helping of her famous homemade everything—and that second helping will be bigger than the first!
The following tips will help you foster a healthy support system to achieve the fitness goals you’ve just set.
5 Tips for Building a Support System on Your Fitness Journey
Take time to explain to friends and family
If you’re frustrated that those around you aren’t more supportive, or don’t understand why you’re doing this, it’s possible that you need to be clearer with them about your “why.” Showing that you’ve got a fitness goal in mind, a reason for doing so, and a well-thought-out way to achieve it will not only help them understand you’re really serious about it; it’ll also help reinforce it in your own mind and help you stay focused on what you really want.
Besides, once you’ve told the important people in your life what you’re up to, you might be happily surprised to find out that a couple of them might actually want to join you. Boom—instant buddy system for keeping that willpower focused and motivated!
Go outside your circle
Your immediate cadre of friends and family aren’t the only ones who can offer support. There are thousands of people out there on message boards, Facebook groups and other forums who are experiencing a lot of the same things that you are, and who are there to listen and help.
The community at Beachbody On Demand also offers all kinds of additional support, with expert advice, healthy recipes, motivation, and more.
Exert a healthy influence on family meals
For some families, big communal meals are always going to be a popular way for loved ones to gather together. How about suggesting a restaurant that serves healthier choices, or offering to help out in the kitchen for a home-cooked meal by introducing ingredients and recipes that are both more nutritious? It’s easier to have the willpower to stay focused on your goals when healthy choices are readily available.
Don’t forget portion control
Even when you do successfully make the switch to healthier foods, eating huge amounts of them won’t help slim down your waistline. A few great tricks for cutting down the amount you eat? Leave the last bite or two on your plate. That ought to keep Mom and/or Grandma at bay with offers of second helpings. While you’re at it, if you have a drink, sip it slowly, and stick to one. Believe it or not, you’ll still feel full and satisfied. Remember, you simply can’t get magically fit by eating too much and doing all the same old things, no matter how tempting it may be.
Our 21 Day Fix eating plan and its portion control containers take the guesswork out of what, and how much, to eat. The color-coded container system makes meal planning and portion control easy and intuitive. And if you’re vegan, there’s a plan for you, too. Learn more about our container system here.
Give yourself a day off and a well-deserved pat on the back!
So you managed to make it through a few days, a week, or even longer resisting all those outside forces, and you’ve stuck with it! Congratulate yourself and thank the loved ones who have supported you. Click here for an explanation of why recovery is so important after a workout, and read more here about tips on how to spend an effective day of rest from your fitness routine.
The workouts and nutrition plans at Beachbody On Demand provide another vital pillar of support in your fitness journey. Programs like 21 Day Fix, PiYo, and FOCUS T25 offer expert-designed workouts and meal plans that give you everything you need to succeed. Sign up today!