If any of you have ever had motivation issues when it comes to working out, this blog post and this video is for you. (Oh also – I do a surprise 2020 Fit Planner unboxing at the end of this video!)
Did you know that you can actually trick your brain into CRAVING exercise?! IT IS POSSIBLE and totally doable. Here’s how:
The brain is naturally wired to minimize effort as a way to conserve energy for human survival. According to Psychology Today, the brain sees things as either a THREAT or a REWARD. Working out is unfortunately perceived as a threat because it takes a lot of effort. So it makes sense psychologically why most people naturally don’t want to work out.
So how do we turn working out into a reward? Well, we basically have to find a way to counter all the reasons why the brain thinks working out is a threat! So…that means we need to find as many ways as we can to trick the brain into thinking that exercise is a rewarding, pleasurable experience.
Here’s how you do that.
BRAIN HACK #1:
In order to trick our brains into thinking working out is not a threat, we can’t exercise in ways that scare us! Like, if you haven’t worked out in a while, do not just jump into a CrossFit class or do a million burpees! Your body and your brain both need warming up. Start with something easier, something more pleasant. Something you actually LIKE! Working out should NEVER be something you loathe, but rather something you love!
If you love walking your dog, that counts. If you love dancing in your bedroom, that counts. Begin to give yourself credit for movement, and your brain will begin to link your feelings of happiness with the activity you’re doing. It is extremely important to make sure that an emotional, positive relationship is created between working out, your brain, and your body. If it’s not positive, your brain will still see working out as a threat. Again, we want your brain to think of it as a reward.
BRAIN HACK #2:
We need to trick our brains into thinking that working out is low effort. But how? Most workouts feel like torture. I mean, if you’re on a treadmill for an hour, I would have to agree that that is def torture. But – if you’re on a treadmill for an hour catching up on your fave tv show, it’s not longer as torturous is it?
It feels less torturous because you are DISTRACTED from the pain. In fact, you’re probably looking forward to seeing what happens to your favorite characters…which then tricks your brain into thinking it’s looking forward to the workout…because you’ve now linked watching you fave show with being on the treadmill. If you follow the logic, you can see now that the brain will perceive the treadmill as a reward instead of a threat!
BRAIN HACK #3:
Another way to link positive experiences with working out is to invite your friends to work out with you. Social interactions are generally rewarding when it’s with people you love and care about. But on the flip side, if you decide not to show up for a workout and leave your friend stranded and alone – your brain will view that as a threat! So what does it want to do? Your brain will tell you that you NEED to show up to support your friend or else your friendship is threatened. So – what happens is, you probably wouldn’t dare skip that workout!
BRAIN HACK #4:
Our brains crave rhythm and routine. Think about this. If you scheduled a date with your significant other, or you booked a doctor’s appointment, you wouldn’t miss it right? Same goes for your workout. YOU NEED to schedule your workout into your calendar, your planner, or your phone! You need a date, you need a time and you need to know what you’re doing. Be specific! Because if you’re not, your brain won’t understand why your workout appointment is such a big deal and won’t view it as a threat when you miss it.
What I am saying is, give your workouts the importance it deserves! And – the more you schedule your workouts at the same time every day, the more the brain views it as a HABIT. And guess what? Once you form a habit, it becomes less effort to maintain that action because your body and your brain become used to it – it expects it. It becomes easier. The good news is that your brain can get addicted to a new rewards easily! A new study in the European Journal of Social Psychology shows that new habits can be formed within a month and very few take more than 66 days.
Here’s my Fit Journal entry! (OH by the way, did you know that there’s 90 days left til 2020!??? OMG HOW????!!! If you wanna start your own 90 day journey now, grab the 12 week journal and fill this baby out before you use the 2020 Fit Planner in January!)
I had no time to prep my food, so all yesterday’s food was from restaurants. I did my best to calculate my macros based on the database of meals that were previously uploaded by other users on MyFitnessPal. I was actually surprised by how much has been uploaded!
Also because yesterday’s schedule was so insane, I did not have time to workout. It became a rest day. I really wanted to go take that Popping class I took last week but didn’t make it in time :( Oh well. I’ll make up for it with more dance classes this week!
0% carbs, 0% fat, 100% protein
For my morning drink, I had some collagen matcha in my water!
23% carbs, 54% fat, 23% protein
This is always what I order when I do Tender Greens! The Tuna Nicoise Salad with no potatoes, no bread. Always so good!
POST LUNCH SNACKS:
61% carbs, 32% fat, 7% protein
To celebrate the 2020 Fit Planner launch, Sam and I took the Blogifam out to enjoy some Freezes at Pressed Juicery! These are plant based soft serves made from real fruits, nuts and veggies, so for the members of our team who are on Whole30, this was totally doable.
I got the strawberry freeze with blueberries, strawberries, and almond butter drizzle! IT WAS SO GOOD! I am so happy to be eating real fruit again. I feel like my energy is higher, and I am no longer weirdly thirsty all the time, like when I was doing keto.
I also wanted something fun to drink afterwards to reached for one of my Health-Ade Kombuchas! I love kombucha because it tastes like soda but isn’t high in sugar or calories, AND it has the probiotics I need to help keep my digestive system healthy! I tried their new Tropical Punch flavor and it is so good!
6% carbs, 64% fat, 30% protein
Dinner had to be delivered to the office because I needed every second I could get to edit the brain hacks video above. I ended up staying at the office til 1AM. Sam wasn’t happy about that, but I had to do what I had to do.
Also, this was the 2nd day of my period, but I did not feel ravenous! I think the tracking has really made me conscious of my eating habits. And what I am learning now is that most of the time, I was eating out of boredom! Weird how tracking can make you reflect honestly. I didn’t expect it to have that effect on me. I really thought I’d hate tracking, but it’s not that bad. It’s been oddly satisfying to type in my food and to see what’s actually going into my body.
Yesterday I came in at 1,660 calories and 26% carbs, 51% fat, and 23% protein. I don’t exactly know how accurate that is since I didn’t make any of it at home, but oh well! Did the best I could!