Is this you?
You are inspired to become more fit, maybe finally lose that weight, get stronger and a little more shapely – or all three. And you want to do it with a vegan diet – that’s a great start!
But do you find yourself experiencing one or more of these symptoms:
- hungry by mid-morning, driving you to ditch all dietary resolve and go for the calorie concentrated treats?
- committed to your exercise plan, then crash and burn on the couch after 3 (or less) days?
- wondering where your ‘motivation’ went?
No worries, help is on the way! I troubleshoot from symptoms, which always directs me to the mistake that usually has a clear, simple fix.
After decades of coaching experience, I’ve noticed several ‘startup’ errors that commonly present themselves. Here are 3 of the most common errors I observe when people go ‘fit vegan’ – and what to do about them.
Symptom #1: Excess hunger mid-morning, mid-afternoon, or in the evening
Mistake #1: Not eating enough on time. As an example, not long ago I got a letter from Barb describing her frustration with mounting hunger over the course of the day.
Today I tested out my new behavior at lunchtime but I did have a small struggle. This happens to me frequently at lunchtime and at dinnertime.
I wasn’t prepared at home (first no no) so I drove down to Whole Foods already starving. I tried to think of what would be best and I ordered a cup of split pea (vegan) soup and a cup of brown rice. It tasted great & I think it was pretty healthy but I was still really hungry.
This happens to me a LOT….and when it happens, then I don’t know what to eat to curb that hunger. I came home and had some carrot sticks with hummus but that didn’t really do the trick either.
Thanks for your ideas,
Before going any further, I asked Barb to share what she’d eaten earlier in the day. I had my suspicions that it wasn’t much. Sure enough. Here is Barb’s response to my question about what she’d eaten earlier in the day. Perhaps you’ll recognize yourself.
Thank you for responding. I’m embarrassed to say that this morning, I only had a half of a cantaloupe and that’s because I was feeling guilty about eating too many pita chips yesterday!
There again, yesterday I got stuck being out and about and by the time I ate something, I just went crazy. Usually, though, in the mornings before I go to work, I will have a cup of oatmeal…and that’s good until around 10am and then I start to feel really hungry.
Any suggestions? ~ Barb
I told Barb that if all I had for breakfast was a half a cantaloupe, I’d be eating my way through Whole Foods Market by 10 a.m. too.
Solution to Mistake #1: Eat a hearty, completely satisfying breakfast and be prepared with real food to eat when your body is next hungry. Those are the ground rules of eating enough on time – and it is the first solution to a weight problem. If it’s 10:00 and you are hungry, it’s time to eat something. Be prepared to satisfy your hunger with real, whole, low-fat, plant foods when your body needs it.
Symptom #2: Exercise burnout
Mistake #2: Working out too hard too soon. We’ve heard this before. But somehow when we are inspired to take action, we forget how it burned us out fast last time.
Solution to Mistake #2: Upload activity into your life in a way that invites your body to move more and sit less. If you are coming from no physical activity other than just going about your daily activities, start with an extra 15 to 20 minute physical challenge every day. And it doesn’t have to be all at once. It can be broken up into 5 minute segments over the course of the day – see Fit Quickies 5 Minute Targeted Body-Shaping Workouts for a full arsenal of powerful ideas.
If you are already more active, then up your challenge by finding out what you need to add to your activity to create a healthier, better body. Already doing cardio but slacking in resistance training? Add 2 – 3 resistance training sessions a week. Again, these can be broken into smaller segments throughout the day.
Symptom #3: Motivation nowhere to be found
Mistake #3: Not respecting the importance of cultivating a ‘change’ mindset. All we need to do is come up with a plan, decide what to eat and what exercise to implement, and then we’ll just do it.
The problem is, our minds don’t quite work that way. They need a lot of support to change habit of thinking, moving, and eating. As many times as our plans may have crashed and burned in the past, we figure that this time it will be different.
And different it can be, but not without clear attention to and focus on the transitions to the inner change necessary for the outer change to take place.
Solution to Mistake #3: Mental practice for change. Strategize for changing behaviors and don’t leave them to chance. If you have decided to add a daily walk, support yourself by being prepared both physically and mentally.
For example, if you have decided that after work is the best time during the day to fit in a 20-minute walk, have your clothing for the walk prepared and ready to go so that when you get home from work, it is ready and waiting and you don’t need to scrounge around in the closet to find a matching pair of shoes. That goes for the rest of your workout wear as well.
Picture yourself coming home from work (the cue), changing easily into your walking clothes (the new habit) and walking energetically out the door with your walking route in mind. This is mental rehearsal and every Olympic champion depends on it for success. Why shouldn’t you? It will pull you forward to a new habit. It starts in your mind and your body catches up. Soon you’ll be hooked on the refreshing results of having walked for a few minutes after work (new reward) and you’ll be less stressed and more relaxed and rejuvenated for the evening ahead. This same mental practice and support for your new habit can be engineered to shift fitness behaviors for any point during the day.
There you have it. 3 common symptoms with easy fixes. Build your fit vegan lifestyle with smart strategizing from the ground up. And watch your body – and life – change.
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