Recipe for Building a Healthy Lifestyle

Discipline and Consistency, Plus a Splash of Flexibility

Some time in the last few years, “Discipline” and “Consistency” have become two High Frequency Sight Words in self-help books and motivational essays. As an ‘everyday girl’, I wholeheartedly subscribe to the significance of them both. HOWEVER, what I think is not as commonly communicated, is the Flexibility that can symbiotically coexist with Discipline and Consistency. In fact, I believe that in order to achieve lifelong Consistency, one would REQUIRE Flexibility in their practice.

So often, there is this rigidity that is associated (or even celebrated) by those who are considered to be Consistent and Disciplined. The ‘5am-club’, the ’16-8 intermittent-fasts’, the ‘keto diet’, the ‘upper-lower-recovery workout split’ — just to name a few. Don’t get me wrong. Those routines and habits are great; there is nothing inherently wrong with them. Except, how often is life neat and tidy, such that it allows you to rigidly execute those routines?

Flexibility is Paramount

The ‘All or Nothing’ mentality is one that often causes people to stay astray when your routine gets interrupted. Here’s what I mean:

  • “I need 45 minutes to finish my set and I only have 20 minutes left before I have to go. Might as well just skip it.”
  • “With all my friends visiting from out of town, I’m going to be having dinners at restaurants all week. Might as well take this week off as ‘cheat week’ and go back on my regular diet when they’re gone.”

Now, imagine adding Flexibility to your routine and execution. On the days when you are not delivering the most ideal outcome, you can still show up and move towards your goal:

  • A 20-minute workout is better than no workout at all.
  • Just because you are having dinners with friends that may not align with your dietary goals, it doesn’t mean you have to sabotage your breakfast and lunch, too.

Healthy Lifestyle is a Lifelong Endeavour

“Becoming limitless involves mental agility; the ability to quickly grasp and incorporate new ideas and concepts with confidence.”

—Lorii Myers

As we expand our minds about science, nutrition, and fitness, it is important that we consciously pivot and grow our routine. Healthy lifestyles are not built in a day. Give yourself some grace, allow some flexibility and fluidity as you intentionally and consistently move towards your goal. You will sooner reach the results that you are looking for than you would with a rigid routine!

Rigidly Disciplined – All or nothing mentality, which included uncontrollable episodes of binges, followed by punitive fasts and cardio sessions.
Flexibly Disciplined – Any opportunity towards taking care of my body and mind are cherished. I am much happier and stronger now!

6 Tips for Weight Loss and Healthier Lifestyle

THANK YOU for all your generous support of my writing endeavour! It really means the world to me.🤍

As a way of giving back, I thought I’d start a series on Health and Fitness—something that I am unabashedly passionate about, and have invested an obscene amount of time researching on—in the hope that it could be of some use to you.

If you have recently decided to embark on your Health and Fitness and/or Weight Loss journey but are not sure of where to start, here are some simple, easy-to-follow tips!

1. There Are No Quick-fixes

The only guarantees in life are death and taxes. There are no quick-fixes, no guaranteed rules that will help anyone lose weight miraculously. If anyone were to tell you otherwise, they are lying to you.

2. Calories In and Calories Out

The law of thermodynamics is strictly what governs the success (or failure) of your weight loss journey. To burn a pound of body fat, you will need to reach a deficit of around 3,500 calories. When you have reached a deficit of 3,500 calories, then you will lose a pound! No magic, just math.

In order to calculate your caloric deficit, you will need to first figure out how many calories you roughly burn every day, which is also known as your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE). This entry level calculator will help you get started. Our TDEE is more complex than what the calculator gives us, which I will dive into later in this series, but for now, this calculator will do the job!

3. Start with a Small Change

Increase your daily activity level by adding a short exercise routine that you can commit to—one that is realistic and not a daunting task for you to accomplish every day. Start with 15 minutes, which is only the approximate length of 3 songs only!

4. Eat More Protein

“Thermic Effect of Food”, or TEF, is the increase of the metabolic rate that occurs from digestion. The simple act of eating foods that has a higher TEF will biologically require your body to burn more calories when digesting them. As a general guideline:

  • Protein: 20-35% of calories burned through processing
  • Carbohydrates: 5-15% of calories burned through processing
  • Fats: 0-5% of calories burned through processing

5. Avoid Drinking Your Calories

There can be a lot of hidden calories in drinks, usually from all the added sugars. Besides the undesirable calories, another hidden pitfall of sugary drinks is the spike in insulin level. When your insulin level subsequently drops from the sugar spike, the dip is when your body sends you hunger signals. In other words, you may feel the munchies (and potentially consume more calories) that your body does not actually need.

6. Change Your Self-talk

Be kind about how you talk to yourself. You are courageous enough to embark on this journey for yourself; allow yourself the grace of patience and time. Weight loss and/or lifestyle changes are not easy nor expeditious. A paradigm shift on this journey will allow you to enjoy the process and make more lasting, sustainable changes. In the grand scheme of a lifetime, what’s a year?

Thanks reading! I hope you found this entry helpful. Stay tuned for more specific workout regiments and nutritious meal ideas.

Change begins at the end of your comfort zone

Roy T. Bennett
Your friendly neighbourhood fitness enthusiast