Replace Rather Than Restrict

The popular thought is to RESTRICT ourselves of things when trying to make a positive change in our health and fitness.

Want to lose weight? Restrict you caloric intake!

Want to sleep better? Restrict smartphone time!

Want to gain lean muscle? Restrict sugar and carbs!

Want to fit into your old jeans again? Restrict alcohol and desserts!

Want to workout more? Restrict your social time with family and friends!

The problem with restrict ourselves is that most, if not all of us are human beings with the natural tendency to defy authority. Haha! ;-) It’s completely normal and human of us to challenge rules. What often happens, though, in health and fitness is that we “cheat” and inevitably end up bingeing on the things we restricted ourselves of.

We WANT what we can’t have!

Restricting, while in rare cases can work, and can sometimes help jumpstart a goal, in the grand scheme of things it’s just a short distraction with only temporary results, at best.

Instead of restricting yourself, consider REPLACING the habit you want to change with a NEW habit. And, start small, one at a time. Once that replacement becomes your new normal, start another replacement. Remember, brick-by-brick!

So, here are some examples of little bricks to start rebuilding with:

  1. Replace your large dinner plates with small salad plates, and from here on out use the salad plates as your serving dishes. Our eyes see things as they are. If you use a large plate, your eyes want to fill the plate. If you use a small salad plate, your eyes will still fill the plate, but now you have portion control!

  2. Replace your smartphone time before bedtime with reading a book, or writing in a journal, or even doing some yoga or stretching.

  3. Replace your sugary desserts with fruit - “Nature’s candy.” Mixed berrries are pretty delicious! You could even whip up your own whipped cream at home to enjoy with your fresh berries. Just use heavy whipping cream, half & half, or even coconut milk for a more “Paleo-friendly” version.

  4. Allow yourself one alcoholic drink at the party, and then replace the other 2 or 3 glasses you would normally have had with sparkling water, a rosemary mint soda, carrot and beet juice, or a healthy smoothie.

  5. Replace an hour you’d spend in the gym with an hour hiking with your family. Wear a weighted vest or backpack if you want to add a bit of savagery to your hike. Or, if you have one, strap that baby onto you for a weighted vest! ;-)

  6. Replace your RedBull with a cup of coffee or tea.

  7. Replace your cigarettes with chewing gum or licorice root.

  8. Replace your swearing with fun words, like “Schlond Poofa” and “Schnoggin Wrench” (Thanks “Barbie: Life in a Dreamhouse” for those awesome words - Being a mom of three girls has a lot of payoffs, haha!).

  9. Replace your Thousand Island or Ranch dressing with balsamic, olive oil, or even an avocado.

REPLACING the old with a new!

THAT’S the secret to success, friends!

Replacing old habits with new, better habits you are much more likely to not only start it and stick with it, but you are also far more likely to actually make a real lifestyle change that is permanent and sustainable.

No more restrictions. Life is too short. Replace and live your life!

Live long and prosper, my friends.

Kara PurvesComment