215 Upper Richmond Road (Inside Daley Fitness), Putney, London SW15 6SY

7 reasons why shopping can help you stay fit

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7 reasons why shopping can help you stay fit

Seven? I hear you say? Well, these days every list online needs to feature an odd number of points. Whilst my website hit rate doesn't quite rival Buzzfeed, I ask you to give me a few more months and we'll see.

Routinely I sit with clients and go through their food journals. We discuss the food they ate, when they ate it, and how they felt afterwards. We also talk about the pressures they dealt with before food was even thought about.

If a client has a body composition goal there is no way it will be hit without addressing their nutrition. An expectation is often for me to tell them what to eat, for example, a stringent approach to counting calories or for them to be put on a plan that stipulates every meal and portion size. Many client consultations often involve the assertion: 'my diets pretty good, but I can't shift the weight'. By drilling into their nutrition habits and food intake I often find that they can cook, they love food, know what good nutritious food is and they know that it should be on their plate and to be fair it often is! So what is going wrong?

We've been conditioned to expect very specific outcomes from our food, we expect a structured nutrition plan with macronutrient ratios measured to the gram and some secret approach that will bypass the 'uniqueness' of the client's physiology that's been holding them back for so many years.

I recently had a conversation with a potential client where they said:

'Just tell me what to eat, I'll eat it. I like following a plan'.

And that approach can work. It often does, particularly for those with a high level of fitness who want to optimise and provide a competitive advantage over a short period of time. Indeed, it works for the everyday Joe when looking to make a fast change over a short period of time.

The success that a client will see over a longer period of time can only happen if the following are in place:

They have mastered the basic habits for nutritional success


They have a structured plan to establish the basic habits so that the short term success doesn't stop dead.

Taking your nutrition to the next level

We need to work towards behaviours, not outcomes. By this, I mean changing the way you do things so that your habits and behaviours serve your health goals. This is a highly effective method of maintaining health and fitness over a long period of time. Concentrating on an outcome (5kg weight loss, deadlift Pr etc) has its value but doesn't in itself change you. The significance of an outcome can often change Once you've hit your fatloss goal, then what?

Do you need to try a different diet to avoid boredom or restrict even more, or do you get bored and give up?

If you change the way you behave then you fundamentally change yourself. Particularly, if you subscribe to the view that we are the sum total of hundreds of habits.

Eating breakfast every day for years, when you previous never did, can influence more in your life than spending three weeks on a soup diet that you never planned to sustain. If you eat breakfast, you have a habit that will become automatic (then easy), you can then increase your mastery of this skill by consistency and eventually increasing the quality of the food. There's no point designing a perfect eating plan for someone who doesn't eat breakfast. Even if they want to follow the plan their habits will eventually let them down and they'll miss breakfast more and more frequently and then the plan goes out the window.

So why is shopping so important?

It's not that I want you all to be good consumers. Shopping is a lynch pin habit that supports 'higher order' habits such as cooking, food quality, meal frequency, macronutrient ratios etc. It also ensures that your willpower, which is always being drained, eroded and utilised elsewhere, can help you with the big things in life.

Here are my 7 Reasons why Shopping can help you hit your fatloss goals:

1. You have food in the cupboard - getting home after a hard day at work and finding an empty fridge is a sure fire method of forcing you to order a takeaway. Buy good food in advance and you don't have an excuse!

2. You are more likely to use whole foods - the quality of food is a major influence of body composition, calories can have their place but a diet rich in nutrient dense foods fundamentally changes your bodies fat stores and metabolism. if you plan to buy quality it means that you'll need to cook and use whole foods, not cheap processed convenience foods.

3. You are more likely to cook - if you have the food, you've bought perishables you need to use them. Cooking is a life skill, it is more important to fatloss than most people care to admit.

4. You can be an active participant in your own health - You are building the habits you are in control and you are developing your skills around food preparation, nutrition in general and taking control of your behaviour. This ensures that you are in control, and you will have a system in place that you can rely on when other things demand your will power.

5. Establishes a practice of planning - When you buy a house, you plan your finances, when you go on holiday you plan your schedule, you may be paid by your work to plan. All of the things that are worthwhile in life involve you as an active participant and require attention. You health is no different. Shopping for food is a skill, it takes practice and builds a habit of planning. You may find you start planning your exercise, your pack lunches etc.

6. It saves money - to be fair, not many people can just throw money away. A takeaway could cost £15, a good home cooked meal for 2, perhaps £3-5.

7. Shopping supports other positive habits - those that shop also cook, they also think about food and their food increase their recipe repertoire, they start to make time for food, they make better choices, they sleep better. They have more time (no last minute rushing to the corner shop), they are less stressed.

Do you shop regularly, do you plan your meals. if you don't then you could be setting your self up for failure. Hounds of Health systematically help clients build the habits that they need to succeed with goals.

Give us a call and we can put in a free consultation to establish how we can help you get through those road blocks!

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