The routine paradox
Why is it so difficult to get back into a routine after you’ve been sick, gone on vacation, had a celebration or simply taken a day or two off?
Breaking routine to do something enticing is both very normal and very easy to do. Our willpower to stick to a strict diet or workout routine is finite and erodes increasingly quickly in the face of easier, more alternative ways to do things. This is why people struggle to keep up with dieting over the holidays. Everywhere you go, there seems to be more sugar or alcohol.
After you’ve binged on junk, it becomes way more difficult to get back on the diet wagon because our brains are naturally wired to celebrate a big feast or hard workout at the gym. During our tribal days, we would celebrate a big catch by having a feast and this singled to us that the hard physical labour to catch the prey and over the indulgence afterwards meant we weren’t going to starve and there was no hurry to get back to work.
It’s the holidays, take a break from the diet or gym, right?
Those people who are blessed with strong willpower can certainly afford to take breaks from diet and exercise to indulge once in a while because it’s easy to get back into the routines of a healthy lifestyle. For the rest us, we need to muster as much discipline as possible over the holidays because it becomes increasingly difficult to return to routines.
The secret is to find a balance between enjoyment and lifestyle. For those who diet, intermittent fasting is a wonderful tool to maintain caloric intake while still being able to let loose at the company Christmas party.
It’s important to keep on maintaining discipline when we encounter difficult times. It only serves to strengthen your resolve. And, if you do happen to fall off the wagon. Get back on.
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