Habit Transformation Challenge: Your 5th Habit
Prepared by: Dr. Kushairi Zuradi
We are using the slow change method to make a lifelong impact in your life. Follow this habit transformation basics first prior to starting your challenges.
This is our second habit challenge – to stop ourselves from snacking.
This habit challenge encourages you to eat carbohydrates based on your daily activity level.
By getting this input of energy vs. output of energy right for you, significant weight reduction can occur and numerous great performance and health benefits can be achieved.
For the next 1-2 weeks, I challenge you to eat carbohydrates based on your activity level. Now, here’s the good news…
Everyone can and should have carbs in their diet.
That’s because they can provide some awesome benefits: increased metabolism (better fat loss and health), full glycogen stores (more energy), increased leptin levels (controlled appetite and fewer cravings), improved libido (you know about this one) and increased anabolism (more muscle mass/strength).
Without carbs, we are missing out on some great performance and health potential. It makes sense to include carbs in your diet.
It’s also clear that the carbohydrates we do include in our diets should provide the fuel for activity. By getting this input of energy vs. output of energy right for you, significant weight reduction can occur.
This habit will show you how to keep carbohydrates in your diet, while still achieving your fat-loss goals.
Making it yours
Choose which sources of carbohydrates you would like to eat, and in which meals. Follow the basic guidelines to help you:
Low activity level (no daily movement or weekly workouts): 1 carb based meal per day
Moderate activity level (daily movement or weekly workouts): 2 carb based meals per day
High activity level (daily workouts or physical job): 3-4 carb based meals per day
It’s recommended that you eat your carb based meals around any workouts or training throughout the week e.g. before and after. You can also alternate between these three levels depending on your activity level that day.
The first step is to scale the habit to something you are 90-100% confident you can do for 6 days of the week. You might want to start with eating breakfast (or lunch or dinner), or focus on specific days Saturdays and Sundays).
Have one day off per week from completing the habit.
This is very important: whatever you pick, it should only take you one to two minutes to complete each day.
It’s likely the existing trigger to eat something will be the cue for this habit. It could also be linked to meal preparation if you like to bulk cook for days ahead. Just pick a pre-existing habit to use as your reminder.
TO DO: Create your personal version of the habit to commit to this challenge!
Unlike essential proteins and fats, there are no essential carbohydrates. This means we can obtain everything we need nutritionally from other food sources, so carbohydrates are not necessary to maintain life.
This has brought about much debate over the inclusion and requirement of carbohydrates in our daily diets. Some experts claim we do not need them, while others suggest they should never be excluded.
As a result we now have a number of different diet protocols based on manipulating carbohydrates.
One thing we do know, is activity levels play a large role in how much energy you burn and therefore how much you require to ‘top-up’. The more active a person is, the more carbs are required to replace the energy used to perform and recover.
This is why I always recommend high-intensity exercise such as weight training over most other exercise techniques, as it has been shown to burn much more energy during and after training. On top of this, you build some nice muscle too.
When you exercise more, you can eat more. And when you eat more, your body has a greater ability to change. This is basic energy turnover; the relationship between the amount of energy put in from your nutrition and the amount of energy out via exercise.
If we have other people in our lives, sometimes we’re lucky and they support us. But often they resist the habit changes we make.
Sometimes their unhealthy habits stand in our way. You’re trying to eat healthy foods, and yet your partner or spouse would rather eat pizza and cookies than asparagus.
There’s no simple answer.
We shouldn’t abandon our attempts to change, nor is it helpful to try to force change on loved ones. This can be one of the toughest obstacles, because we don’t have complete control over others. We can’t force other people to be supportive.
If others wont get onboard with your changes, ask just that they give you the space to make the change on your own, without their help.
This isn’t a small thing sometimes – others can be threatened by your changes, or dislike the disruption of their routine that you’re causing.
Ask for the space to do it alone, and ask that they not criticize or make it hard on you.
It can be difficult to stay consistent with a habit if you have a lot going on in your life, or if you take a break from your normal routine.
The perfect example of this is the weekend. So let’s set you up to win this weekend.
How? By doing an easy version of your habit.
This should be so easy that it should require as much energy as brushing your teeth.
Now, have a quick think about how many carbohydrates you are eating daily and compare it to my guidelines below. You can also check your carb requirement using the calculator provided.
Just putting things into perspective, 1 slice of bread contains about 15g of carbs while a cup of rice is about 40g of carbs.
Some people do very well on a higher carb diet, and some of my clients can eat 300-400g per day while still losing body fat. Jealous yet? Most are not so lucky, and those who can, usually fall into the same category – young, lean and metabolically efficient with an active lifestyle.
If you do not tick all those boxes then chances are you will not lose weight optimally eating this amount (while maintaining a balanced diet).
This is a very common daily carb range for the majority of active and healthy people looking to cut the body fat.
This still allows for some starch in the diet, yet limits the amount quite significantly.
You still get all the benefits of having carbs in the diet (so you feel good and perform well), yet lower the intake and overall amount to therefore optimise fat burning (to look good).
This could be described as ketogenic diet – one in which no starchy carbs (or very few) are consumed daily. This is when the body is forced to use fat for energy.
To do this, the person will go through a fat adaption phase, when the body releases ketones for muscle and brain fuel. This can be the most difficult part of such a diet as energy levels can significantly drop until this process is complete.
This energy slump is also common for those transitioning to a moderate and low carb diet plan.
Most people lose weight quickly on this type of plan, but it suits those who are inactive, diabetic or seeking that last bit of fat loss. A low carb diet also works better with females, as they carry much less bodyweight than men, and require less energy as a result.
One reason changing your diet is such a difficult task, is because of the discomfort it brings. Your mind and body doesn’t like discomfort.
We have to face discomfort when we decide to eat better for the first time, or exercise more, or when we simply put ourselves out there in the world.
These are scary, uncomfortable situations. But if we don’t push into discomfort, we severely limit ourselves. We limit what we achieve, we can make ourselves unhealthy and we limit our progress.
So today, consider pushing yourself into discomfort, either with the habit or with something else.
Stay with the discomfort, find curiosity about it, see if you can be OK with the uncomfortable feeling.
Even if you don’t have a lot going on, it’s possible you’re not fully focused on this habit, or fully committed to it.
So let’s set you up to win this challenge and achieve your habit with ease.
Today, think about your super easy, almost effortless version of the habit
For those who are looking to lower or control your carb intake, we understand how hard it actually is to do it.
It is really easy to overconsume carbs and go over our daily needs.
That is why we have prepared this set of low carb recipes which only contain less than 20 grams of carbs per serving.
With such control, it will definitely help us tremendously.
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