Learn to Make Better Bad Choices

by Gina Paulhus, Owner of Home Bodies

Most of us know what we should be doing when it comes to diet and exercise, but there are so many temptations and distractions that making the right choices isn’t easy.

When we try to be perfect, it’s easy to get frustrated and simply give up. Learning to make ‘better bad choices’ will go a long way toward helping you achieve success even when life and simply being human gets in the way.

Here is an example. You’re at a party and there aren’t a ton of healthy options. You are presented with burgers, nachos, potato salad (swimming in mayo!), veggies with dip, and salad with an unknown dressing already on it. There is water, coke and beer to drink. Cake comes afterwards. What to do??

First, before going to such an event you want to eat fairly well so that you are not starving upon arrival. Choose what you will eat before you begin drinking if you are going to drink. Have a burger, but instead of using the whole bun just use the bottom bun for an ‘open faced’ burger. Skip the cheeseburger. Take a small amount of salad trying to find pieces that are not drenched in dressing. Snack on the veggies using a minimal amount of dip.

Decide if you will have cake or alcohol but not both. If you drink, match two waters for each drink you consume. No, you didn’t have a health meal, but you managed to make a ‘better bad choice.’ In the real world, this is a crucial skill to learn. Next time, bring along a healthy side dish you know you can eat guilt free. Others will appreciate this as well!

If you have a workout planned but find yourself short on time, don’t give in to the temptation to abandon your workout. The ‘I’ll just do it tomorrow’ rarely works, because you end up getting behind on your workout schedule for the week. If you have a 45 minute weight routine planned, just perform one set instead of two or three, but make sure you do as many reps as you possibly can until your muscles ‘fail’ meaning you can’t lift the weight even one more time with good form. You will get similar benefits to performing a multiple set workout.

If you have 45 minutes of cardio planned but you only have 20 minutes, crank up the speed and really push yourself for the 20 minutes. Again, you will reap similar benefits.

If you are running out of time and tempted to skip stretching, just pick two or three stretches you need the most, and skip the rest. Avoid the temptation to give yourself a total hall pass—make a better bad choice and it will pay off in the end!

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