When You're Tempted to Stray From Your Fitness Plan, Take a 20-minute Time Out

by Gina Paulhus, Owner of Home Bodies

When you are about to make a choice that will hurt you in the long run, I challenge you to take a 20-minute time out. Quite often our poor choices are impulsive and emotionally triggered, and if we can just wait that 20 minutes we should be in a better position to make a better choice.

Problem: Cravings for Junk Food

When you decide you really want that ice cream or whatnot and you’re about to go and get it, challenge yourself to take 20 minutes before you allow yourself to indulge. Find something engaging to distract yourself with, like calling a friend, getting involved in a project, or going for a walk.

Chances are, in 20 minutes you will no longer be tormented by the urge to consume the junk food. If you find after the 20 minutes that you are actually hungry, treat yourself to a healthy snack instead.

Problem: Desire to skip your workout

For this one the strategy is actually the opposite—promise yourself you’ll go ahead with the workout but 20 minutes into it you’ll stop if you don’t feel like continuing. Even mentally committing to a 10 minute workout works well in this case.

Most of the time after 10 minutes of exercise the endorphins kick and you won’t mind finishing off your workout. Also quite often we are just tired due to lack of oxygen, and you’ll actually have more energy 20 minutes into the workout than you did before you started, since exercise forces you to breathe!

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