Have you ever noticed how much harder it is to have willpower when you’re stressed or have had a long day at work or with the kids? It doesn’t have to be “bad” stress, either – your willpower can lag after an awesome day spent sightseeing, shopping, or doing something else that you love. The reason this happens is because of something called “decision fatigue.” Studies show that the more decisions you make over a day, the harder it is to use your willpower or self-control.
For instance, after a long day, you might not feel very energetic and feel like skipping your workout. Saying “no” to junk food can also become harder. You might procrastinate on chores, and if you go shopping, you could end up spending a lot more than you planned.
Here’s a weird fact: even your ability to do basic math equations can be affected!
This doesn’t mean you’re out of luck when decision fatigue kicks in. Instead, now that you know it’s a real “thing,” you can head it off at the pass. Here are some things you can do to avoid decision fatigue in the first place:
You can burn off the stress with a workout (you’ll feel better once you get going!) or eat a healthy spicy meal (studies show hot foods boost endorphins, the feel-good hormones).
If that seems like too much work, how about brewing a cup of tea and finding a quiet spot to relax with a good book?
Another great way to combat decision fatigue is by having a support network. Having a strong team around you is a HUGE part of being successful. Your team can keep you on track and focused.
A lot of people who experience decision fatigue think that there is something wrong with their willpower. They blame themselves and then get insanely jealous of others who seem to be able to stay on track no matter the challenges. The difference between you and them isn’t willpower – it’s that they have created (and follow) healthy habits that help them plan for decision fatigue moments because they happen to everyone. So if you struggle with willpower issues, then this is just an indication that you need to cultivate habits and create systems that will help you manage the stressful parts of your day when you’re not up to making healthy choices for yourself.
Cheers to Creating Healthy Habits! 🥂
Do you ever feel like creating healthier habits like exercise and eating nutritious foods is a lot harder than it should be? I get it! The IDEA of changing habits or adopting new ones can seem overwhelming. I have fantastic news for you that will make you feel better about creating healthy habits.
I am going to do a series of blog posts on building habits to help you get over the overwhelm, so you can start making healthy, positive changes. But first, it is important to understand habit-building itself, and WHY we think it’s so hard to change. In a nutshell, it all comes down to one thing, Your MINDSET. Once you get your mindset right, everything else begins to fall into place.
Fun fact: Did you know that having a positive mindset can help you make healthier choices and live longer? Even better fact: You don’t have to be born with a positive mindset. It is something you can create and strengthen over time.
I think we have all struggled with mastering new habits – things like meal prep (and then actually eating the meals we prepped), sticking with a new exercise plan, getting up earlier, reading more, etc. I know that when I used to try to get back into my habit of using a food journal, I would do great for a few days (or even a few weeks) and then boom, all of a sudden I forget or (confession) blew it off. And then I started to feel a little guilty, later I would get upset with myself … and then I would catch myself saying “I’ll just start again tomorrow” or “I’ll start next week.” (Cue the endless loop of frustration!).
Creating a new habit can be hard, and you can end up with unrealistic expectations – like having it mastered in just a few weeks. Or being perfect at it one or two days. Let’s just put it on the table and say that’s completely unrealistic.
Be prepared to slip up now and then, and when you do, get yourself back on track as soon as possible. Eventually, it WILL become easier, especially when you start to see the results of all your effort!
Lasting changes take time – so whenever possible, make sure you pick a habit that you are between 80 – 90% sure you are ready to create. If the habit seems like you won’t be able to do it on your most hectic or crazy days then dial it back, see how you can lower the difficulty level until you feel it is doable. It will increase the likelihood you will own that new habit.
The other thing to remember is that you CAN build healthy habits, even during holidays, celebrations, etc. It just takes choosing the best habit, making it doable, and having the mindset for your new habits. Maybe that is meal prepping some healthy lunches to offset indulgent dinners or parties. It could be swapping your calorie-laden latte for a "lightener" version that you make at home. Possibly you decide to go for a walk for 30 minutes a day on your lunch break instead of sitting in front of your computer.
Do you need a little strategy session to come up with troubleshooting advice for making those habits a reality? If so, be sure to get in touch with me, and let’s see if we can’t get you feeling confident about your new healthy habits this month! Click Here to Book a Strategy Session!
Confused about whether you should seek the help of a Health Coach or a Nutritionist?
Both help with diet, right? They sure do. However, their focus and approaches are completely different. Let’s take a look at a health coach vs nutritionist: what do they do, how do they work and what’s their main point of difference? Learn which of these modalities you should engage to help you achieve your wellness goals.
What does a Health Coach do? A health coach is a supportive mentor who helps their clients make healthy diet and lifestyle choices to improve their overall wellness. If you want to lose weight, get fit, or create a more balanced life, a health coach can help you achieve this.
Health coaches are trained in basic nutrition, exercise and fitness, well-being concepts & skills, dietary planning, stress management, and weight loss. They undertake specialized training to learn problem-solving, accountability, and motivational skills, so they can best support their clients.
You can work with a health coach one-to-one in person, online, or via a group coaching program. Health coaches address a wide range of lifestyle factors, mentoring people to choose the right diet and fitness regime to suit their needs.
What does a Nutritionist Do? A nutritionist is an expert in food, diet, and nutrition. They are trained to assess the health needs and dietary requirements of their clients, providing dietary advice, meal plans, and nutritional supplements where required. Nutritionists educate their clients to create healthy eating habits and make good food choices to prevent illness and achieve specific health-related goals. Nutritionists work in a variety of settings, including the food industry, private practice, as corporate nutrition consultants, in fitness facilities, and research organizations.
The difference between a health coach and nutritionist?
The main difference between a health coach and a nutritionist is their approach and area of specialty. Health coaches don’t just focus on diet and nutrition; they assess your well-being as a whole, also looking at lifestyle factors such as your sleep, relationships, stress levels, and exercise. It’s worth noting that health coaches are only trained in basic nutrition. So, if you have nutritional deficiencies, complex nutrition requirements, or need support with a specific health condition such as diabetes or food allergies, a nutritionist should be your first port of call.
Nutritionists have special nutrition training and are experts in all things related to diet, food, and nutritional requirements including nutrition through the life cycle (such as in pregnancy or children) and for specific ailments and conditions.
Another difference is the approach taken by each modality. Health coaches focus on goal-setting; they create strategies and accountability measures so that clients achieve their health objectives. Nutritionists, on the other hand, devise nutrition guidelines and plans from which the client has to work from. Nutritionists help their clients get to the root cause of their health issues by taking an in-depth medical case history and assessing blood tests if applicable.
Even though health coaches and nutritionists work in a similar capacity, their approach and area of focus differ. Health coaches tackle wellness as a whole, looking at lifestyle factors as well as diet. They set specific goals for their clients and mentor them to achieve these goals. Nutritionists have in-depth nutrition knowledge and are able to provide their clients with specialized dietary advice and meal plans. Whether you engage the services of a health coach or a nutritionist, you will be one step closer to achieving your wellness goals and becoming a healthier, happier you.
Want to Schedule a Complimentary Consultation? Click here to schedule a session today! One of your Health Coaches or Nutritionists will follow-up to chat!
Jennifer Castro is a Health Educator & Patient Advocate who specializes in Women's Health & Vestibular Disorders. Coach Jenny is working towards becoming Board Certified while working as an Instructional Team Member for the College of Health Solutions at ASU. She also works as an Insurance Broker providing insurance solutions for small business & office settings, employee benefits and workplace wellness options