How do you make fitness decisions? Do you really pay attention to your thought process before you decide on something, or do you just go with your gut, so to speak.
Here’s a concept I heard in a sermon that I am going to borrow to apply to your health. I would like you to consider using it as a filter before making a poor fitness decision, and it is this: H.A.L.T.
Here’s how it works:
H – Hungry: Do not make a poor fitness decision if you’re hungry.
A – Angry: Do not make a poor fitness decision out of anger.
L – Lonely: Do not make a poor fitness decision out of loneliness.
T – Tired: Do not make a poor fitness decision just because you are tired.
When you make decisions out of one of these states, your defenses are down. You’re not thinking straight. You’re not being objective. You’re not acting in your own best interest and you’re not going to be happy with yourself when you’re done. Let’s break them down.
Making Fitness Decisions: “H” for Hungry
You’ve heard the old adage “don’t grocery shop when you’re hungry.” Why? Because everything sounds good. Your blood sugar is low, which affects energy levels and cognitive processes. You aren’t at your best and most capable of making a decision that will benefit you. Plus, you’re more likely to overeat when you get too hungry. Shoot for 4-6 small meals a day to keep your metabolism humming and to keep yourself in a better decision-making state of mind.
Making Fitness Decisions: “A” for Angry
When you’re angry, you’re not acting out of a place of peace or rationality. Emotions are heightened, adrenaline is flowing, and impulses are firing. It’s easy to have a knee-jerk reaction to environmental cues when you are operating out of a place of anger.
“I can’t believe I didn’t get the raise! I need some chocolate.”a certain legendary burrito, but you get the picture. Before you know it, you’ve done some serious emotional eating in an attempt to fix an issue unfixable by food. You’d be far better exercising to de-stress the situation. Exercise is a great outlet for your anger. You’ll feel better afterwards, more at peace, and will have done your body good.
Making Fitness Decisions: “L” for Lonely
Ever wanted to eat _________ when you’re feeling a little lonely, a little sorry for yourself? Or maybe skip a workout cause you’ve got no one to workout with and you don’t want to do it by yourself?
Loneliness makes us take an overly “inward” perspective which can easily be addressed in unproductive ways. Take stock first and ask why you want to eat __________ or skip your P90X2 workout and make sure it’s not because you’re feeling lonely.
Making Fitness Decisions: “T” for Tired
This might be the hardest one of all. When we’re tired, eating out becomes especially enticing. Yes, you can eat healthy when you eat out, but it takes a very disciplined mindset, which is difficult especially if you’re already tired.
And how easy is it to press snooze at 6 AM and put off your morning run because you’re still so tired?
You have to realize that you are making the decision to exercise the day before your workout, not the day of.
Or maybe you’re an evening exerciser, but you have had a looooonnnnngggggg day and just don’t “feel” up to it. Very easy to talk yourself out of it, right?
Being intentional about your fitness can be a challenge even when your energy tank is full. But run on empty and it becomes just that much harder. You have to realize that you are making the decision to exercise the day before your workout, not the day of. If you do your TurboFire routine at 5 in the morning and you’re up at 11:37 PM the night before, you’ve more or less decided that you will be skipping your workout in the morning (or at the very least, pushing it back, and setting the stage for a stressful day with balancing your other obligations).
Same goes with your meals. Plan your breakfast, lunch, and dinner the day before you are going to eat. In fact, write down your meal plan ahead of time. And then prepare as much of it as you can the previous day. When you have a sack lunch ready to take with you to work, you are much more likely to turn down the gang who wants to hit Chili’s for an Awesome Blossom extra awesome. Add to that all the energy you got from going to bed at a reasonable hour, and it becomes even easier to make the smart decision the next day.
Okay, knowing these things is the first step. Practicing them is the next. Admittedly, it’s hard in the moment to stop what you’re doing and ask yourself if the decision you are getting ready to make falls into one of these categories. But if you want great results, you’ll need to be intentional.
Getting and staying in shape doesn’t just happen. It takes effort. Focus. Hard work. You have to be cognizant of why you are doing what you are doing. But I believe you can do it! And that the more you do it, the easier it will get, and the better likelihood you will have created a lifestyle change.
So the next time you are tempted to make the wrong decision, HALT. It might be the best move you never make.Start My Coaching!