Rules are your friends.
Done right, rules can change the way you eat, change the way you behave and change your habits for good.
The payoff can be the body and life you’ve always wanted.
But without rules? Let me tell you a story.
One time I travelled to San Diego for a conference with an unrealistic idea of what was going to happen. I thought that I would eat like I usually do and stick to my workout routine, but boy was I wrong!
From the day I touched down until the day I left, I ate whatever I wanted and whenever I wanted. I missed training sessions and had a 0 fucks mentality. I didn’t really care about it at the time and was just telling myself that I can have these two weeks to “enjoy.”
It wasn’t until I was on the long plane ride back to Australia that I realised I’d made a bad decision. All it took was looking down at my belly. I felt embarrassed.
It sucked knowing what I had just done and the bad decisions I made. But at the same time, it also helped me learn just what real life is like.
A lot of you who are reading this don’t live the trainer life, you live normal lives and you travel, go out on the weekends and spend time with your family.
This means that there are always opportunities for you to make good or bad decisions and it can be hard to always make good ones.
When I arrived back in Sydney and I knew I had to get back on track, so I set myself some rules to give myself a reset and also some structure.
RULES I CREATED
I’m going to stick to my 80/20 principle every single day.
I am only going to eat 2000 calories.
I am no longer accepting snacks from anyone who offers me them.
I am not going out to dinner with anyone for the next month.
I am going back to my fasting schedule of 16/8
All of these little rules helped me get refocused and get back in control.
Not feeling in control is bad because that’s when you get anxious. You start stressing and that’s when you start making bad choices.
When you can set clear rules for yourself saying “I’m going to do this” and “I’m not going to do that”, you are giving clear instructions to your brain as to exactly what you will do.
Set Your Own Rules
Be sensible and realistic.
If you’ve been overeating in the past and you’ve been lazy with your workout, you need to do the same and start off by setting some rules and cutting back on your calories (just slightly.)
You don’t need to eat a thousand calories a day for the next week because of the amount of extra food you have been eating. Just figure out how many calories you need and go from there. Then write down what you will and won’t do.
When you set yourself rules and boundaries and you put certain restrictions for yourself, it’s so much easier to stick to your plan. Telling yourself that you’re going to stop eating after a certain time or you don’t eat out during the week will help empower you.
Here’s the big takeaway:
Rules create freedom.
You don’t have to use willpower to think “should I have the cookie or shouldn’t I have the cookie?” If you follow the 80% rule of eating healthy and you’ve got a couple of hundred calories left over to eat and there’s a cookie, you can have the cookie; but if you don’t have any calories left, you don’t have the cookie. That’s just it. Black and white. You can’t have it.
You will notice your anxiety and stress lift away from me because now you have rules in place. This is really good for those times when you feel like you’ve lost motivation or if your life is in shit and shambles and you ask yourself “Man, how do I get back on track?” Sit down. Take 10,15, 20 minutes and write some rules for yourself
Some Ideas For Rules
How many calories are you going to eat a day?
Are you going to follow the 80/20 approach?
Are you going to follow the 90/10 approach?
How many days are you going to exercise?
What are you not going to do?
Are you someone who just has to say, “You know what? For the rest of this week, I’m not going to eat any junk food because I just been so bad the last couple of weeks.” You might do that for a week and then get back to the 80/20 approach.
Write down what you will do, what your rules are and also what you won’t do, like “I will not eat until 10 am in the morning”.
You will learn things over time and realise you will have to make more or fewer rules. Whenever you make mistake, you change it; whenever you find something that works, you make that a rule. Why? Because when you can make that a rule and you can stick to it. This eliminates decision fatigue. It then eliminates relying on “will power” alone.
This is one thing that’s been very helpful for my online clients to not just to lose fat and keep it off but also in changing bad habits and relieving stress.
You can say “I won’t go out during the week to eat with friends because I know I overeat.” When you make that mistake one or two times and you set that a rule to avoid it. Learn from your mistakes, learn from your wins, sit down, create those rules for yourself – certain things you will do, certain things you won’t do.
Ps. There’s always going be updates with your rules. There’s going to be times in your life when you need to change some rules. If the rules don’t work for you, you change them. If you find they work really well, you keep them and you keep following them
What Rules Can You Set for Yourself?
I’m interested to hear is what rules do you have? Do you have certain rules that you want to follow or anything that you can think of? If you do, I’d love to hear from you. So make sure to reply to this post let me know because we can share some rules.
If you have any other questions, make sure to ask because I’m always happy to help. You can DM me on Instagram @tysonthetrainerr