The 3 biggest mistakes people make when embracing a healthier lifestyle.

Image: iStock

Was your New Year’s resolution this year ‘to lose weight?’ That’s no surprise: it’s the most common resolution among Australians. But why does it never seem to work right?

The problem is, there are so many ‘trends’ and options out there that people all too often end up burning out after a few weeks. The reason this happens is because too many programs focus on quick fixes and advertise faulty advice, like ‘lose 20 pounds in 30 days without doing any exercise!’

In reality, there are no quick fixes in life. Getting fit and sticking to it takes diligence, persistence and hard work. Programs should not be ‘quick fixes’ but instead the gateway to sustained behavioural change.

You can do it, but first, you must correct the things people typically do wrong when trying to get fit.

Watch: An easy, delicious and healthy quinoa recipe from Paper Tiger. (Post continues after video.)

Here are the top three things people do wrong and how to correct them:

1. Wanting to be healthier, but unwilling to make lifestyle changes.

To create lasting change, you must change habitual eating patterns and learn to make exercise an integral part of your life. You must change your eating from standard refined, processed food, which is addictive and creates cravings, to eating primarily whole foods. Think salads, meats, fruits and veggies.

If not, you will only continue to want unhealthy sugary, fatty, salty food. Remember, changing your lifestyle is about changing your habits and rituals so they are serving your overall health and fitness goals, not inhibiting them.

Ask this question next time you are questioning food choices or exercise frequency: Is this decision going to take me closer to my goal or further away? Think logically and make the right choice.

"Think salads, meats, fruits and veggies." (Image via iStock.)

2. Ignoring the power of mindset.

Mind is body, and body is mind. The first step to fitness is mindset. Not overcoming a negative mindset is the number one barrier to losing weight and keeping it off. You must see your body as your temple to be worshipped and cared for, because it’s the only one you have.

If you don’t embrace this mindset, you will continue to abuse your body and maintain unhealthy eating and a sedentary lifestyle. You would never fuel your car with junk oil. Don’t fuel your body with junk food. (Post continues after gallery.)

3. Setting clear goals to avoid self-sabotaging.

It is crucial that you set clear and specific goals that you use as milestones to signal your continued success.

In the beginning, you need to set these goals so you are achieving them weekly and your mind is getting the stimulation and positive feedback it needs: that you are a winner and making progress. This gives you the continued motivation that you need to keep and build momentum. Your weekly goal can be anything from a a goal of attending five gym classes minimum per week, or even to have prepared your healthy meals all seven days of the week.

The key to success here is celebrating your wins resourcefully. Make sure for every goal achieved, you take the time to celebrate and recognise how awesome you are. Reward yourself with something that motivates you for your next goal, such as a massage or a new pair or training shoes – whatever gets you excited and gives your brain the feedback of reward and success.

Make these changes, and you’ll be fit in 2016 before you know it.

Have you ever found yourself doing these three things?

Andy Anderson is the CEO of Ultimate YouUltimate You and its three pillars of change methodology, mindset, nutrition and training, has helped thousands of people to transform their mind, body and life outlook and become lean, energetic and healthy. Ultimate You’s philosophy is that weight loss and fitness can’t be achieved just with a physical training program, mindset and nutritional habits also need to be addressed to achieve long term change in a positive way.