by Tony Gjokaj August 26, 2020 4 min read
Exercise is the ultimate habit hack. It provides you the opportunity to dive into your other bad habits and replace them with better ones.
In this post, we are going to go into Habit-Stacking, a strategy that if utilized, makes it significantly easier to optimize your health.
Let's get after it!
Habit-stacking is when you take various tasks and combine them together to build a routine.
For example, drinking water at the start of your morning before your coffee or Impulse will be a good habit to start. This is because water consumption in the morning habitually invites consistent water consumption and potentially, total calorie reduction.
Habit-Stacking allows you the opportunity to build positive habits together to create a chain reaction. While you can do this for various habit-building tasks, we are going to dive into exercise and nutrition.
According to a behavioral study done in 2012, people who tend to be more physically active reduce their overall fat intake. With this, I believe exercise is the ultimate habit hack. This is because exercise stacks other healthier habits along with it, causing a chain reaction.
When you start exercising, a few things stack up:
Essentially, exercise and proper nutrition continue to cause a chain reaction where we make better lifestyle choices overall. For example, we start drinking more water, reading more, going outside more, and so on.
In order to build habit stacks, we recommend the following:
You do not need to create huge changes to your diet just yet, just focus on the small things you can do. More veggies, more fruits, more protein, less junk food. Pretty soon you will replace your bad food habits with good ones.
Temptation Bundling is another strategy you can use to create better habits in your lifestyle. As mentioned in a previous post, we call this strategy "The Habit Sandwich".
A Habit Sandwich is when you take a task you WANT to do and combine it with something you NEED to do. For example, for every "bad meal" you have, replace the next meal with a "good one". Once you get the hand of this, for every "bad meal" you have, the next two meals will be a "good one". Keep doing this until you have consistent good habits around food.
Additionally, you can do this with a "cheat meal" or a "free meal". This is where we focus on eating well throughout the week and allow ourselves to indulge in one meal at the weekend.
You can also do this with exercise. If you're like me, you don't like mobility work. So while I warm up with my lifts, I do mobility work in between, extending my warm-up rest periods. This allows me to get my mobility work and get into my working sets.
Want to make this work? here's how:
With that, let me give you two practical examples you can utilize:
The programs I was able to stick with consistently were frequency-based training programs, like an Upper Body/Lower Body Split or Full-Body one. This is because it allowed me to train the muscle groups I liked frequently, along with the ones I didn't.
With these strategies, we hope that you can plan out more practical ways to improve your health and fitness goals. While we can give you the keys to success every day, it's up to you to build healthy habits so that you can accomplish your goals.
Sometimes success in health and fitness is determined by the dedication of consistent hours worked. If I spend more hours consistently working towards bettering myself with healthy habits, I will see significant changes months from now.
Any questions, comments, or insights? Throw them below, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time, Reforged Legion!
Tony is the Owner of Reforged Performance Nutrition. He is a PN1 Certified Nutrition Coach and has been in the fitness space for over a decade. His goal is to help bridge the gap between physical & mental health through fitness.
by Tony Gjokaj September 17, 2021 5 min read
When you're depressed, even when you're not expending a lot of energy... you don't feel like you have any energy to spare to begin with.
It can be aggravating to hear that you need to work out to boost your endorphins, (or whatever your friends say to you).
In reality, they aren't wrong... but how can you exercise if you can't even get out of bed?
Is there something wrong with us?
Absolutely not. This happens with depression.
The thing with depression is that your whole body may feel like it is against you... and it's very frustrating.
I've been there.
But I was forced to work out once I committed to it because of an accountability partner I had.
In this post, we are going to go over some ways that may help you get off the couch when your mind & body are against you.
by Tony Gjokaj September 13, 2021 2 min read
Hydration is paramount to your health and wellbeing.
When I worked my previous management job, I ran three rental car branches simultaneously at a time where one of the other managers was gone for over a month.
I would try to get my water in regularly, but the locations were incredibly busy. You would always find me at the front desk with customers swarming in.
This played a large part in my stress and I never knew it did until I found a way to actually get drink more water.
In this short post, we are going to go over why hydration is essential for mental health.
Let's dive in!
by Tony Gjokaj September 08, 2021 3 min read
When I was overweight, I was inactive, depressed, and had insomnia.
I would isolate myself from social interaction, which led me down a dark path where I contemplated suicide.
Eventually, fitness was my salvation, as physical activity led to me sleeping better, eating better, feeling better, and thinking better.
Prior to exercise, I was stuck in what was deemed an Inactivity Trap.
So in this post, we are going to go over an article that was written in 2009 with the same name, called "The Inactivity Trap". This article included studies that supported their claims from a psychological standpoint which intrigued me as well.
So let's dive into what the Inactivity Trap is.
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