In my last post, I showed you how to build new fitness and weight loss habits and we used the example of meal prepping as your first habit.
But even though you will get a lot closer to your goal of weight loss when you have your meal prepping down, ultimately you want to also do other things right like calculating your calorie intake and making sure to get enough protein.
Each of these additional steps can be broken down into new habits. You might think that establishing all these habits will be a lot of work, but actually, the opposite is true. the first habit will always be the most difficult one and things get easier with each new habit that you create.
Because you can take advantage of a strategy called habit stacking.
This concept refers to linking or stacking your new habit on top of a current habit. Because the current habit is strongly wired into your brain already, you can add an additional habit into this existing network of neurons more quickly than if you tried to build a new network from scratch.
So let’s assume you successfully created your habit of preparing your meals every day. Now, your next step is to focus on your calories and macronutrients to make sure you don’t overeat.
What you could do is to create a sequence where you first do all the meal prep and then calculate your calories and protein based on how much each meal weighs. Of course, this is just an example. You could also include taking your supplements into this stack or doing some meditation.
When you have decided on your sequence, you want to pick a time and location. Every sequence or stack should be anchored to time or place trigger. As an example, most people will probably choose the time after dinner when they are home to do their meal prepping for the next day.
If you then want to create a sequence you can add your calorie counting or your supplements to this routine. Doing these things one after another will minimize the willpower it takes to complete each task.
Of course, there are also other times that are perfect for completing such stacks:
– At home, after you wake up: Doing a morning routine after getting up is the perfect way to start your day. Things that are easily done in the morning include meditation, reviewing your goals, reading or preparing a healthy breakfast.
– Another time would be at work during your lunch break. Some people like working out during their lunch break but you complete other habits that prepare you for the rest of the day.
– At night, after getting out of work is another perfect time to complete your workout stack. You could for example, directly drive to the gym to make sure you don’t lose motivation. Many people that drive home first end up on the couch and never actually go to the gym.
– And lastly, at home right before you go to bed is a good time to review the day and remind yourself of what kind of progress you made, what you can improve and simply being thankful for what you have.