A step-by-step guide to healthy eating and weight loss for 2019

According to Inc.com, 60% of us make New Year’s resolutions. The most common ones all involve dieting or eating healthier (71%), exercising more (65%), and losing weight (54%).

The unfortunate truth revealed from this survey of 2,000 people: only 8% are successful in achieving their New Year’s resolution and over half of respondents fail their resolution by January 31.

Why do most resolutions fail?

I don’t think it’s because people don’t actually want to succeed, or they lack the discipline or drive.

I think it has more to do with not knowing how to get from point A to point B (point A being where you are now and point B being where you want to be in the future).

Without a definitive plan for success, your chances of failure sky rocket.

Healthy Wheys is a website dedicated to living a happier, healthier life. I want to help you be the best version of you there is.

Considering my goals and the most common New Year’s resolutions, I want to increase your chances of success with you New Year’s resolution this year.

I’m going to give you a step-by-step guide on getting from point A to point B.

What follows is a detailed eating plan that will have you eating healthier and losing weight in 2019.

The science behind everything in this article

The meal plans you’ll find here are based on the science of intermittent fasting in combination with calorie restriction.

A study conducted in 2012 found that intermittent fasting and calorie restriction reduces body weight, decreases fat mass, decreases visceral fat, and improves many measures associated with heart health (i.e. LDL cholesterol measures, heart rate, insulin, and homocysteine).

The plan you’ll find in this article uses the same principles used in this study.

What you’re going to need

  • A good meal replacement shake

Meal replacement shakes are different than protein shakes.

To learn more about them, check out a previous article I wrote.

Meal replacement shakes have a good balance of protein, carbohydrates, dietary fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals. They can substitute an entire meal and not leave you feeling hungry and malnourished.

  • Nutritional supplements

A good nutritional supplement provides herbal and plant-based nourishment, contains ingredients that support mental and physical performance, adaptogens that help your body resist and adapt to stress, aids digestion, and boosts metabolism.

For a better idea of what you need here, please contact me.

  • Good sources of protein
    • Hamburger
    • Salmon
    • Grilled chicken
    • Steak
    • Pork chops
    • Meatballs
    • Haddock
    • Tofu
    • Eggs
    • Milk
    • Yogurt
    • Cottage cheese
    • Nuts and seeds

 

  • A supply of good fruits and vegetables
    • Spinach
    • Carrots
    • Broccoli
    • Garlic
    • Brussel sprouts
    • Kale
    • Green peas
    • Asparagus
    • Red cabbage
    • Sweet potatoes
    • Grapefruit
    • Pineapple
    • Avocado
    • Blueberries
    • Apples
    • Pomegranate
    • Mango
    • Strawberries
    • Cranberries

 

What you’re going to do

What follows is designed for a month: it’s a kickstart to healthy eating and weight loss that will get you on the right track. If you stick to it religiously, it will work. Just ask the people who took part in the study from 2012.

Here’s the broad outline of what your month should look like:

month meal calendar

Within the month, here’s what the perfect week looks like:

Day 1:

Wake up – Nutritional supplement

Breakfast – Meal replacement shake

Midmorning snack – yogurt (300g)

Lunch – meal replacement shake

Midafternoon snack – 1 piece of fruit

Dinner – bunless cheeseburger (100g) and 1 cup of spinach with pineapple salsa (50g)

Day 2:

Wake up – Nutritional supplement

Breakfast – Meal replacement shake

Midmorning snack – cottage cheese (200g)

Lunch – meal replacement shake

Midafternoon snack – almonds (25g)

Dinner – salmon (150g), 1 cup of steamed broccoli

Day 3 (Intermittent fasting day):

Wake up – Nutritional supplement

Breakfast – Nutritional supplement

Midmorning snack – 1 hard-boiled egg

Lunch – Nutritional supplement

Midafternoon snack – 1 piece of fruit

Dinner – Nutritional supplement and cottage cheese (200g)

Day 4:

Wake up – Nutritional supplement

Breakfast – Meal replacement shake

Midmorning snack – cashews (25g)

Lunch – meal replacement shake

Midafternoon snack – yogurt (300g)

Dinner – steak (150g) and 1 cup of mushrooms

Day 5:

Wake up – Nutritional supplement

Breakfast – Meal replacement shake

Midmorning snack – 1 piece of fruit

Lunch – meal replacement shake

Midafternoon snack – 1 piece of fruit

Dinner – pork chops (150g) and 1 cup of red cabbage

Day 6:

Wake up – Nutritional supplement

Breakfast – Meal replacement shake

Midmorning snack – yogurt (300g)

Lunch – meal replacement shake

Midafternoon snack – pecans (25g)

Dinner – haddock (340g) and 1 cup of green peas

Day 7:

Wake up – Nutritional supplement

Breakfast – Meal replacement shake

Midmorning snack – 1 hard-boiled egg

Lunch – meal replacement shake

Midafternoon snack – cottage cheese (200g)

Dinner – meatballs (200g) and 1 cup of brussel sprouts

Conclusion

It’s much easier to be disciplined and achieve success when you know exactly what it takes to get there. I want to give you the best chance of succeeding in 2019. I’d hate to see you join the 50% of people that give up on their resolution by January 31. Jump starting your nutrition and weight loss goals with the meal plan I’ve outlined will bring you roaring into 2019 like no other year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources and further reading

10 Top New Year’s Resolutions for Success and Happiness in 2019

Intermittent fasting combined with calorie restriction is effective for weight loss and cardio-protection in obese women

The top 7 fitness trends for 2019 according to health and fitness professionals

2018 is over. It came and went in a flash.

Just as you were getting comfortable with your workout routine and your diet, the end of the year, and the beginning of a new one, might have you thinking about what you are going to do next.

Your body is continually evolving. Exercise science is continually evolving. It’s only natural that your exercise routine should evolve too.

Stay ahead of the pack and on top of your game by taking advantage of the biggest trends in the fitness world for 2019.

These are not fads.

Fads by their very nature are fleeting. In the fitness industry these are things like the Bowflex, doing Tae Bo, or the vibrating belt. They come, people get very excited about them, and then they are gone just as fast.

Trends are longer lasting; they represent a general development in a situation or a change in the way people are behaving.

For the past 13 years, American College of Sport’s Medicine’s Health and Fitness Journal have conducted a survey of thousands of health and fitness professionals.

This year, they received responses from 2,038 people representing countries all over the world and working in many different industries. The top occupations participating in the survey were personal trainers (10%), clinical exercise physiologists (10%), health and fitness directors (10%) and professors (9%).

Here is a list of what they expect to see in 2019.

1. Wearable tech

Wearable tech includes fitness trackers, smart watches, heart rate monitors, and GPS tracking devices.

These little devices were super popular when they first came out in 2016 and interest in their use continued into 2017. 2018 saw them slip into the third spot.

For 2019, wearable tech has gone back up to the number 1 spot.

If you haven’t jumped on board with this trend yet, here are a few good guides to help you find a device that will work best for you:

“25 expert tips to get more from your fitness tech this New Year”

“Best fitness tracker guide 2019: Fitbit, Garmin, Xiaomi and more”

“The Best Fitness Trackers for 2019”

2. Group training

No one likes to do it alone. And it seems people like to do it in groups of 5 or more.

According to this and past surveys, group training has always been somewhat of a thing. It wasn’t until 2017, however, that it cracked the top 20.

People tend to like working out in groups because it’s motivating (a good, energetic instructor can make an hour fly by), there’s a well-structured plan, it makes you accountable and you tend to try harder, it’s fun, and you have the support of your fellow participants.

Here are some guides to classes you might want to try in 2019:

“6 Group Workout Classes That Beat Hitting the Gym Alone”

“The beginner’s guide to choosing the best group fitness workout”

3. High intensity interval training

High intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts are popular, and it looks like they are here to stay. HIIT cracked the top 20 of this survey in 2014 and has been 1 of the top 5 ever since.

The popularity of HIIT undoubtedly continues as exercise science tells us more and more about the benefits of this type of training. These include: burning a lot of calories in a short amount of time, boosting your metabolic rate for hours beyond the actual workout, helping you lose fat, gaining muscle, etc.

Whatever the workout is packaged as on the surface, HIIT always involves working at 90% or more of your maximum heart rate for short periods of time, followed by intermittent rest periods.

Here are some links to some good HIIT workouts you can do on your own:

“10 HIIT Workouts to Get You Shredded for Summer”

“5 Best 20 Minute HIIT Cardio Workouts For Rapid Fat Loss”

4. Fitness programs for older adults

The baby boomers continue to get older. And they tend to have more money than us younger folk.

That means many health clubs are going to start gearing some of their classes towards this portion of the population.

5. Bodyweight training

Bodyweight training has gained popularity in the last few years. It first made its appearance on this survey in 2013 and it was within the top 5 in 2017 and 2018.

It has cracked the top 5 again this year.

People tend to enjoy bodyweight exercise because of its convenience (you can do the workouts anywhere you are with no equipment required) and because of its effectiveness (you can get all the benefits of a full gym with some creative exercises).

Here are some great bodyweight workouts to try this year:

“The 30 Best Bodyweight Exercises for Men”

“Bodyweight Workouts for Women”

6. Hiring certified fitness professionals

People want to know they can trust the person they’ve charged with looking after their health. In 2019, you can expect more thorough background checks into accreditation and qualifications. This is a good thing for you.

7. Yoga

Yoga really got popular around the 2010’s. And it appears to be on the rise again in 2019, just like it has been since 2017.

Yoga is great because of the relaxation techniques you learn in a class; the benefits it has on stress, depression, and anxiety; and the strength and flexibility increases you’ll experience with regular practice.

There are many types of yoga you can do. Here are some articles to help you figure out where you should start.

“Beginner’s Guide to Yoga”

“The Definitive Guide to Yoga”

Conclusion

Here’s to another year of nutrition, fitness, and well-being. Stay ahead of the curve by capitalizing on these fitness trends and have fun becoming the best version of yourself possible.

Have a great 2019!

Sources

“Worldwide survey of fitness trends for 2019” – American College of Sports Medicine

Lose weight without losing muscle with this evidence-based approach

Losing weight while maintaining muscle at the same time is like the holy grail in the fitness world.

While it can be difficult to do, it’s not impossible.

The goal of this article is to provide you with a clearly outlined approach to do just this. It’s an approach based on solid scientific research, so you can be confident it has worked for many other people before.

The primary sources for all the information found in this article are “Evidence-based recommendations for natural bodybuilding contest preparation: nutrition and supplementation”, written by a group of researchers from New Zealand, California, and Illinois;  and “Preserving Healthy Muscle during Weight Loss” written by three researchers from the Center for Human Nutrition at Washington University School of Medicine.

Be sure to check out these papers for a deeper dive into the information found in this article.

Introduction

Weight loss can be tricky. First off, it can be difficult for many people to lose weight at all. And secondly, if you do figure out how to lose weight, you don’t want it to come at the expense of the stuff in your body that you want to keep (i.e. lean muscle).

Research suggests that most weight loss comes from a loss of both fat and muscle. If you lose 8-10% of your initial body weight, 2-10% of the weight lost is going to be muscle mass.

That means if you lose 10 pounds, 0.2 pounds of that is going to be muscle.

That may not seem like a lot, but you also have to think about the opportunity cost. Weight training can help you gain about 0.5 pounds of muscle per week under the best conditions.

So, if you lose 10 pounds across 8 weeks, you could be sacrificing as much as 4 pounds of muscle.

This doesn’t have to be the case. Incorporate the following strategies into your weight loss plan and you can maintain or increase your muscle mass at the same time.

1) Maintain a moderate rate of weight loss

To maximize your ability to maintain lean muscle mass while also losing fat, research suggests the ideal rate of weight loss is 0.5 to 1% of your body weight per week.

If you weigh 150 pounds when you start, that means your rate of weight loss will initially be 1.5 pounds.

This also means you’ll have to adjust your weight loss rate accordingly each week.

Assuming you’re successful in your first week losing the 1.5 pounds, your weight loss rate for the second week would then be 1.48 pounds.

Losing weight at a rate faster than this causes you to lose a greater percentage of that weight from lean muscle.

Slow and steady wins the race.

2) Increase your protein intake

Muscle loss that occurs during weight loss is mainly mediated by muscle breakdown rather than a lack of protein synthesis.

One of the primary regulators of muscle protein breakdown is the dietary intake of amino acids (i.e. how much protein you’re getting from your diet).

To counteract the increased muscle breakdown that can occur with weight loss, you need to increase the amount of protein that you’re taking in.

Eric Helms of Sport Performance Research in New Zealand and the author of “Evidence-based recommendations for natural bodybuilding contest preparation: nutrition and supplementation” recommends 2.3 to 3.1 g/kg of lean body mass per day.

To get an estimate of your lean body mass composition, use a simple calculator like the one that can be found here: Lean Body Mass Calculator.

I’m about 160 pounds, 30 years old, and 5’10”.

If I use the calculator, I find that approximately 127.4 pounds of my body weight is from lean mass. 127.4 pounds is 53.3 kg.

That means my protein intake, if I’m losing weight while trying to maintain lean body mass, should be 53.3 kg x 3.1 g of protein = 165 g of protein per day.

3) Resistance training

The amount of protein in your diet is one major determinant of the rate of protein synthesis and protein breakdown. Another is muscle contractile activity.

What that really means is that a muscle that is constantly working is less likely to break down.

One reason for this is that muscle contraction stimulates protein synthesis. By stimulating your muscles to grow you’re counteracting their want to break down in the weight loss environment.

The second reason contractile activity prevents muscle break down has to do with the hormone insulin.

Insulin is a potent inhibitor of muscle protein breakdown. Exercise, like resistance training, increases insulin sensitivity, which makes muscles less likely to degrade.

4) Supplements

There are a few supplements that have solid scientific backing regarding their ability to promote muscle protein synthesis and prevent muscle protein degradation. One of them is dietary protein intake, which we’ve already covered.

The others are creatine monohydrate, beta-alanine, and BCAAs.

Creatine monohydrate

Creatine is a molecule naturally produced by the body and found in foods like meat, eggs, and fish.

Creatine supplementation is highly associated with increasing and maintaining lean muscle mass.

Many different forms of creatine are available. Stick to creatine monohydrate though, it’s the cheapest and it’s the most effective.

To take, start with a loading phase for a week (0.3 g/kg body weight for a week). After that initial week, go down to 0.03 g/kg.

For a 160 pound (53.3 kg) individual, this would be 16g per day for the first week followed by 1.6 g every day thereafter.

Beta-alanine

Beta-alanine is the biological building block of carnosine (a molecule that buffers acid levels in muscle tissue).

In addition to buffering to its buffering capability, beta-alanine is also highly associated with increasing lean muscle mass.

To supplement with beta-alanine, take a daily dose of 2-5 g.

Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs)

BCAAs are amino acids found in eggs, meat, and many supplements.

Supplementation is strongly associated with increases in muscle protein synthesis and increasing muscle growth over time.

BCAAs can be added as a supplement on their own. However, your best bet is incorporating a protein supplement into your diet that contains BCAAs since you need to increase your protein intake too.

Conclusion

Weight loss without losing muscle is possible with the right approach. I hope I’ve succeeded in giving you a good starting point if this is your goal.

Have you ever tried to lose weight without losing muscle? Let me know how it went for you in the comments below.

Sources and further reading

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28507015

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24864135

https://examine.com/supplements/creatine/

https://examine.com/supplements/beta-alanine/

https://examine.com/supplements/branched-chain-amino-acids/

How cleansing helps you burn more fat

Cleanse.

It’s a very popular word right now. And for good reason.

Cleansing is associated with a number of health benefits:

  • improved mental clarity and concentration
  • weight and body fat loss
  • lowered blood insulin and sugar levels
  • reversal of type 2 diabetes
  • increased energy
  • improved fat burning
  • increased growth hormone
  • lowered blood cholesterol
  • prevention of Alzheimer’s disease
  • longer life
  • autophagy
  • reduction of inflammation

There are many different types of cleanses out there. Each one is made up of slightly different components and promises to do slightly different things. But, at the heart of it all, the underlying principle of a good cleanse has to be intermittent fasting.

Intermittent fasting is a diet that focuses more on when calories are consumed rather than the type of food eaten. Some have likened intermittent fasting more to an eating pattern, rather than an actual diet.

This article is going to focus on one of the benefits of cleansing: improved fat burning.

I’d like to take you into the biology of this really beneficial aspect of cleansing.

If you’re already an avid cleanser, you might find it enjoyable to learn exactly what’s going on in your body when you cleanse.

If you’re new to cleansing, you might find it interesting to learn of the biological upsides of cleansing, which could help you stay motivated and on track.

If you’ve never tried cleansing before, maybe this will inspire you to give it a try and get healthier!

Cleansing and visceral fat

A study conducted by Monica Klempel and her colleagues at the University of Illinois at Chicago showed that women who intermittently fasted with calorie restriction lost more visceral fat than women who fasted without calorie restriction.

Visceral fat is the deep abdominal fat that surrounds organs like the liver, pancreas, and intestines.

It is sometimes referred to as “active fat” because it can play potentially dangerous roles in affecting how our hormones function.

By influencing how our hormones function, high amounts of visceral fat are associated with increased risks of insulin resistance, diabetes, heart disease, and inflammation.

Cleansing allows you to burn visceral fat because it gives your body the opportunity to use it as a source of energy.

When you cleanse, you limit the number of calories consumed. Because fewer calories are being consumed, your body will begin to turn to stores of energy otherwise untouched when abundant calories are consumed on the regular.

These alternate stores of energy are fat stores.

How cleansing gets the body to burn fat

To really understand how this works, let’s back up just a little bit to consider how our body functions when there is an abundance of carbohydrates around for energy.

Non-cleanse days (carbohydrates are in abundance)

Glucose, the type of carbohydrate that circulates in the blood when foods with carbohydrates are eaten, is in abundant supply. These glucose molecules circulate in the blood making themselves available to cells requiring energy.

In response to the presence of glucose in the blood, alpha cells in an organ called the pancreas secrete the hormone insulin.

Glucose is too big to get into cells on its own. Insulin acts like a chaperone of sorts, helping glucose get across cell membranes and into the interior of the cell where it can be used as energy.

It occurs this way on non-cleanse days because carbohydrates are the first line source of energy for cells.

Now let’s consider what happens when you cleanse.

Cleanse days (carbohydrates are in short supply)

Cleanse days involve restricting calories.

Restricting calories means you’re not eating as much and your regular intake of carbohydrates is going to be much lower.

The first thing your body will do is use as much of the glucose circulating in the blood as possible. As blood glucose levels fall, less insulin will be released from alpha cells in the pancreas and insulin levels in the blood will eventually fall too.

Your body needs to create energy somehow from somewhere, otherwise you’ll die (and no one wants that).

Luckily, your beta cells, which can be found right next to the alpha cells in the pancreas, work in the exact opposite conditions that insulin does: they respond to low blood glucose levels.

The beta cells, sensing the low levels of insulin and, indirectly, low levels of blood glucose, release a hormone called glucagon.

Glucagon stimulates the liver to get more glucose into the blood stream by converting its glucose stores (glycogen) back into glucose.

Temporarily this works to increase blood glucose levels and the cells craving energy have enough to get by.

But glycogen is created from excess glucose taken in from the diet. When you’re cleansing, you’re not taking in carbs (i.e. glucose) so those stores are not going to be replenished.

Blood glucose levels are again going to fall and your body is going to be in a situation where it’s looking for alternative sources of energy.

Glucagon is again released from beta cells in the pancreas. Glucagon has multiple functions: it can stimulate the liver to create more glucose and it can stimulate fat cells to release their fat stores for energy.

Fat is stored in fat cells as molecules called triglycerides. When glucagon is released, an enzyme called lipase breaks down triglycerides into their component parts: glycerol and fatty acids.

Glycerol and fatty acids are released into the blood stream. Glycerol ends up in the liver where it can be converted into useable forms of energy for cells and fatty acids can be taken up by cells and used as sources of energy.

Conclusion

This is the biological mechanism behind increased fat burning during cleansing. By limiting the intake of calories you force the body to use its energy reserves. Depletion of carbohydrate reserves transition the body into using fat as an energy source and the storage containers of fat (fat cells) dump their contents into the blood stream to be burned up as useable energy.

Sources:

https://www.dietdoctor.com/intermittent-fasting

https://nutritionj.biomedcentral.com/track/pdf/10.1186/1475-2891-11-98

https://www.diabetes.co.uk/body/visceral-fat.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insulin

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glucagon

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triglyceride

 

 

 

 

 

Functional Imagery Training (FIT) helps people lose 5X more weight: Here’s everything you need to know about FIT and how to use it

A new study published in the scientific journal: International Journal of Obesity showed that overweight people lost 5X more weight with Functional Imagery Training (FIT).

Basically, the researchers showed that some clever psychological techniques can help you lose weight. That psychological technique is FIT.

What’s really interesting is the study did not include any diet or physical activity advice. The only difference between the groups compared was their mental approach to weight loss. It’s a true testament to the power and importance of a good mindset in achieving your goals.

In this article you’ll find information on what FIT is and how you can start putting it to work for you.

What is Functional Imagery Training?

** The source material can be found here. Check it out to learn even more about FIT **

FIT is a technique that builds and maintains your motivation to achieve a goal using imagery. What separates FIT from other imagery techniques is what you focus on.

The technique was developed by Professor David Kavanagh at Queensland University of Technology in Australia and Professors Jackie Andrade and Jon May at Plymouth University in England. It’s based on a theory of motivation called Elaborated Intrusion Theory.

FIT is based on three core components: Imagery-based motivational interviewing, imagery-based relapse prevention, and functional imagery training.

  1. Imagery-based motivational interviewing

Imagery-based motivational interviewing has 6 goals:

  • Identify your behavioral weak spots

If your goal is weight loss, imagery-based motivational interviewing will help you identify some of your current behaviors that are inconsistent with achieving that goal.

Maybe you’re eating too much processed food, inadvertently binging on unhealthy snack foods while watching Game of Thrones, or having a “cheat day” more often than you even realize… whatever the case may be, imagery-based motivational interviewing will help you identify your behavioral discrepancies.

  • Build motivation 

By imagining how behavioral change will positively benefit you, you are able to visualize how change will bring you closer to your ideal self.

This serves two purposes: First, it builds excitement and motivation. Second, it gives you’re a vision of what achieving your goal would actually look like, which makes it easier to achieve.

  • Create a strategy

Having goals is great, but you’re never going to get anywhere without a plan.

Part of imagery-based motivational interviewing is figuring out exactly how your going to get from point A to point B: from where you are now to where you want to be. FIT helps you learn to visualize each step.

  • Break your goal down into bite-size pieces

Sub-goals are mile markers on your way to your imaginary destination: your goal. You learn sub-goals with FIT by imagining the benefits of change over the next few days or weeks.

  • Build confidence

Confidence is built with FIT by imagining successes you’ve experienced in the past, creating a plan for obstacles you’ll encounter on the road to your goal, and integrating strategies that have worked for you in the past into your plan.

  • Get you to commit

The goals of the first core component of FIT training help you identify problem areas and develop a plan for success. A side-product of these exercises is the commitment it helps you establish to your goal.

  1. Imagery-based relapse prevention

Imagery-based relapse prevention has 5 goals:

  • Brainstorm what’s going to get in your way

Obstacles are inevitable and out of your control. They’re easier to overcome if you’re prepared for them.

  • Imagine yourself overcoming obstacles

Identify ways obstacles can be overcome using strategies you already know how to use and imagine them working for you on your way to your goal.

  • Use the cravings buster exercise

The cravings buster exercise helps train you to switch your attention from craving imagery to goal imagery. Find out more about it and how to use it here.

  • Celebrate your successes

Inevitably there will be obstacles; similarly, there are guaranteed successes to be experienced (no matter how small they may be).

The second core component helps you bring attention to those successes and incorporate their memory into your plan.

  • Practice

Conquering obstacles on your way to achieving your goal is like fighting the mythical medusa: no matter how many heads you cut off (the heads being obstacles conquered in this analogy) there is always one more to grow back in its place.

Obstacles are going to keep getting in your way. The only way to get passed is to keep conquering them again and again.

FIT prepares you for this by continually anticipating risky situations and using imagery to develop and rehearse coping strategies.

  1. Functional Imagery Training

Components 1 and 2 are designed to help you develop emotionally-charged imagery of your goal and your path towards it using all your senses.

Core component 3 (Functional imagery training) is where the rubber meets the road. It has 1 main goal:

  • Make your imagery practice automatic

This is done by pairing imagery with an everyday behavioral cue (e.g. washing your hands, climbing the stairs, etc.).

At first you’re going to have to consciously think about the association. I’m washing my hands now… oh right, I’m supposed to visualize achieving my goal… and repeat.

Eventually this will become habit. Without and conscious effort you’ll soon be imagining your success every time you turn the tap on.

How to incorporate FIT into your life

There’s plenty of resources about FIT available if you want to learn more about it and start practicing it on Plymouth University’s website.

A quicker approach is probably lying in your hand right now.

The psychologists who developed FIT have also created a mobile app that helps you work towards your goals using multisensory imagery. It’s called Goal in Mind.

It’s a tool that allows you to practice imagery and boost your confidence without constant practitioner input.

I have an Android phone and the download worked perfectly. I’m assuming it will work well for Apple users too.

How the app works:

Its really easy and straightforward:

Download the app and Goal in Mind will take you to a screen asking you to set your goal.

It then allows you to pick and store images that represent your goal and related behaviors, gives you access to guided imagery and mindfulness sessions, and allows you to track your practice and goal progress.

Practice regularly and you could experience some of the benefits of FIT in achieving your goals.

Give it a try and let me know how it works for you in the comments section!

Sources and further reading:

https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/research/psychology/functional-imagery-training – for more information about FIT and how to use it.

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41366-018-0122-1 – the published journal arcticle.