Living Healthy Without Self-Discipline

by - 8:42 PM

I had a conversation with a really cool patient this week about his lifestyle and becoming more physically active.  He was in total agreement and knew making changes would have a tremendous impact on his life. He described himself as very sedentary, having a "poor diet," and struggling with several health issues stemming from these habits.  When I asked what his biggest barrier to a healthy lifestyle, he replied "I guess I just need more self-discipline."  I smiled and told him I used to think the same thing.

Nate Green, who previously worked for Precision Nutrition, hit the nail on the head when he said, it is “incredibly draining to police ourselves every minute of the day.”1 Many behavioral science studies today describe self-discipline as an exhaustible resource.  You can find a cool video about that below.2

Don't get me wrong, self-discipline is a very noble quality, but when it comes to making lifestyle changes, the secret may be to eliminate the need to have self-discipline in the first place. 

How does one live better with less self-discipline? Shape your Environment!

Here are a few practical tips:

1. Replace unhealthy food in your home with healthy options. 

2. Carry a water bottle around with you.

3. Pack a cooler of healthy food when traveling.

4. Lay your workout clothes out the night before.

5. Plan your workout routine the day, or week, before.

6. Use map my run to map nearby routes.

7. Create your own home gym.

8. Get a workout partner to hold you accountable.

9. Get rid of all the comfy furniture in your house.  Okay, maybe this one is a stretch. But sitting is bad for you... see here

10. Use alarms or an app like to remind you to stay active.

For more information on exercise technique or tips on how to look, move, feel, or perform better contact me at

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