What is “Health Habit Fatigue” and How Can You Fight it?

Bored or struggling with fatigue before you exercise? Need some motivation to push past the mental plateau?

In his July ‘Healthy Nudges & News” newsletter, Robert Kushner, MD, a renowned obesity medicine specialist and author of “Six Factors to Fit,” coined an interesting term that all of us can relate to regarding keeping up with a healthy lifestyle: health habit fatigue.

Before we go any further, you can read Dr. Kushner’s blog post about it Here.

What is Health Habit Fatigue?

Health habit fatigue happens when you start something new, like a healthy eating plan or workout regimen, and then find yourself “falling off the wagon.” Your motivation tapers off of and you’re less eager to keep up with the habits you were doing before.

Why does it happen? We’re only human. It takes a lot of energy to start something new and stick to it, especially if you’re making big lifestyle changes. As Dr. Kushner says, “You only have so much energy in your day to devote to doing things differently.”

Pushing Past the Plateau

If you find yourself faced with health habit fatigue, don’t worry – there are ways to get out of it. Below, we’ve summarized some of the tips Dr. Kushner gave in his blog post.

Go Easy on Yourself

First off, don’t be so hard on yourself. You may feel guilty, angry or discouraged. These are normal emotions, but they don’t mean you don’t have what it takes. Everyone trips up and goes through plateaus. Understand that this is part of being human, so be kind to yourself and use this time to focus on your mindset.

Go Back to Your Goals

Sometimes you just need a reminder about why you set out to be healthier in the first place. You might have many different motivations:

  • Increasing your energy levels
  • Living a long life with your family
  • Getting off a medication or resolving a health condition
  • Pursuing new hobbies or experiences

When your motivation starts to wane, go back to these things and remember your “why.”

Do Something Different

Dr. Kushner’s last words of advice are to switch things up. Try building a new playlist or taking more of your workouts outside. Experiment with new recipes or get a change of scenery. Sometimes a little variety is all you need to fight fatigue and stay engaged.

For additional healthy lifestyle and weight management tips, you can visit Dr. Kushner’s website at DrRobertKushner.com.

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