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Health in Hong Kong

Navigating Your Mindset Amongst the Chaos

Busy Hong Kong
Busy Hong Kong

So often, I hear people claim their health as a priority, yet their actions tell a different story. It’s Hong Kong, we’re all busy, we all have stress but being healthy doesn’t take as much time as you think.

"I value my health and my family" – yet you skip exercise, eat poorly and always work late.

Doesn't sound like a priority to me.

Consider this: If you're clocking an hour at the gym, three days a week, that's less than 2% of your entire week.

If the other 98% looks like shit you’ll never make the lasting change you want.

Here are the 4 biggest mindset shifts you need to make for lasting effects with your health and fitness.

You have a diet; you're not on a diet
You have a diet; you're not on a diet

Change Your Relationship with Food

"I'm an all or nothing kind of person" Sound familiar? A phrase I've heard too often, usually from those riding the body fat rollercoaster.

If "diets" and "cheat meals" dominate your vocabulary, it's time for a mindset makeover. Food isn't inherently good or bad. You have a diet; you're not on a diet. Nutrition should be sustainable, not a game of extremes.

Adopt new principles for a healthy relationship with food. This way, you can enjoy what you love without the guilt.

Start with small, sustainable diet changes. This isn't about a quick fix; it's about habit formation.

  • Based every meal around protein

  • Time your carbs around exercise

  • Eat plenty of fibre

80% of the time eat foods that contribute towards a healthy diet, 20% of the time give yourself flexibility.

“But I have client dinners Dave!”

No worries:

  • Protein and fats for breakfast

  • Save your carbs for the evening meal

  • Swap to vodka, lime & soda instead of beer or wine

Keep the averages in your favour.

It's the journey not the destination
It's the journey not the destination

You’re Goal-Obsessed

Obsessing over the end goal can be counter productive. It's time to shift away from this mentality.

Your health is an ongoing evolution for the rest of your life, it doesn’t have an end goal. Instead we need to take pleasure in the process and daily wins.

Eg: If your goal was to lose 10% body fat and that’s all you focused on…

  • During the process: you're not at 10%, so you're discontent

  • Approaching the goal: you've lost 7%, so you’re disappointed

  • Goal achieved: you've lost 10%, finally happy but it’s temporary

Your whole happiness is then dictated by this one moment in time. What if you miss it by a fraction? Is that a huge failure? No. It’s still an unbelievable achievement but you’ve not enjoyed the process.

Instead focus on the daily wins that get you there:

  • Am I prioritising my sleep and reducing stress

  • Did I stick to the 80/20 rule today

  • Have I been active today

Daily goals means daily wins.

If you miss one that's okay because you’ve won 3-4 already. Trust the process and enjoy the journey. You didn’t put on 10% body fat overnight. You won’t drop it overnight.

Find someone to keep you accountable to your daily goals. We all need accountability.

How's that stress and anxiety?
How's that stress and anxiety?

You're a Workaholic

Reality check: the only people that remember you working late are you and your family, not your boss.

Stress is one of the biggest factors of poor health. You go to work you go home, you go to work you go home, a vicious cycle I’ve seen too often in Hong Kong. Where is your stress relief? When do you unplug? What are you doing to fill up your own cup before you dish out to others?

How about you set some boundaries and actually stick to them:

  • Exercise blocked out in calendar

  • Work emails and messages stop at 7pm

  • Off your phone and spending time with the family by 7:30pm

If you’ve read that and scoffed at finishing work 7pm, then it’s you I’m talking to! And I guarantee you’re on the road to burnout. Who suffers in this situation? You and your family. Who wins? No one. Not even your employer. Why? Because you’ll be massively under performing at work anyway.

A full cup has a lot to give. An empty cup is a drain on everyone.

Being under slept and overworked isn't a badge of honour
Being under slept and overworked isn't a badge of honour

Unless You're Prepared to Improve Your Sleep, Don't Bother Starting.

If you want to lose body fat, get stronger, have more energy, feel better, improve hormones and any other metric you can think of…improving your sleep is essential.

  • Morning sunlight and nutrition

  • Avoid caffeine later in the day

  • Have a consistent bedtime routine and sleep hygiene

Learning to unplug and putting your sleep on a pedestal is key to this.

Here is a checklist of how one of my clients went from insomnia to 40 winks most nights.

Sleep is the magic pill that fixes all of the above and doesn’t cost you a penny, you should probably start investing.

What are you going to do about it?

Yes, you’re still going to work long hours. Yes, you’re still going to be stressed. But optimising your health allows you to deal with that stress and not crumble.

You want more energy to attack your day to day instead of feeling drained and being on the road to burnout.

Our job as coaches is to help navigate and improve your health and lifestyle so life gets easier not harder.


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