The truth is that most people know what they "should" be eating in order to lose weight. Most of us know that if we limit processed foods, avoid excess calories and focus our diets around whole foods from nature that weight loss will follow.
It's not about what you know, it's what you do. Most people know. Most people don't do.
Why? Because behavior change is hard. Over time the foods we choose, prefer and consume become ingrained habits that are difficult to change. We order pizza on Friday night because that's just what we do. We hit the drive through on the way to work in the morning because we don't have time to cook breakfast. Two glasses of wine with dinner? It's our habit. We choose what is easy, what is convenient and what feels good. It's human nature.
The key to sustainable weight loss is to change your habits, so that what is easy, convenient and what feels good is the healthy choice. It's not a quick fix. In fact, it is a slow process. It takes time and work, but when you develop new habits you change your brain and body from the inside out for sustainable fat loss.
The mistake most people make is that they get fed up with feeling sluggish and overweight and they wake up one morning and decide to change their whole life in one day. No more processed foods, no more sugar, no more alcohol and while we're at it, no more carbohydrates. That should do it. Except it rarely works that way. After a few weeks or a few days (or few hours, let's be honest) we get overwhelmed with all the changes, we crave our old favorites or we face a temptation and we go back to what feels easy, what is convenient and what feels good.
What if instead of severely limiting your calories or cutting out entire macronutrients (like fats or carbohydrates) you worked on changing your daily habits so that you became more mindful of your choices? What if you didn't try to change everything at once for rapid weight loss that isn't sustainable?
It's not sexy. It takes time. It takes work, but would you rather lose 20 pounds in 12 weeks and put it back on (plus more) 12 weeks after that because you lost it too fast and lost muscle too? (Been there, done that. Not fun.) Or would you rather lose 20 pounds over 20 weeks (or 50 pounds over 50 weeks) and have it stay off for life? You win when you play the long game.
Throw away your scale (it only tells a portion of the story anyway) focus on your daily habits and the results will follow.
What kind of habits am I talking about?
10 HEALTHY HABITS THAT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE
Don't try to develop all these habits at once. Start at the top of the list and work your way down. They say it takes 21 days to form a new habit, I just gave you 210 days of habits to work on. Just image the changes that will follow if you master the above habits. It's not easy, but it's worth it.
I created this worksheet to help you track your new habits. The idea is that for week one and two you work on the first habit and check off every day that you complete it. On week three and four you add in a new habit while continuing your week one and two habit. Every two weeks you add in a new habit while continuing to work on existing habits. Will you check off every single day? Probably not. The idea is to bring awareness to the new behaviours you are trying to learn. By the end of 30 weeks you will have worked on establishing 10 new habits that can change your life.
Do it yourself and watch what happens. Need help? Need accountability? My online nutrition habits program from Precision Nutrition is a year long curriculum that walks you through habit change step by step, day by day. Spend 15-20 minutes a day working on habit change for long term sustainable results. Interested? See if you would be a good fit for the program by filling out this questionnaire. Like what you see? The first month is 75% off to try. No contracts, no long term commitment, except your own commitment to give it your best effort. It's not easy, but it is life changing.
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