How You Can Have Your Cake And Eat It Too
If you’ve fallen for the bait, I don’t blame you. I’m sure you’re like most people who want to live a healthy and energetic life. Your desire makes you vulnerable.
You want to believe that one superfood will change everything. Or maybe if you cut out the one thing you don’t really like, you’ll magically lose fifty pounds.
You hear it everywhere. You see it everywhere. The gurus and sources of misinformation might mean well. They might even believe the bogus information they’re spouting.
The problem comes when that information is based on weak science. Not only does it reduce your chance of success, it’s also dangerous.
Are you ready for the truth? Are you ready to discover the authentic path to permanent weight loss and proper nutrition? Are you willing to let a formerly overweight research scientist guide you? If so…
I’ll start with the good news.
Hook, line, and sinker
What you eat is less important than you think. Writers and self-proclaimed experts in the field want to sell you the idea of clean eating.
Follow your doctor’s advice if you have a health issue. But for everyone else, removing a particular type of food or adding one type of food is not the answer. Doing so can remove necessary nutrients from your diet.
Adding too much of a food or supplement can also be dangerous. Too much of anything can be bad.
The good news is that this means you can eat just about whatever you want, even “junk” food. But keep in mind, it must be part of a balanced diet, and you shouldn’t overdo it.
If your goal is weight loss, your habits and psychology are important factors. Don’t use this as a license to stuff your face all day every day with calorie dense nutrient poor food. Otherwise, it becomes a negative habit.
But don’t feel guilty or think you have to cut out your favorite food. Just because you find a study that supposedly links it to cancer, obesity, or low energy doesn’t mean it’s true. They almost never are.
The press likes to jump on flimsy studies that support specific narratives. But they rarely walk back those claims once the scientific community picks apart the studies.
This leaves the impression that specific foods and diets have certain negative or positive effects. The supposed anti-aging properties of antioxidants come to mind.
These views almost never stand the test of time, but they often become accepted myths used to sell popular weight loss diets and products.
Hidden dangers of diets
Diets don’t work for one key reason. It requires two massive changes of behavior in a short amount of time.
The first change of behavior is the diet itself. Many people are often successful with this step. They may even lose weight, but the reason they usually fail is because of the second required change.
Diets by their very nature are short term. This means once it ends you’ll usually go back to the same habits and average caloric intake.
For the weight loss to be permanent, you would have to A. increase your calories more than during the diet and B. decrease the average calories you consumed before the diet.
This is too confusing, for your body and for you. It’s much simpler to make one single change in behavior and stick with it until that behavior becomes a permanent habit.
The irony is this is also what makes diets so attractive. It would be nice if you only needed to muster the willpower for one, two, or three weeks.
But most people addicted to dieting don’t want to make the permanent lifestyle changes required for lasting weight loss.
Diets aren’t benign.
The failure of diets usually results in yo-yo dieting and unhealthy changes in weight. Even worse, the diets themselves usually rob you of important nutrients.
So if diets aren’t the answer, what do you do next?
Here’s the …
Solution to your excuses
“If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.” — Jim Rohn
You may have a valid reason for weight gain. I’m not here to fat shame you. If you’re happy with your weight, wonderful.
But if your goal is to lose weight, your reasons become your excuses, even if they’re valid ones. If you repeat the “reasons” in your mind, it reinforces the belief that you can’t.
Here are a few.
Overweight doesn’t mean you’re unhealthy:
BMI doesn’t always relate to being overweight, so be careful when using that as your only source of information. Talk with your doctor about your particular situation. If you have higher muscle mass, your BMI will be less relevant.
But if you doctor says you’re overweight, don’t fall for the touchy-feely nonsense that it isn’t bad. It is. It’s bad for adults, and it’s bad for kids. It robs you of vital energy and dramatically increases your risk of an early death.
Don’t let stress control your eating habits. There’s no easy answer here. It requires work and commitment. You have to deal with the root cause and create a plan to address your stress head-on.
There are often deeper issues that involve personal history, self-esteem, and mindset. But if you can tackle the challenge, not only will you lose weight, you’ll improve your life.
This is a situation where you may think the solution is worse than the cure. You might not want to deal with your stress because it takes even more effort.
But if you’re serious about making a change, get help. Talk with someone. Face your demons.
I’ve tried everything:
Define everything. What exactly did you do? If it was a diet, I’m not surprised. Most diets don’t work.
Did you search for the root cause of your weight problem? Did you track your daily habits and record what you ate? Did you count your calories? Did you adjust your portion size to match your recommended caloric intake?
If you “tried” doing it the right way by changing your habits, how long did you “try?” Was it a day, a week, three months?
If you tried less than three months, of course you failed. Your changes will only work if they’re permanent lifestyle changes. They’re also more likely to work if you take baby steps alongside daily and weekly reflections.
It will take too long to lose the weight:
Better late than never. Better two years than not at all. The healthiest and most effective weight loss occurs over a longer period of time. Think a pound a week on average or less.
When done correctly, you’re more likely to keep the weight off because you develop the long-term habits needed to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
I have a low metabolism:
So what? All this really means is that your required caloric intake is less than the average person. Eat less.
If you can’t, it’s because you choose not to or you have other issues you need to address, like stress.
“I’ve got bad genes” is an excuse. Commit or give up. But don’t pretend your low metabolism is keeping you from your ideal weight. Take Extreme Ownership, or get owned by your excuse.
I don’t have time:
I used to use this as a bogus reason to eat fast food for lunch. I said I had no time, but it took time to drive across the parking lot and wait in the drive-through. That was more time than it took to pack a home lunch.
Plan your meals ahead over the weekend if you must. Batch your time so you don’t get caught up in the morning rush. It’s easier and less time consuming than you think.
“We become what we think about most of the time, and that’s the strangest secret.” — Earl Nightingale
If you focus on what you can’t have, you’ll want it more. The solution to your cravings is not to focus on them. Instead, focus on what you want. Visualize your desired end.
Cravings are also increased when you torture yourself. Diets make this worse.
Don’t deny yourself the “guilty pleasures” if you want them. Instead, be aware of how much calories they contain and limit the amount you consume.
There are many techniques you can use to handle cravings. Examples include only allowing yourself a treat after you’ve eaten something less rich in calories.
If you’re an abstainer who can’t have just one, take another approach. Engage in physical or other activities that release endorphins when you get those cravings. This is the strategy I used to kick drinking alcohol.
If those strategies haven’t worked, don’t be afraid to research techniques used successfully by others.
A sudden change:
This could be medication, surgery, change in job, or any drastic change in your life. Don’t be too hard on yourself when this happens. It’s part of life. But once you realize your current situation is leading to weight gain, you can choose to let it happen or change your behavior to compensate.
A “unique” situation:
No situation is unique. Other people have been where you are and have succeeded in what you want to do. Do a little research. Seek out advice from those who’ve been in your situation.
You can lie to yourself, but your subconscious knows the truth. Once you face your excuses head on, you give yourself permission to live the life you want to live.
Not sure about your next steps?
Healthy living and permanent weight loss come down to six things:
Regular doctor visits. If you avoid your MD’s advice, you’re asking for trouble. You may not like what they say, but they’re the experts. Don’t let your friends, favorite website, or unlicensed guru keep you from following sound science.
A balanced diet. Don’t worry about that “one thing.” Unless you have a specific medical condition under doctors orders, eat what you want. But watch your habits, and do it in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
Portion size. This is the simple but not so easy answer. Most weight loss problems can be solved with portion size. The hard part is getting there. It takes work.
Lack of awareness and convenience are the enemies of moderation. If you eat out all the time, it’s probably a good idea to eat out less.
If you regularly sit at home with a bag of chips in hand, count the calories in that bag. Put fewer chips in a bowl so you don’t consume 2,000 calories in one sitting.
Exercise. If you add even a small amount of regular exercise, you dramatically increase your chances of sustained weight loss. The trick is to look for consistent ways to add a tiny bit of activity to your routine and stick with it. This could be as simple as doing a few pushups every morning or taking the stairs instead of the escalators.
Consistent habits. Diets fail because you don’t develop the long-term habits needed to sustain your weight loss.
Gym memberships fail because you take on unsustainable behavior.
Effective, sustainable habits need small but consistent lifestyle changes. Track your calories. Track your weight. Reflect on your behaviors. This increases awareness and allows you make effective changes in portion size and physical activity.
A plan. Be aware of your philosophy and mindset. This will have a huge impact on your results. It’s the bedrock of your life and the key to success in permanent weight loss.
Discover the root cause of your weight problem. Select your goal. Decide why you want it. Then create a step by step strategy to get there.
Do you want to make a plan to change your life? If you answered yes, schedule it on your calendar this very moment. Act now. The future version of yourself will be glad you did.
Call To Action
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