The formula for losing weight and being a healthier version of you is simple; exercise more and consume healthy natural foods. Eat less processed foods and sugary drinks!
It really is a simple formula. You don’t need to possess the mindset and work ethic of an Olympic athlete to exercise more! You also don’t a degree in nutritional science to work out which foods are highly processed and which are close to their natural state when you eat them!
So we arrive at a point where:
- We know we need to lose weight to be healthy.
- We know we need to get to the gym and exercise more often.
- We know what we shouldn’t be eating and drinking.
- We know what we should be eating more of.
So why is it so damn hard to lose weight?
Why doesn’t everyone adopt the above success formula to change their lifestyle and live lean with an abundance of energy? The problem and its solution are right in front of us, so why can’t we join the dots and live happily ever after?
After years of helping people with their
nutrition, reviewing food diaries, making suggestions for change and helping people stay accountable; it’s obvious that nutritional education isn’t the only answer to people’s problems with weight loss. Just because you possess the knowledge, it doesn’t mean you will apply it.
Often I hear people say they haven’t achieved their weight loss goals because exercising regularly and shopping for/ preparing healthy meals takes too much time out of their lives. When asking these people the simple question “How are you today?” they often reply “Busy!” It is as though ‘busy’ has become an emotion and become a descriptive term for the way they are feeling!
The Prime Minister of Australia, The CEO of BHP and the head coach of AFL grand winning team are busy people. They have huge responsibility resting on their shoulders, with so many people depending on them every day; they can’t afford to waste a single minute.
So in perspective, are we really that busy? We have time to go through a drive-through or out to restaurant, but we not have enough time to prepare a healthy meal for our family? We make time for work, go out with our family and friends, unwind on the weekend or spend time on hobby or a project but can’t spare 60 minutes three times a week to exercise and keep our bodies fit and healthy? That’s 3 hours out of a total 168 we have in a week. We need to get our priorities right, having “no time” is a ridiculous statement.
When you dig deeper to find out why we don’t commit to a plan or achieve our weight loss goals, it really has nothing to do with poor education or a lack of time. These aren’t reasons, they are merely excuses.
Without a doubt the biggest barrier stopping us from succeeding is our MINDSET, it comes down to our own psychology, formed beliefs from past experiences and our resistance to change.
Without having to delve into your year 12 psychology books, we make decisions on a daily basis based on our subconscious thoughts. Our subconscious thoughts are best described as those in “the back of your head.” When faced with a problem, they shape our instinct and automatic responses to that problem without consciously having to think or analyse the situation.
Our subconscious is formed over man
y years of ‘lessons learned.’ That is;
- We are confronted with a situation where we have had to make a decision
- We make a conscious decision
- There is a specific outcome based on that decision.
A logical process. This leads to a lesson stored in our memory, that if we are ever faced with the same situation again we have an automatic response, where we expect the same outcome as last time.
This learned behaviour is great for our problem solving skills, particularly where we have had a positive outcome in the past. Next time we won’t even have to think about it, waste no time at all and get a desirable outcome. Perfect!
What happens when we don’t get a desirable outcome? We were faced with a problem, have made a conscious decision and the outcome has been exact opposite to what we wanted! What lessons have we learned? What will be our automatic response next time we are faced with this problem?
Welcome to the world of weight loss. How many times have we tried to lose weight in the past and not achieved a desirable outcome? What lessons did we learn? What will be our automatic reaction next time we are faced with this problem?
Unfortunately the more attempts we make to lose weight without success leads to a stronger message of failure being formed in our subconscious. Consequently, we are teaching ourselves that making future attempts to lose weight through more exercise and better eating won’t work, because it hasn’t worked thus far! The next time we make an effort to lose weight, we are already mentally defeated, and the odds are stacked against us.
A ‘failed’ attempt to lose weight is far from uncommon. Next time you are in the gym have a good look at the people around you; chances are they’re in the same boat. Sadly I see this time and time again when trying to help clients lose weight. They do well initially losing weight and feel better about themselves. They have a positive mindset. All is going well and then something changes, a trigger in the form of work or family pressure or becoming ‘too busy.’ All of a sudden they fall back into bad eating habits, skip workouts and put that weight back on.
So ask yourself, is the reason you did not succeed because of work, family or because you’re just too busy?
Did you not succeed in all other areas of life during that time because of the same reasons?
One constant in life is change. Circumstances will change throughout your weight loss journey too. The difference between success and failure will depend on your ability to set a clear goal!