Recently, I tweeted about the shocking sugar statistic: Americans have gone from consuming 8 pounds…
The main point this blog post will emphasise is that:
Paradoxically enough, the harder and faster you try to change something in your diet, the harder and faster your body will fight against you and therefore, the more likely it is that you will metaphorically end up with a broken nose.
It’s January, and it’s that time of year when everyone is super motivated to hit their weight loss goals, and they want it all NOW!
But for some reason, this never seems to happen for 97% of people, why is that? There always seems to be some excuse, or life gets in the way or whatever. How do we avoid these psychological issues that prevent people from making progress for any longer than a couple of weeks?
How do we maintain motivation in the long run?
Whichever way you look at this universal problem, the root cause always seems to come back down to making yourself unhappy. Everybody is always very excited on January 2nd, but this excitement quickly fades for one reason or another. The main underlying cause of this is trying to change something too aggressively.
Your body loves homeostasis. Any time you try to alter this setpoint by changing something by too much and too quickly, your body fights you. 97% of people lose. This applies to anything really, but weight loss is such a common example.
Essentially, when your body fights you, you become unhappy. You want to be as happy as possible when dieting. If you are unhappy, you will give into your cravings and temptations – your willpower threshold is so much lower. So how do we avoid our bodies fighting us? How do we stand out from the losers and become one of the 3%?
The solution is to slowly make changes, slowly reduce calories, slowly increase cardio and consequently lose weight. This is in contrast to what most people do:
- Slash their daily calories to 1500……when they’ve been consuming 3000 for the past month.
- Start going to the gym and hitting it hard 5 times a week…….when they haven’t been in over a month.
- Go completely cold turkey or “detox” on whatever the latest fad suggests……..chocolate, alcohol, sweets, carbs, bread, meat, dairy etc………then give in to the temptations and binge-eat/drink the hell out of whatever they’re craving due to severe deprivation, shifting to an even worse mental and physical condition than they started at!
- Waste a load of money on supplements (younger guys I’m looking at you here!) that will not help at all. The marketing is good though, credit to the supplement industry!
Instead, I would suggest:
- Track your daily average calorie intake for an entire week and reduce it by a mere 10% (NO, NOT 50%!!). Once you reduce it by 10%, the diet begins……slowly.
- Hit the gym hard and strive for progression in both weights and cardio, however, no more than 3 times per week. We need the motivation to be sustainable. Keep your workouts to a maximum of 1 hour.
- Put pictures up of your ideal physique in your bedroom/office/kitchen(!), so you are constantly reminded of and motivated by your weight loss goals.
- Don’t go cold turkey on ANYTHING! It’s asking for disaster. Eat more or less what you want – the 80/20 rule will suffice. As long as total daily calories are 10% below whatever you were eating before.
- Don’t spend any money at all on supplements, even if you have money to burn. You are effectively throwing it down the toilet unless you can stick to a regular training schedule and eating plan. Even then you’re still throwing it down the toilet 😉
After this has been successfully implemented for at least 3 weeks, you can reduce calories by a further 5-10% as and when you need to. Emphasis on the word need. This means progress has stalled completely.
Guys, slow is the new sexy! Stop trying to have everything all at once, because it never works for any length of time. Learn from others’ mistakes!
What are your New Year’s goals? How will you achieve them? How will you avoid the hurdles that destroy 97% of people?
I can see you btw. Stop lurking and comment below.