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The One Thing Holding You Back from Lasting Weight Loss
December 29, 2017
New Year’s Eve is the night of promises. We promise ourselves that we’ll travel more, slow down our routine, find a new career, or lose weight. It’s a good thing—people rely on their goals to direct their steps and make vital decisions.
The problem is, if you’ve decided to diet to lose a specific amount of weight, you’ve already failed.
Getting Away from the Diet Mindset
How and why people achieve their goals is as important as setting the goal itself, especially with regard to weight loss. Most people decide that they’ll work out more (with a vague promise to “go jogging” or “find a gym”), but truly driven individuals will pick a weight loss goal—and change their entire diet to make sure they achieve it.
That’s what today’s blog (and this month’s blog series) is about: the choice to lose weight and how we can make our results last for the rest of our lives. This blog series is about achieving success when failure seems to be so common—but first, we need to examine why we’ve failed so many times before.
The chief mistake someone makes when setting a weight loss goal is using a long-term tool (a diet) to achieve a short-term goal (weight-loss).
The way you eat isn’t just a list of your favorite foods. The way you eat is driven by your memories, upbringing, self-image, and psychology. Changing the way we eat (without looking at the deeper reasons why) means we’re behaving against decades of conditioning and habits. It would be like trying to alter a tree’s root growth by trimming away a few leaves.
One study of obesity found that over half of 286 subjects were the victims of sexual abuse as children. Their eating habits weren’t a “choice”; they were an emotional response to cope with a traumatic event. Imagine trying to use “willpower” to never feel sad for the rest of your life. Does that sound ludicrous to you? Worse, does it sound unhealthy—like it denies the reality of being human? It’s equally ludicrous and harmful to believe people can simply exert their willpower to undo years of eating habits.
To change the way you eat, first you have to change the way you think.
Your New Goal for the New Year: Change Your Mindset
Once we change the way we think about food, we can start implementing long-term behavioral changes that become new, healthier habits. What we should aim for isn’t a few less pounds—we need to aim for a complete and permanent lifestyle change. That’s what leads to long-term weight loss for the rest of our lives.
Instead of setting a weight-loss goal, resolve to find out the reason behind your eating habits.
- What are your emotional triggers?
- Do you eat when you’re tired, sad, or stressed?
- When are your “binge hours”?
Resolve to keep a food journal—not to punish yourself, but to be honest with yourself. By looking at why we eat the way we do, we’ll take an important step to changing the only thing that matters: the way we think.
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