The Ultimate secret to Long Term Weight Loss
09 October 2016
So this past week I sent out a post on Facebook asking what you would like to see more of on my blog, and I received a few requests on how to stick to eating healthy to maintain long term weight loss. I guess this will always be a hot topic given how much focus is placed on image and body shape in general, so I do acknowledge and understand its relevance, but before anything I really have to emphasize on thing: WEIGHT LOSS MUST ALWAYS BE A BONUS CONSEQUENCE, NOT THE CAUSE OF HEALTHY LIVING.
You may be thinking to yourself, but I want to lose weight - that is my ultimate goal!? Ok fine, so you want to lose weight. I get it – there is nothing wrong with wanting to better your body, my argument here is, don’t make it the focus of changing your lifestyle, because trust me, if it becomes the sole driver of your healthy habits, those habits certainly are’nt going to stick.
Let me explain…
When we focus only on our weight or body shape as the reason for implementing healthy lifestyle changes, these changes become linked with the numbers you see on a scale. This means that if you’ve lost weight you will think “Yay healthy eating and exercising is awesome”, but if you don’t lose weight, or you don’t see these quick results you expect (because lets face it, we are all about instant gratification these days), you will think “what a waste of time, I’m not doing this anymore”. So you see, in this way, you are connecting your healthy behaviours to something very fickle –that is, the amount of weight you’ve lost rather than how good you feel, or how much more energetic you are.
Tell me this, what happens when you’ve reached your goal weight? Does this mean that you should stop those healthy behaviours because the link they share to your weight is now fulfilled?
Doesn’t make much sense does it? Logically speaking, if you go back to your old ways, you will inevitably gain the weight back, but if you stick to your healthy changes, where the link between health and weight is now deeply entrenched, you wont feel satisfied in doing so any longer, because, well you’ve lost the weight. This creates a bit of a predicament right? Why persist with something that’s already achieved?
The ultimate secret here is your Thought process around Healthy Living!
And in maintenance, there comes discipline. The thing with us weirdly complex humans, is that we always want what we can’t have. If we feel confined or restricted in any way, we start feeling the need to rebel. So, for every crash diet you go on, your cravings for the no-go foods will amplify tenfold. You see, your mindset or your thinking about why it is you’re doing what you’re doing is critically important. You need to hack the system here in order to see and maintain long term results.
That is, you need to attach the right reason to implementing an inherently restrictive change by appraising it in a way that is maintainable for the long run. If you set your minset right from the get go, the rest is easy. And for this reason, it is never a good idea to set your mind to focus on weight. There are so many factors that affect weight – hormones, time of day, water retention, what you ate that day…the list goes on, so you would really be setting yourself up for failure if this becomes the be all and end all of you eating clean and exercising.
Now if you decide to apply healthy behaviours because you actually care about your longevity an want to feed your body with nutritious healing foods, and you want to feel more energetic and zestful, then that will be a far more motivating reason to stick to eating healthy. Here, what food you choose to eat becomes more about how it will benefit your body on a cellular level, and less about the calories or fat contained in the food.
How many of you obsess about fat and calories and carbs? The more attention you put on something, the more it comes back at you – so worrying about fat and calories and carbs will make you want and crave exactly that – carbs, fat and calories! Don’t underestimate your thoughts…they are a lot stronger than you may like to believe.
If you are focusing on eating well and exercising because you want to better yourself as a person, and be more energetic, then that is what you will attract – you will want to eat more of the good foods that are making you feel great, you will want to exercise consistently because it makes you feel so good and it energizes you, you wont crave the not so good stuff because the good stuff is making you feel awesome. And guess what….you will lose weight without even trying! Your body will transform because you are focusing on the right stuff! Not obsessing about the wrong stuff.
Of course this requires time, commitment and discipline, but trust me these things will come with time and habit – they will simply fall into place because what you are feeling is fantastic, so naturally you are going to want to do more of it. And when you feel like the occasional treat, you will still be able to enjoy it without feeling guilty afterwards.
So do healthy for the right reasons, don’t obsess about the irrelevant stuff and simply find your flow. Its about doing more of what makes you feel good
Yours in Health Always