Losing weight is easy. Keeping it off is the hard part. It’s funny, when I talk about my weight loss journey and how I lost over 70 pounds, I tend to overemphasize how long it took me. The reason I do that is because I want people to realize you cannot make massive (maintainable) change in a short amount of time. But, you can make small (maintainable) changes over a period of time that will give you massive results.
I got into decent shape in less than a year of hard work. I spent the rest of the time figuring out how to keep it off and maintain it. Once I figured out the profound role of nutrition, it got easy for me. But I think deep down we all kinda know that nutrition is important. The problem is, for most of us we just cannot figure out how to make that change in our life.
Over the last 4 years I have been focused on learning everything I can on weight loss, nutrition, health, and fitness. I learn new things everyday and then backtrack to see how that applies to what I did to lose my weight and keep it off. Then I share that information with my clients so they can benefit.
What I found over the years is that maintainable weight loss is way more complicated than just diet and exercise. Everyone is different and everyone has their own unique situation. I can tell someone exactly what they should do to get the bodies of their dreams, but that does not mean they can just go out and do it. If it was that easy, everyone would be in great shape.
No, there is something more going on here.
You’ve probably heard me say before how certain foods change our biochemistry and make it impossible to maintain long-term weight loss. This is valid and is definitely a key, but where many people struggle is getting themselves to make that change. This is where the brain comes into play.
Call it cravings, will power, habits, or self sabotage. Sometimes making the right decision (in relation to your fitness goal) is so hard and for some almost impossible. Sure we can do it for a week or even maybe 30 days, but at some point, we give in. Why is this?
Well, there are a number of reasons, some of them may even stem back to something that happened to us many years ago or as a child. The most common issue I come across is people using food (usually junk food) to soothe, comfort, or provide relief for the missing need or the unresolved issue in their life.
Regardless of what it is, our brains have created these neural pathways or habits that have been reinforced for years (if not decades). What science is finding is that once these are created, they are very difficult, if not impossible to remove. The problem is, this need or habit (of eating junk food) in turn changes the body’s biochemistry (which is a whole other problem within itself).
Science is also discovering that we only have so much willpower to give. In this day and age where we have 7 decisions to make just to order our coffee in the morning…not to mention facebook, twitter, email, Google+, work, managing the house, kids, and the list goes on. Our day is full of information and decisions that have to be made. When the end of the day comes and you have to decided to go workout or eat right, you just do not have enough willpower left to make the right choices.
The good news is even though we cannot eliminate the established neural pathways, we can reprogram our brain or sidestep these existing bad habits with new ones. How do you do this? Well, it is a process, but I will leave you with a simple strategy to get you started on the right path.
Make one small change in your life right now and commit to it for the next month. The key is to make it simple and something you can commit to for the next 30 days. It can be as simple as drinking 8 glasses of water per day. Or exercising 1 time per week. Once you have been doing this for a month, it will start to turn into a habit. It will be something you do not have to apply your will power to. It will just become part of what it is you do.
Once you get this one thing down, then add second. You will be layering these positive habits on top of each other and over time you will see massive change in your life. This is just one little trick you can start today.
If you want more information on making massive change in your life, I would invite you to learn more at www.hereswhatido.com/the-total-transformation/.