So you've decided to lose weight and be a little more active. Good for you! That's the first step to a healthier and happier life. But let's face it — some days you might feel like the only person who hasn't had consistent success at it.
Hey, you’re not alone. Research has shown that short-term weight loss utilizing a variety of approaches can be successful, yet more than 80% of successful individuals experience weight regain after 1 year, 85% after 2 years and over 95% after 3 years.
Diet and exercise is 60% of the weight loss formula. Let me tell you about the other 40% so you can start your prolific journey in getting (and staying) fit.
Reasons for Diet Fails
Quick disclaimer, this is not a justification on why it’s easy to stray off your diet. We’d love to call this a scientific approach to fight off the cravings.
We all know the feeling of being hungry while dieting. That’s your body’s way of signalling that it’s in a calorie deficit and wants you to eat more. Here are some way your brain does this:
The hormone “ghrelin.” this hormone causes your appetite to be stimulated, and makes you super hungry (Fun fact: also sounds like growl, the same sound your stomach makes when you’re hungry).
Reward-based regulation. It’s increasing the desire to eat foods that are highly palatable, such as high-fat and high-sugar foods. These foods release dopamine, the “feel good hormone”. That’s the culprit when you crave for something even if you’re already full!
Out of sight, out of mind. Make things easy for yourself. Studies have shown that people will gravitate towards healthier foods if they are made accessible. Simple, right? This is because people tend to follow the path of least resistance. If you want to instil a good habit, make it easier for yourself - prep food beforehand, lay gym clothes out the night before and, for the love of everything good, stop filling up your pantry with mountains of junk food.
Intense marketing for unhealthy food. We're bombarded by advertisements every day to buy unhealthy food products. From junk foods to sugary cereals, advertisers have a way of making unhealthy food look so delicious.
Stress. Stress eating is a thing. When we’re exposed to a high stress environment, many people tend to look for comfort food to feel good. If “feel-good” sounds familiar; yes, that’s the dopamine release that strongly motivates us to eat when we’re not hungry…
Self beliefs. Research shows that as you repeat unsuccessful attempts, you become more pessimistic about your ability to stick to sensible eating habits, which in turn contributes to negative body image.
Incorrect difficulty level. Picking a diet or workout difficulty that is too challenging is one sure-fire way to make sure that you won’t stick to it. Start small, build consistency, then increase the challenge incrementally.
Steps to Adhere to a Healthy Diet
Getting Clear on the Goal
How do we want our bodies to look? Do we want a lean silhouette, or a more curvy one? Do we want to improve the quality of life by removing health risks by reducing body fat, increasing muscle mass and improving coordination?
No matter your goal - whether it's to lose weight, improve your health, or something else - setting and achieving SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely) goals can help you achieve these desired outcomes.
Having a Clear (& Appropriate) Plan
So many people tackle the process of losing weight with no rhyme or reason. How do you know if you’re on track? How do you know if you’re off track? Here’s a quick guide:
Pick an approach to nutrition that you can be consistent with
Pick an approach to exercising that you can be consistent with
Track progress (either by weigh-ins, pictures, etc)
Monitor and adjust based on progress
There you go. Not necessarily easy, but simple.
Structuring Meals Intelligently
So many people have no idea how to structure their meals to help with weight loss. Here are a few tips that might help you:
Pick low calorie-density foods. This just means you can eat a lot of food and still lose weight. For example, 100g of peanut butter contains 588calories. To eat the same amount of calories in tomatoes, you’d have to eat over 3kg worth of them!
High-protein & lower-carb diets. Carbs are not the enemy. However, for many people, their diets have far too much carbohydrates and far too little protein. Protein digests much slower than carbohydrates do, and for this reason a high-protein diet will keep you fuller for longer.
Practice Mindful Eating
Become mindful of the sensations of food, savoring its taste and texture, becoming familiar with food's smell and appearance, and even observing things similar to the food they eat . It has been proven to help individuals make healthier choices such as reducing caloric intake without feeling deprived.
B Breathe and belly check for hunger and satiety before you eat
A Assess your food
S Slow down
I Investigate your hunger throughout the meal
C Chew thoroughly
Making the Good Choice an Easy Choice
If you’re busy, be prepared with simple and healthy options
If you can’t help but reach for the cookies, don’t stock them in your pantry
If you struggle getting up in the morning, lay your gym clothes out the night before
If you have issues with consistency, get an accountability partner
Do everything you can to make the good option an easy choice and the bad option a difficult one.
Monitoring Eating Triggers
Everyone has their triggers. For some it’s stress. For others, it’s tiredness. Or boredom. Maybe a desire to be social. Pay attention to your eating triggers - the things that cause you to make a bad decision. Once you’re aware of these, you can start to take steps towards fixing them.
You can run as fast as you want, but if you have the wrong map, you’ll never reach the destination.
Weight loss can be confusing and discouraging. But, it doesn't have to be! The right plan is an integral part of controlling your weight-loss journey, but no one approach out there fits everyone. There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about weight loss. It’s so easy to get lost in all of it.
For these reasons, it’s hugely important that you follow an expert with a proven plan and a solid track record. Find someone who understands your situation and can provide you a clear plan as to the steps to achieve your goals.
We’ve Helped Our Clients Lose Hundreds of Kilos
Dozens of people have achieved the body of their dreams, and we would love for you to be the next
Get a Clear Plan – Free Roadmap Session
We offer a free Roadmap Consultation Session for anyone who wants a clear path forward for their journey. If you need help in kick-starting your prolific journey to a healthy lifestyle, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
We’re here to help!