It’s that time of year, where everybody is on that “get right”. The New Year is upon us and everybody and their brother is trying to make themselves better and I applaud them for their efforts.
The problem when people are trying to lose weight is most of them are setting themselves up for failure.
Where We Go Wrong
The typical plan of attack for most people when they are trying to lose weight is massive wholesale changes. Whether it’s signing up for Crossfit when you have never worked out in your life or totally eliminating carbs when they have had a 6 pack of Coke everyday of their life, people think extreme sudden changes are the road to success.
This approach may work in the short term. You may see some weight come off the scale and maybe feel better, but it is common to see these people refer back. It’s the old one step forward and two steps back.
Creatures of Habit
Why does this approach not work in the long run? We are creatures of habit, both mentally and physically. Our bodies are always searching for homeostasis, or “stability”.
Basically our habits become so engrained in us that they can become borderline impossible to break. Now imagine trying to change all the “unhealthy” habits we have?
Guess what? Your body will fight you to find the “stability” that you were used to. You know that feeling when you are on a diet? You feel drained and always craving that thing you can’t have, that is your bodies way of fighting for homeostasis.
Instead of trying to change everything at once, why not change one thing at a time? Try to limit the misery and make changes for the long-term.
The Elephant in the Room
So what should you start with? The elephant in the room of course!
Take an inventory of the habits you feel are holding you back. Then analyze what may be the “elephant in the room.” Pick the habit that may be causing the most harm. Here are a few examples of the big things that may be holding you back and ways to attack them
- Sugary drinks such as soda…replace with diet drinks or water
- No physical activity…walking or with a bodyweight workout
- Too much processed sugar…eliminate the candy from your diet
This list isn’t all-inclusive but I think you get the idea. Simple changes can make a big impact but make sure to only pick one habit at a time. Give all your efforts to changing that one habit.
Once you begin to see some stalling in your progress towards your goals, attack another habit. Engrain each new habit into your daily lives for long term success.
Remember, this is a marathon and not a sprint. To reach the weight or body you want, it will take time. Sprinting to your bodyweight goals often leads to you falling backwards in the long run.