I’m about to share something that’s going to piss off a lot of personal trainers…
Working out is not the answer to weight loss.
Neither is meal planning, meal prepping or diet.
yeah… I said it.
And I’m not saying that exercise is BAD or that meal planning can’t be helpful… I am saying that the status quo for weight loss (eat less exercise more) is not working for most people.
but don’t take my word for it let’s check out the stats
According to The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 80% of all people who start a diet or exercise program FAIL/QUIT/FALL OFF within 3 weeks! 90% quit within 6 months and a whopping 93% of people gain all of their weight back and MORE after going off of a diet or exercise program!!!!
Why do we suck so much at losing weight?
Most people select weight loss programs that are so different from how they actually live that the plan can not be sustained. They get overwhelmed (which triggers a stress eating response) and they throw in the towel-emotionally damaged from another weight loss failure.
The victim of poor plan selection then gains weight, feels guilty and starts the process over again with a new flashy, unsustainable plan.
It’s not the the diet that’s messed up
Most diets actually work when you stick to them simply because they require you to eat less processed food (i.e., less calories. usually more veggies, more micronutrients, better macro ratios..It’s not rocket science.)
The real reason why 90% of people can not sustain a weight loss program is because of habits and emotions.
You have created automatic responses for many of your daily activities- food scripts
And they are not inherently bad. Human’s like patterns because they allow us to complete day to day tasks without having to spend a lot of mental energy.
Here are a few examples of common food scripts:
You go to Starbucks every morning on the way to work
You hit a vending machine at 2:00
You make a B line to the sample table as soon as you enter a cost co
You have ice cream after dinner
How to re-write you daily food “script”
Gradually replace one habit at a time. For example, if you go to Starbucks every morning for a frappucino, try replacing your drink with a protein shake made from home and change NOTHING else about your day unless you really feel like it. After you’ve gone two weeks without a frap (which will save you a TON of money by the way) and the protein shake has become a punch line in your food script, then you can move on to re-writing another habit.
See http://www.tinyhabits.com for more tips on how to create small, lasting changes in your life.
And these are just the natural food scripts we develop out of routine…. these are the easy ones to break
the tough cookies (lol) are our emotional food scripts. These are the true weight loss saboteurs.
Think about this:
Eating when you’re down or stressed
According to the American Psychological Association, 75% of Americans answer to stressful or anxious situations with processed convenience foods like candy bars and ice cream.
Stress and Sweets
1. Simple sugars stimulate the production of calming neurotransmitters which help us feel happy. When our brains are placed under stress, they crave these neurotransmitters. Although you may not be consciously aware of why you want that piece of candy after having an argument with your husband, your brain knows that sugar= dopamine and serotonin.
2. Many people (women especially) associate processed foods with comfort. The reason for this is discussed in Mindless Eating. Since a candy bar requires no preparation or clean up (unlike a plate of chicken and veggies) we perceive it as less stressful and comforting.
How to combat emotional over eating
1. You can increase output of the happy chemicals (dopamine and serotonin) by practicing deep breathing exercises or guided meditation. I use this video all the time, but sample a few! There are tons of free guided meditation vids online.
2. Retrain your brain to see ‘read to eat’ whole foods as comforting. Instead of eating ice cream from the pint, reach for carrots from the bag dipped in hummus. You can eat the whole bag without any negative side effects.
3. Get a coach. Set a goal. Execute. So many people talk about wanting to get healthy but they never take action to improve themselves. When you come to the realization that you need someone to hold you accountable for your actions then you can finally succeed.
I hope that this message resonates with you and will cause you to take action to change your habits. Life is too short to be a slave to food. I am about to launch a really cool distance coaching program to help people who have binge eating disorders. If you would like to become part of my beta testing group please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Until next time babes