There are plenty of nutritionists that can tell you what you need to eat in order to lose weight, but there are very few if any that can tell you how to change the way you eat without burning yourself out and quitting. This is one of the biggest problems with the diet industry today, which is one of the main reasons why 95% of the people who lose weight, end up regaining the weight back.
Before I can explain to you how to best change your eating habits, you need to be aware that 95% of your day is run by your subconscious mind. In other words 95% of the time you run on habitual behaviors.
The reason you conscious mind only runs 5% of your day is that it has very limited processing power. Basically, your conscious mind can only do one thing at a time, and by having your subconscious mind run most of your day with its almost unlimited processing power, it frees up your conscious mind for more important tasks like enjoying life.
The reason this is very important to know is that it perfectly explains why with most diets people are unable to achieve sustainable weight loss. Let me explain.
As I just said, your conscious mind can only do one thing at a time. So, if you are following some diet, and the diet has instructed you to eat a certain number of calories per meal, or that your carbs should be under a certain number you have to consciously figure out the number of calories the meal has, or if you are counting carbs, the number of carbs your meal contains.
My question to you is this. If your conscious mind is busy with figuring out the number of calories or carbs the meal has, what is your conscious mind not doing? Is not focusing on simply enjoying the meal, which means you get less pleasure from your meals and over time this can lead to burnout.
The key to sustainable weight loss is to train your subconscious mind to make all the right choices when it comes to your diet, just like in healthy regions around the world. If you look at healthy regions around the world, people don’t have to think about their diet. Eating all the right stuff and in the right amounts, is a habitual behavior.
So, if you want to lose weight and keep it off, the question you should be asking is not just about what healthy eating behaviors I need to have in order to lose weight, but how can I make the new healthy eating behaviors habitual so I can engage in those behaviors with little on no conscious thought.
The answer is very simple. Work on developing one new healthy habit at a time. This is the best way to develop new habitual behaviors.
For example. Let say after you analyzed your diet, you came to the conclusion that the 4 things you needed to do in order to lose weight, were, the following. You needed to cut down on the amount of junk food you ate, you needed to learn to eat much slower and more mindfully, you needed to eat more fruits and vegetables and you needed to cut down on the amount of food you ate per meal. Instead of trying to change all 4 behaviors at once, as most diets do, pick just one of those behaviors and start working on it.
So, let’s say the eating habit you chose to work on first is cut down the amount of junk food that you eat. So your goal is to develop the habit of not eating any junk food Monday through Friday. Only on the weekends, you can have junk food.
I don’t expect that you can do this cold turkey. One way you can do it, is each week, Monday through Friday, try to have less junk food than the previous week. You do this and sooner or later you will have stopped having junk food during the week. I do expect that you will have to fight off some cravings but because this is the only eating habit you need to work on, it will be much easier to resist, and I am speaking from personal experience. This is how I was able to eliminate eating junk food during the week. Today you can offer me my favorite junk food and if is a weekday it does not even tempt me.
Once you become very comfortable with not eating junk food on the weekdays you can start working on the next eating habit. Again, until the new eating habit becomes habitual and very little conscious thought is required to engage in it, don’t work on anything else.
You see, by only introducing one new behavior in your life at a time, you will have a much easier time sticking with it long enough until it becomes habitual.
The more new behaviors you introduce at once, the longer it will take you to make those new behaviors habitual and the more uncomfortable you will feel as you are trying to develop them, thus the greater the chance of burning out before the new behaviors become habitual.
Yes, there is a downside to working on one new behavior at a time, which is the fact that it might take you a little longer before you start seeing weight loss. But my question to those of you who want fast results at any cost is this. What is the point of losing weight fast, if you are going to regain the weight back? Won’t you rather take a little extra time and lose weight the right way and never have to worry about your weight again? Besides, working on one habit at a time it only seems slower, but in reality is the fastest way to lose weight because you only need to do it once. I know people who have been trying to lose weight the fast way for years and they are still overweight.
Most diets have chosen to approach weight loss the fast way, by having people make all the necessary changes in their eating habits all at once and look at where that has gotten us. 95% of people who lose weight end up regaining the weight back.
I would admit that the whole process of changing one eating habit at a time does require a certain mindset, which includes having the patience to wait for the results. The good news is that everyone can develop that mindset. When people come to me for help to lose weight and get in shape, the first thing I do is teach them about the mindset they need to have in order to approach weight loss the right way.
I am currently working on an online course the would teach people how to develop the right mindset for sustainable weight loss and how to best make changes in your daily behaviors, so those changes will last. It’s a short course that I think everyone should take before they start their next weight loss or diet program. It will make a huge difference in their ability to keep the weight off after they lose it.
If you would like to be notified when the online course is available, send me an email to email@example.com and put “Mindset program” in the subject line.
Yes, you read correctly, weight gain is a blessing and here is why. Just because someone is thin, that does not make them healthy. I know plenty of thin people who had heart attacks and strokes. The problem is that many thin people, or people who do not have a weight problem, wrongly believe, that because they are thin that means they are also healthy, so they don’t watch their diet and don’t exercise. All of a sudden, they have a stroke or a heart attack and then is when they realize that they are not as healthy as they thought. If they survive, then is when they start exercising and watching their diet.
You can look at weight gain as a clear signal from your body that you are engaging in behaviors that are bad for your health. This is why you should consider weight gain as a blessing because your body is giving you a heads up that you are doing something wrong and that you should change course. A thin person, unfortunately, does not get that message from their body until is too late. Personally, I would prefer if my body gave me a heads up that I am doing something wrong, so I have a chance to change before it’s too late.
Stavros Mastrogiannis: A world leader in sustainable weight loss and the creator of the Live Your Way Thin System. “A simple and practical approach to sustainable weight loss and great health”
You can ask 10 weight loss experts what, is the best way to lose weight and you will get 10 different answers. So, who should you believe and why? The unfortunate truth is that most likely, all 10 are wrong and here is why. Most weight loss experts have focused so much on creating the perfect diet or the best exercise program that would deliver the fastest results, they forgot that a diet that no one can follow, long-term, or an exercise program that no one can stick with, is not very effective. Just look at all the weight loss programs on the market today. For example, look at the P90X. Is P90X an effective workout program? Absolutely, it’s a very effective program… if you can stick with it! The problem is that very few people can actually stick with it. I personally know over 50 people that have bought the P90X but out of those 50 people only one was able to go through the whole program, everyone else burned out within the first few weeks.
So, my question is, how effective is a workout program that most people can’t do? Same thing with all the diets. Can you see yourself counting calories or point for the rest of your life? Can you see yourself constantly being vigilant of everything you put in your mount? If you are like most people, the answer is no. But that is exactly what all popular diet programs ask you to do. No wonder we are losing the weight loss battle.
The best weight loss program is that one you can live with for life! A good way to tell if, with a particular weight loss program, you will be able to achieve sustainable weight loss is to ask yourself this question. “Can I see myself doing everything the weight loss program is asking me to do for life?” If the answer is no, don’t even bother starting because any weight loss results you will achieve with that program will be temporary.
Sustainable weight loss and great health are only possible through permanent changes in your daily habitual behaviors.
About Stavros Mastrogiannis:He is a sustainable weight loss coach and has been working in the weight loss field for over 25 years. He is the owner of Live Your Way Thin LLC, a personal training, and coaching center in Danbury CT and he is the creator of Live Thin Stay Thin System. A simple and pragmatic approach to sustainable weight loss and great health.
Many people believe and, many nutritionist would tell you, that if you skip a meal or if you go for too long without food, your metabolic rate will slow down and you will overeat at your next meal.
Both of those statements are wrong. First of all, in studies of people who have fasted for a day or have skipped a meal, reported eating only slightly more than they would ordinarily eat, when they finally had a meal after fasting or after skipping the previous meal. Also, research has shown that even extreme fasting for three days in the row, will not slow down the metabolic rate. J. Webber and I. A. Macdonald, “The cardiovascular, metabolic and hormonal changes accompanying acute starvation in men and women,” British Journal of Nutrition, 71, no. 3 (March 1994)
Many people also find letting their body go hungry very uncomfortable. That is true, but thediscomfort is temporary, the benefits are permanent. Think of it as a withdrawal. If you are a coffee drinker, you know what happens if you don’t drink your coffee. You get a headache, because your body goes through a caffeine withdrawal. This is temporary and manageable. You see, most people have never felt true hunger because they eat all the time, so when they take a break from eating they go through some discomfort similar to a withdrawal. The good news is once your body adjusts, you will not believe how good you will feel and how much more energy you will have. I know, because I have been through it myself. It definitely worth the minor discomfort you may go through. Remember, with any habit you try to break, you will go through some discomfort. Developing the habit of allowing your body to go hungry before eating, is probably one of the best habits you can develop and the benefits to your health are tremendous.
Here are just a few of the many benefits of allowing our body to go hungry before eating:
- Makes your body more sensitive to insulin (great for preventing diabetes)
- Make your body more efficient at burning fat (great if you are trying to lose weight)
- Great benefits to your brain
- You will end up with more energy during the day. (Digestion takes up a lot of energy)
- Taking a break from food is the best way to detoxify.
If you would like see my complete 10 page report on the benefits of true hunger, please send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and write “Hunger Report” in the subject line and I will email you my complete report for Free.