Trick Yourself into Losing Weight

Why is losing weight so hard? In a word: habit.

We all have deeply ingrained habits. These habits are hard to change. Not impossible, but difficult. We all know people who have lost weight, maybe even a hundred pounds, and gained it all back. Why would this happen? These people slipped back into old habits, habits they never really let go of.  
The only way to lose weight permanently is to make permanent changes.

Here's another word: discipline. Discipline is the opposite of habit. What you do habitually takes absolutely no discipline. It just happens. Do you have to force yourself to brush your teeth before bed? No, it's a habit. You just do it without thinking about it.

Most people think weight loss is a matter of discipline. But discipline is very difficult to sustain. Discipline takes a lot of effort. It makes us tired. And the second we relax, habit takes over.

So what is the answer? We must make weight loss a habit.

In order to reverse the tendency to GAIN weight, we need to substitute better habits for the ones we already have in place.

For example:

Current scenario: You roll out of bed at the last possible second. On the drive to work, you stop at Sugarbucks and purchase a mega-grande caramel frothy coffee drink containing over 1000 calories and 6 billion grams of sugar. This is your breakfast.

SUBSTITUTION #1: You drive a different route to work and choose to stop at a different coffee shop where you purchase a small black coffee and a delicious yet nutritious breakfast sandwich. This new combo is low in sugar, high in protein and fiber, gives you plenty of energy to fuel your morning, and keeps your blood sugar steady.

SUBSTITUTION #2: You set the alarm for 15 minutes earlier, make yourself a cup of coffee and a breakfast sandwich at home, save at least $5 per day, and use some of that money to pay for a mani/pedi at the end of the month.

SUBSTITUTION #3: You set the alarm for 30 minutes earlier, leave your sneakers by the side of your bed, lace them up before you're even out of bed, head outside for a 20 minute run, grab a quick shower and a coffee smoothie containing all the protein, fiber, healthy fats, and supplements you need to start your day.

These are just 3 possible scenarios that would all be a significant improvement. Each one of these new habits would result in weight loss. In fact, you might want to take baby steps toward your weight loss goal by instituting each of the above scenarios, one at a time, for a week or even a month, before moving on to the next.

In order for a habit to work, it's important to make it as easy as possible to perform. If you have to remove all your dry cleaning from your treadmill before turning it on, the chances are good you will never use that piece of equipment. Remove all the impediments to taking the action that you desire. This is the reason I suggest leaving your running shoes by the side of your bed: so you can put them on without thinking. Trick yourself into becoming more active. Keep your I-pod next to your bed, all charged up and full of your favorite songs. Grab it as you head out for your run.

Keep in mind that habits take time to form. You may need to repeat the same action, on a daily basis, for about a month before you've developed the new habit.

Try not to change too many things at once. Substituting a new morning routine, for example, is a major step toward losing weight and creating a healthy lifestyle. So don't try to fix every bad habit at once. Give yourself at least a month to institute a change before adding another new habit.

Frustrated? Need a helping hand? I'm available for weight loss coaching. We can work together through email, telephone, or face to face support. Leave me a message if you need a coach.