Okay, today’s article is straight-up raw honesty with no bull. You will notice that it will be tougher talk, but that also means it is more real and upfront. If you have read the Winning Psychology Manual component of the Granite Fitness Masterclass, you would have learnt why a strong mindset is the first step to weight loss success. If you haven’t, it’s high time you get it. Don’t hesitate.
As a fitness blog, we focus on psychology, diet and exercise. Today we will be focusing on the psychological element of it, with an aim to influence dietary habits. Most of these have been covered in the Winning Psychology Manual, so this acts as a bit of a teaser.
Since this is a straight-up authentic article, let’s begin on the offensive and “attack” all the various “diets” out there. I have written in the Strategic Nutrition Guide that good eating habits are not about a specific diet, but a gradual change that can be applied for a lifetime. As one blogger explains, the diet industry lives in an ocean of body negativity, twisted science, and behavioural Russian roulette.
What this blogger is saying is that they often go to extremes with their teaching. What comes out of it? A whole mini-army of followers who start out innocently who wanted to lose a few pounds in the New Year who end up failing and being frustrated and angry at themselves. Want to know why? It is because specific diets can only work in the short term. After a while, reality sets in.
A good sustainable way of living would include having foods you love, bar-none, creating workouts that fit your schedule which you can stick to, and focusing on your mind. This means things that are realistic and not based on fantasy. No more setting false expectations for you. So let’s start with a list of things you shouldn’t specifically do:
One: Expensive supplements and pills
Two: Juice cleanses and restrictive detoxes
Three: Time-based diets or exercise programs
Four: Anything that tests your willpower
Capische? I would like to pick on the last point for a moment. Willpower is limited. Biologically, the part of your brain that controls your willpower is located in your prefrontal cortex, which is also the part which helps you with day-to-day tasks—everything from short-term memory to focus. Gee, what does that mean?
It means that this part of the brain is constantly working, moving, and eating up your food resources. Every single time you implement some change, especially a large change, this part will need even more resources to adjust. If you suddenly made a big change, the system goes into overdrive. And when this happens, it resists and bam, you willpower goes down town Chinatown!
There is even a study that demonstrated what I’m talking about. In this study, two groups of people were given a number that they were told to remember. One group needed to remember a two-digit sequence, whereas the other needed to remember seven digits. After that, both groups walked down a hallway where they were presented an option of snacks: fruit salad or chocolate cake.
So what did they find? Those who had to remember the seven-digit sequence were two times more likely to dig into cake instead of opting for fruit. So what is the moral of the story? It is that the busier the prefrontal cortex is, the harder it is to make certain decisions. This is referred to by researchers as the “cognitive load.”
How does this apply to you as someone who wants to be healthy? The answer is simple – scale down your operations and do things gradually, and your chances of success will skyrocket. One of the ways that you can do this is by having a simple checklist with a few items on it, and all of them must be simple and achievable.
You see, weight loss is not a short term quick fix. You need to do something consistently every day towards your goal. When you succeed each day, you feel good. That is why list-people like me enjoy ticking items off. Success breeds success, and that creates habit. And habits make things easier. That’s how long-term habits are formed.
So now, get on with writing your list. Put three simple items there first, such as “I will eat vegetables twice per day” or “I will go to the gym three times during the week.” After that, get cracking. Every few weeks, add items to the list. Before you know it, you’re well on the path to being healthy.
If you stumble, just get back on the bandwagon again. Ain’t nobody got time to make excuses and feel defeated for long. You’re in for the long haul! It didn’t take you a short period of time to build the unhealthy habits, so you need to be patient with fixing it. Need help? Get the Granite Fitness Masterclass today!
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