Five Secret Rules of Weight Loss that You Need to Know
Learn the five secret rules to health and weight loss that no one has ever told you. They will make all the difference to your long term health and weight loss success.
"What Am I Missing about Getting Healthy and Losing Weight? Why is it sooo Hard?
The Rules to Getting Healthy and Losing Weight
Have you ever tried to play a video game with your kids?
It looks fun.
Rules? Who needs those? It looks easy enough.
The controller? There are only three buttons. It can't be that hard, right?
I tried a few times on my son’s XBOX. My son, Jacob, was jumping, kicking, and blowing up bad guys while I was stuck in a corner unable to move.
What’s the deal? My son made it look so easy.
So, I asked my husband how to play. He told me some nonsense that didn’t work. My husband didn't know what he was talking about either.
I eventually gave up after barely leaving the corner.
Unfortunately, that’s what happens to most of us with weight loss. We’re all trying to play the game called Dieting, but none of us know the rules.
Then, we blame ourselves for losing the game—thinking we didn’t have enough willpower or motivation.
Everyone assumes that they know the rules. It seems so easy. But, we’re doing it all wrong.
Diets are Crazy
Last week, I was one of the 10 lucky local businesses that were chosen to be highlighted at a local Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Day Business Expo with a 30 second commercial. Check out mine here:
It was a great exercise to have to think and distill the essence of my health and weight loss coaching program down into 30-ish seconds. I have a unique philosophy that is built around getting your brain to actually follow through on what you want it to do to get healthy and lose weight. I felt like I had done a good job.
But, as all the attendees of the expo came by my booth, I realized my commercial wasn’t enough. There was more that people need to understand about health and weight loss (especially with all the misinformation out there) if they’re going to win the game.
I thought about several of the conversations I had with different attendees where I explained the “Rules” of getting healthy and losing weight. I decided to summarize and distill those conversations down to the Five Secret Rules of Health and Weight Loss. These five rules (that no one seems to know), can help you finally win the game.
Five Secret Rules of Health and Weight Loss You Need to Know
A woman came up to my booth at the Expo and said sheepishly, “I lost 40 lbs on Medi-Fast. But, then I put them back on again super fast.” As she said this, she hung her head. Which brings me to rule #1...
If you’re overweight, there’s nothing wrong with you. so, have compassion on yourself.
I told this lovely woman that 70% of America is overweight or obese. So if you have some pounds to lose, you’re in good company.
Second of all, it’s not your fault. Your body is doing what it’s supposed to do—save fat for a rainy, hungry day.
In the past, calories were a precious commodity. Humans were under a real threat of starving to death. Your brain wants to keep you alive, so it craves lots of calories especially when they’re low cost (either in energy expenditure or low in dollars). Your brain wants you to stock up on them because who knows when you’ll eat again.
This is how your brain was made (or evolved), but that doesn’t work in today’s society. There are too many high calorie foods that are relatively cheap or don't need a lot of work to obtain (think doughnuts in the break room). So, it’s no wonder that we’re getting heavier and heavier. Nothing wrong with you.
Third of all, with all those Americans being overweight, doesn’t that give you a clue that there is something wrong with the dieting approach?
Sure a diet works short term to take off pounds, but long term, the weight comes right back on (and then some). We think there is something wrong with ourselves (not enough motivation or willpower), but it’s really the dieting approach.
Stop blaming yourself. Blame our obesegenic (fat-making) environment and a dieting solution that doesn’t work. It’s not you, but realize that you’re the only one who can do anything about it.
Which brings me to the second rule of the game…
Diets don’t work. Luckily, there is an alternative—healthy habits.
An older gentleman came up to me and said, “I’ve been walking for 42 years. But, I just don’t know what to eat. It’s changed so many times. First it was low-fat, and now it is low-carb. What should I eat?”
I told him that the idea of what to eat is actually pretty simple. I told him that the best idea is to eat like the author Michael Pollan suggests, "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants."
There is a wide range of diets that people are adapted to eat, but we aren’t adapted to the Modern Industrial way of eating—lots of processed foods that have been engineered to hack into the reward centers of our brains. They’re made to be super tasty, so we eat more and more.
Instead, make this plate template or pattern a habit and you’re more than half way to healthy.
What to eat to lose weight and keep it off is actually pretty simple, the hard part is doing it on a day-to-day basis. That’s why you want to make habits. Habits put good eating on autopilot, so there are no decisions, no willpower required.
Habits work but they need to be personalized to you which brings me to Rule #3.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to health and weight loss habits. Everyone is different, but there’s always a way to do your life healthier.
A woman came up to me and almost trying to stump me said, “I have to eat out a lot for work. That’s what throws me off. What do I do about that?”
I told her that I had brought this up in my commercial. Getting healthy and losing weight is about eating better, eating less, and moving more. The trick is learning how to do that with your body, your lifestyle, and your preferences.
I run into a lot of people who feel that their situation is the exception. That they can’t do thin or healthy in their life. I absolutely don’t believe this.
With the 100's of clients I’ve coached, there’s always a way. And I help my clients find a solution that they want to do. We're a team and they need habits that they want to do. There’s always a habit solution for any health or weight loss obstacle.
I told the woman who had to wine and dine her clients about a similar client of mine who travelled a lot internationally. People he did business with were always ordering appetizers and lots of food during their business dinners, and he felt that it would be offensive not to eat some.
Working together, he developed something we called the “3- Bite Rule.” He would eat three bites of the appetizer—no more, no less. Problem solved. I told the Expo attendee that this rule might not work for her, but with a little creativity, there is always a way.
No matter what is going on in your life, there is a way to do your life healthier and easier. And, the busier you are, the more you need autopilot healthy habits. They free up your energy and willpower for more important things (than what to eat at a power dinner).
My former client learned to love the 3-Bite Rule because he got a taste of the appetizer, but he stopped feeling over-stuffed and bloated. He enjoyed his food much more after the 3- Bite Rule, and that brings me to Rule #4.
You need to enjoy your habits, because you will have them for a very long time.
At the SBDC Expo there was a man who was selling jams, rubs, salsas, and barbecue sauces. When he saw me coming, he said, “Oh, no. Not the nutrition lady.” Like I was an unwelcome party crasher.
I needed to set the record straight. I told the BBQ man that one of my core philosophies is, “You need to eat delicious food—that just happens to be healthy. And one of the most important ways to make healthy food taste amazing is with rubs and sauces.”
He was a little surprised that I believed in good food. But, that’s what I teach all my clients.
If you’re going to have a habit forever, you better enjoy it—because you need to keep on doing that habit. And when it comes to food, you better have delicious foods (that happen to be healthy) on the menu. There are too many unhealthy, delicious foods to compete with.
So, if you want to eat to get healthy and lose weight, you need to become a master at making simple foods taste delicious. Sure, your tastes will eventually change to prefer whatever you’re eating, but in the meantime, it’s better to start out liking what you’re eating to begin with.
And, along that same vein, you also need to enjoy whatever you choose for physical activity as well. Check out this blog post to find out how to change your mindset and enjoy exercise.
Which brings me to my last rule for health and weight loss…
Weight loss isn’t Rocket Science, but it is Brain Science.
Getting healthy and losing weight is more about what’s going on in your brain, than what you put in your mouth. In order to get health and weight loss right, you need to work with the sub-conscious part of your brain. This part of your brain is in charge of 95% of your brain function. If you ignore it, you’ll never truly succeed at health and weight loss.
And that’s because the sub-conscious part of your brain is kind of like a teenager- it wants more pleasure, wants to avoid pain, and wants to be lazy. That is why so much of getting healthy and losing weight feels like a battle. It’s a struggle between the two parts of your brain. The sub-conscious part of your brain often sabotages your weight loss efforts, but it can be trained.
Most of my time teaching my clients is not about what to do. It’s about the brain and how they can get themselves to do what they actually want to do. How do you master willpower, how do you overcome your cravings, and how do you make a healthy lifestyle that you enjoy and will want to keep up?
The answer is—your brain.
Remember the Rules
Make sure that if you're going to play the get healthy or lose weight game, you need to know the rules before you get started. They're the key to getting healthy and losing weight for the long term.
1. There's nothing wrong with you if you're overweight.
2. Diets don't work, but autopilot healthy habits do.
3. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to habits.
4. You need to enjoy your habits because you will have them for a very long time.
5. Getting healthy and losing weight isn't rocket science, but it is brain science.
Until next time,
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