How to Get Healthy No Matter How Crazy Your Life Is

 

What are the secrets of the my most successful clients?  After coaching hundreds of people, I found these 15 habits and mind shifts in my clients who get healthy, lose weight, and keep it off.  And, it all has to do with training your brain to do the hard work of health and weight loss on autopilot. Now I am sharing the keys to brainy autopilot health and weight loss with you.

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Why is Getting Healthy So Hard?

Getting healthy and losing weight is hard!

There’s so much to do— eat less, exercise more, eat more vegetables, sleep more, and meditate.  

And, so much not to do—don’t eat too may sweets, don’t drink too much, and don’t sit at your desk too long.

Who has the time, willpower, or the motivation for all that?

You don’t? 

Yeah, me neither.   

Life is Crazy Busy…

I get it. I have four kids, a big dog, and my own business. There’s a lot going on in our crazy, busy lives…

But, that didn’t change the fact that I had to regain my health and lose 40 pounds after my battle with thyroid disease. 

It was soooo tempting just to ignore my health and weight.

I sure wanted to.

But, then I barely had the energy to get through my day and take care of my little ones. I felt like a zombie.

But, I had to get through my day.

I have a daughter with special needs who needs me. And, I needed to have the health and energy to take care of her and enjoy her (and I guess, my other 3 kids as well).

There Has to Be A Way to Make This Doable for Real Life

So, I set on a quest to figure out how I could get healthy and lose weight—without it taking over my life and without it feeling like such a struggle.

Whenever I found an obstacle that I’d run into, I’d start asking why it was so hard and what to do about it (instead of just thinking that there was something wrong with me).

Like why I couldn’t stop eating ice cream after dinner. Why was that so hard? (Click here to find the answer)

Like why I didn’t want to go to the gym. Why was that so hard? (Click here to find that one.)

Like why I couldn’t just let myself go hungry. Why was that so hard? (Click here if you’re dying to figure out this one.)

Each time I asked myself another question, I found that these questions all had the same answer. The answer is…my brain.

The Answer is… Your Brain

It sounds like an answer to a Jeopardy question.

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“Alex, I’ll take health and weight loss for $1000.”—Me

“What causes all your health and weight loss problems, but it’s so sneaky that you have no idea that it’s trying to sabotage you?”—Alex

“Umhh, the answer is ‘What is Your Brain?’ ”—Me

Yep, that’s how it is.

The subconscious part of your brain loves pleasure, wants to avoid pain, and wants to be lazy. And, because it’s your subconscious you often don’t know what’s going on there.

And, here’s the kicker…

Your subconscious brain is responsible for 95% of your brain’s activity.

So, there’s no getting around it…

We’re going to have to learn how to hack our brains to find lasting health and weight loss.

How to Hack Your Brain

So, that’s what I did.

  • I started finding ways that my brain was sabotaging me and my clients.

  • Then, I’d figure out why our brains were sabotaging us.

  • And, then I’d identify how to hack our brains to get around the obstacle.

And, once I did that, things just started to flow.

My clients tell me that it sounds like common sense, but it isn’t very common. You probably haven’t heard anyone else talk about this.

But, there’s nothing wrong with you if you need to get healthy or lose weight.

It’s just your brain!

(And there’s nothing wrong with your brain either. There’s just a really bad mismatch for how your brain was made and our current environment.)

How to Get Healthy No Matter How Crazy Your Life Is

Once I researched, studied, and experimented, I figured out that the best way to make health and weight loss doable was to have the subconscious, habit part of our brains do all the work.

What’s not to love about that?

If you put your health and weight on automatic mode with your subconscious, you don’t have to fiddle with willpower or motivation.

No matter how crazy, busy your life is, your healthy habits get done.

I’ve compiled 15 of the most effective ways to hack your brain to health and weight loss on autopilot. They’ve become a BIG part of my health and weight loss coaching programs. I call them The 15 Brainy Habits and Mindset Shifts to Autopilot Health and Weight Loss.

I can’t emphasize enough how powerful these habits and mindset shifts are. They help you to understand your brain and then work with it—instead of against it.

They make health and weight loss doable for those of us with “real” lives.

Check them out below…

(and if you’re dying to know how to program your brain for autopilot health and weight loss, download the Ultimate Roadmap here…)


The 15 Brainy Habits and Mindset Shifts to AUTOPILOT Health & Weight Loss

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1. Enjoy Yourself More

Your subconscious brain wants to do what feels good in the moment. And, your subconscious is a major force for your behavior. 

This may sound like a recipe for disaster for your health and weight loss. But, you can actually harness that “feel good” power to help you reach your goals. To do this, eat more healthy foods that happen to taste delicious and choose movement that you happen to love as well. 

Eating right or exercising becomes a gift you give yourself rather than a chore if you focus on how good they make you feel in the moment. It’s hard to believe, but getting healthy and losing weight can be enjoyable and should be if you want it to last. Just make sure that your healthy food tastes great and your exercise is fun. 

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2. Become a Scientist

People have a tendency to think that if they aren’t tough on themselves, they’ll never get healthy or lose weight. However, research shows that people who have self-compassion are more successful in the long run. 

When you feel like you’ve failed, you may give up, feel shame, and avoid the issue. But, if you see setbacks as a challenge or a game, your brain will keep on trying.  

Think of your health and weight loss journey as an experiment. A scientist doesn’t get mad if her experiment didn’t go as planned. Instead, she takes the data, analyzes it, comes up with a new strategy, and then tries again. If you aren’t successful at first with your goal or habit, you probably just need to adjust your strategy.

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3. Use Willpower Sparingly and to Make Good Habits

Most people think of willpower as something they use to keep from making bad choices. But, your brain’s willpower is limited and unreliable. 

Research shows that successful people actually use less willpower than other people! That’s because they rely on habits to make good choices for them—not willpower.  

For example, instead of using willpower to keep yourself from eating Oreos, you could make a habit to only buy healthy foods on your shopping list. So, you’d never have to resist Oreos. They wouldn’t be in your kitchen in the first place.

Use a small amount of your brain’s willpower to make good habits-- rather than using lots of willpower over and over again to avoid temptation.

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4. Listen to Your Body

Your subconscious brain wants pleasure and to avoid discomfort. Paying attention to your body’s signals can actually change what you eat without forcing yourself. 

If you slow down and notice when you are satisfied, you’ll stop eating sooner. It doesn’t feel good to overeat—not even one bite. 

Also, eating healthier foods versus eating junky foods becomes easier as you notice how your body feels afterwards. Listening to your body may take practice, so give yourself a break if you aren’t perfect at it.

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5. Use the Number on the Scale for Evaluation Not Success

Your brain places importance on what you pay attention to. So, what you measure, you get better at. 

Not surprisingly, research shows that people who weigh themselves more often, lose more weight. However, getting too invested in the number on the scale can be “crazy-making.” It is impossible for weight to go down steadily every day. 

Instead, look at the trends. Are the habits and strategies you use working? What clues are there for what changes you could make?

Remember--success is not based on a number, but instead success is defined by working on your habits. 

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6. Eat Smaller Portions and Enjoy Each Bite

Your brain places importance on what you pay attention to. So, what you measure, you get better at. 

Not surprisingly, research shows that people who weigh themselves more often, lose more weight. However, getting too invested in the number on the scale can be “crazy-making.” It is impossible for weight to go down steadily every day. 

Instead, look at the trends. Are the habits and strategies you use working? What clues are there for what changes you could make?

Remember--success is not based on a number, but instead success is defined by working on your habits. 

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7. Develop Meal Templates

Most food and meal choices are done by your subconscious brain in automatic mode. 

Thus, research shows that people who eat the same meals over and over lose more weight. Repetition allows your meals to become a habit with no decisions or willpower required. 

To use this hack, you don’t have to eat the same food every day. Instead, use a personalized meal template to get healthy and lose weight without using willpower.

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8. Turn down the reward centers in your brain

Dopamine is the neurotransmitter of wanting. Dopamine is released in your brain when you eat sugar and other tempting foods. Along with changes in blood sugar levels, the dopamine release causes you to want and crave these foods even more.  


You can turn down the volume on the brain’s reward system by eating less processed foods. Michael Pollan identifies processed foods as “Anything with more than five ingredients,” or “ingredients you can't pronounce,” “Anything that won’t eventually rot,” or “Anything that your grandmother would not recognize as food.” Eat real food, not “food like substances” to turn down your cravings.

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9. Know Your Radioactive Foods

Everyone has foods that I call radioactive foods. These are your very favorite foods that you just can’t seem to control yourself around. 

These foods activate your brain’s reward system so much that you find it almost impossible not to overeat them—even if you’re paying attention to your body. 

These radioactive foods need special environmental rules to allow you to remain in control. You need to be honest with yourself about those foods and come up with strategies for them.

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10. Do as Much Real Movement as Possible

Your subconscious brain evolved to be efficient and prevent you from wasting energy. Calories were once very scarce, and your brain doesn’t want to waste them on frivolous things--like a treadmill. 

Luckily, you don’t have to go to the gym to be healthy. Scientists have identified areas of the world where people live the longest—called Blue Zones. Blue Zones include places like Okinawa, Japan and Sardinia, Greece. Okinawans or Sardinians aren’t running on the treadmill or doing pilates. They just move a lot throughout their day. Gyms were invented because we have “industrial revolutionized” movement out of our lives. 

Try to find ways to put a minimum of 30 minutes of natural movement back into your life.  

Of course, if you like the gym or have certain fitness goals, you may add on gym time to your routine. However, there are many ways to move and get your heart pumping. Find one that is convenient, that you enjoy, and fits naturally into your day.

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11. Optimize Your Recovery By Managing Your Sleep and Stress

Your brain needs time to recover. Not just for mental health, but for your physical health as well. 

In our age of distraction, we need a plan to get enough sleep. Sleep is not a luxury. It’s a necessity. Along with food, water, and oxygen, we will die without it. Getting less than 7 hours of sleep can have disastrous effects on your hormones, health, and weight. Prioritize your sleep and track it. 

The same goes with stress. Always being in “fight-or-flight” threat mode can be health destroying. Instead aim for health-enhancing, fat-burning challenge mode. 

Chronic, unrelenting stress can wreak havoc on your health and weight loss efforts, so let’s build habits for relaxing. Simple techniques like taking deep breaths can move you from threat mode to challenge mode.

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12. It really Is About the Small Things

Your brain needs lots of motivation to do hard things, but doing small things only takes a tiny bit of motivation. Once you get small wins, your brain is motivated even more to continue towards your goal. 

Small habits add up over time and can start a virtuous landslide of good habits. This is one comment that I get over and over from my clients, “It was the small things that made all the difference.”  

Switching to water instead of soda, getting 10000 steps a day, sleeping an hour more, eating salad first, using a smaller plate-- these small habits are ones that my clients find over and over again make a huge difference in their health and weight loss.  

Consistency will trump heroic, short term attempts at health and weight loss every time.

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13. Plan Ahead

Life doesn’t always run smoothly (bet you never noticed that)!  Your subconscious brain keeps you stuck when it isn’t sure what to do. Plus, any bumps in the road will allow your brain to rationalize bad behavior. That’s when the excuses come out. 

Successful people develop plans for when all goes well, and then they have backup plans for when it doesn’t. 

By looking a week ahead and anticipating challenges to your normal healthy routines, you can keep making progress towards your goals.

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14. Set Up Your Environment

As much as you might like to think that all your behavior is guided by your choices, this is far from the truth. It’s estimated that 45% of your actions are determined by your subconscious habits. Another 30%- 40% of your actions may be determined by cues in your environment. 

Your subconscious brain is always wanting to conserve energy and be lazy. You can take advantage of your brain’s basic laziness though, and set up your environment for success. 

Be proactive in setting up your environment so that the healthy choice is always the lazy choice. On the flip side, make sure that the unhealthy choice is hard to do. This will go a very long way to ensuring you sustain your health and weight loss habits.

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15. Develop Healthy Support Systems

The subconscious part of your brain is strongly influenced by the behavior of people around you. Historically, humans lived in clans or tribes. We needed each other. Fitting in was a matter of survival. So, your brain was set up to mimic the behavior of those around you.

That’s why it’s hard to make healthy choices when everyone around you isn’t making them.

Including health conscious people in your circle of friends can make all the difference in your long- term weight loss success.  

Share what your goals are and what you have learned from Real Healthy Habits to make your friends your allies in your health and weight loss. Join a club of people who have habits that you want to emulate. And, be sure to get your spouse involved and ask him to join in your journey.

 

What did you think?

Makes sense, right?

No more guessing and trying to figure out how to get healthy and lose weight on your own. 

I am here to help.

Until next time,

 
 
 

What to Do Next

Want to DIY Feeling Better on Autopilot?

If you’re in, check out the articles below on the 15 Brainy Habits and Mindset Shifts.

Want Real Results Now?

If you’re done with DIY and want to fix your health and weight once-and-for-all, here’s what you should do:

  1. Contact me to schedule your FREE discovery call today.

  2. We’ll map out your customized health and stress habit plan together.

  3. Then, we’ll get started--finally succeeding one habit at a time.

With the Real Healthy Habits Jumpstart Program, your definition of health and weight loss success can finally be a reality.


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