If you want to lose weight, you need to maintain a caloric deficit. To be in a caloric deficit you either need to eat less and/or move more. Every action you take should always come back to this.
While calorie counting can be a useful tool, it is not something a recommend to people when they are first starting out on their weight loss journey. It can be a useful to incorporate later, but it’s important to learn how to walk before we can run. Calorie counting is something bodybuilders and physique competitors use to lose that last bit of fat or to highly optimize the rate at which they grow muscle. Most people don’t care as much for that sort of thing, they just want to lose their excess fat and live a healthy and productive life however they see fit.
Often, I encounter people who say that they will accomplish the same thing I did, but only few people actually follow through. The reason this happens is because these people are only motivated in that particular moment. Motivation is futile. One could be motivated today, but have no motivation on the next day. Combined with the fact that weight loss takes a lot of time, it’s easy to see how this motivation fades. The question becomes: how can one develop the habits required to lose weight without relying heavily on motivation?
The first step is realizing is that some discipline is required. You aren’t always going to be motivated to do everything in life. This means that we have to do things we don’t feel like doing sometimes, and that’s okay. That being said, you still want to keep the amount of discipline you use to a minimum. The less discipline you have to exert, the easier it is to stick with a goal.
The easiest way to stick with a goal is to take actions that are easy as possible. If the actions you take are both easy to remember and require only a small amount of effort, you are more likely to do them. It is crucial that you focus on simplicity rather than complexity. If something seems complex in your mind, it most likely is and needs to be simplified.
Bringing everything together, we now know that we need to form new, simple and easy habits that help us eat less and move more with some discipline still required. My recommendation is to change three things about yourself TODAY.
One habit you can change is a dietary habit. Diet is much more important to master over exercise. This is also good news, because many people I talk with about weight loss strongly dislike the idea of exercise and I don’t blame them. Exercising is hard for someone who’s never made an effort to do it.
I want you to take a minute to seriously criticize your dietary habits with an open mind. Chances are that there is an obvious bad habit you have. It could be an addiction to soda. It could be the tendency to binge on an entire bag of chips after work or school. If could be the tendency to eat a tub of ice cream after dinner. Whatever it is, you should be able to identify a problem area like this. Once this area is identified, that habit can be transformed into a habit that is less bad.
With your bad habit in mind, find a way to either eliminate it, reduce it or replace it with a habit that isn’t as bad. When deciding on how you are going to change that habit, make sure it’s reasonable enough that progress comes at a reasonable pace while at the same time not making it so hard that you will fail to adhere. When in doubt, lean towards the side of making things easier, not harder.
I really could talk about this all day, but I just wanted to summarize it as best as I could. If you want me to help you figure out what your bad habits are and how you can change them, let’s talk!