Well, yes, yes it does. Eat too much of the wrong foods in the wrong amounts at the wrong times and you will gain weight. Moderate your food with healthy choices and you should be golden. Move more and exercise a few times a week. You know this right? The thing is, it is just not that easy.
I get questions all the time about what to eat at what times and when to workout for how long. But I rarely get questions and messages like the following.
I am concerned that the lack of sleep I am getting is affecting my food choices throughout the day. Please help.
I noticed I have a bad habit at night and eat when I am bored. What strategies do you have that could potentially break this bad habit and implement a new one?
I seem to be caught in this cycle of restricting my food and exercising simply to burn more and more calories. Can you help me address the emotional aspect of this cycle?
It’s funny because we never think to address what gets in the way. We just want to know the quick and easy what to do’s. Food and exercise itself is not the solution it is about what gets in the way of actually doing it.
It has to do with the ability to say no when you need to say no (don’t eat that extra cookie) and yes when you need to say yes (go workout instead of watching the Bachelor).
The problem is there are so many limiting factors competing against you making a simple concept extremely challenging and complex.
We know what to do, we just don’t do it.
And the idea that restricting foods or working out more and more just to burn calories and put in the time is absurd. It brings us right back to where we started in this cycle of on again, off again.
It’s not really about eating the perfect combo of foods, detoxes, diets, cleanses or food lists, it is about everything behind that from self control, emotions, habits, and behavioral patterns we have developed.
We never think to work on that stuff because that is never what we have been taught. We go back to what foods to eat time and time again and focus on the wrong things.
Rely less on willpower and more on your changing your habits.
When willpower fails (which it will) our habits will take over, good or bad.
We think that willpower is the answer to our success but the more we use willpower (all our decision making through the day) the weaker it gets. Whether you are resisting candy at work or debating whether you should workout at 5 p.m., these decisions drain willpower.
No wonder we start off our days at our strongest and it slowly dwindles by the end of the day so we are snacking on jars of peanut butter at night. Oh wait, thats me. 😉 Basically using more and more self control lead to losing more self control.
Us humans love habits so it is no surprise that our eating and exercise habits are on auto drive and therefore determining the outcomes with our body. While these habits can be very difficult to change, but they can be changed.
Super simple solution:
Find one thing that you can improve on. It does not even have to be a complete makeover of the habit. If you drink 2 sodas a day, cut back to one. Add veggies at one more meal a day. Do 10 push ups and 10 squats for every new episode you watch on Netflix. Don’t think I don’t know about those marathons?! 😉 The point is not a drastic overall but one simple improvement at a time. Work on it until it becomes so easy you don’t even think about it.
Practice consistency & patience.
Boring alert! I know it is not nearly as exciting as doing a juice cleanse and seeing those first few pounds drop off the first day because you are putting your body in a state of restriction but consistency and patience is crucial to your physical and emotional well-being. The thing is when you do it right most people get frustrated because they do not see results right away and give up.
To do the work and keep going even when the it feels the results are invisible in the beginning. It feels unfair. It feels like all your hard work is not paying off. You have been doing everything right and are still not seeing results.
Consider this. All your previous choices have gotten you to where you are today. You did not gain or lose weight, get stronger or more flexible by what you did last week, it is by the choices you have made and the habits you have developed over the past weeks, months and years.
If you can learn to exhibit patience as you consistently make good choices over time, not only will your body thank you but so will your brain.
I love consistency but I like persistency more, and you might learn to as well. Consistency is doing the work time and time again.
Persistency is doing the work even when it is difficult. It is sticking with it even when things are not going your way. It is continuing to endure the hard stuff and build positive habits over a long period of time. It is learning to get comfy with the process of doing the work on good days and bad days.
Could you learn to embrace challenges and difficult and learn how to overwork not having enough time in the day and be presented with your greatest temptation and overcome them? Expect the challenges. Expect that things will not go right. Expect that this path will be tough and embrace it and learn from it when it is.
What you do today and tomorrow and the next day will determine where you will be months and years down the road. Just like anything else though, you have to actually do the work to create change. If you do the same old thing that doesn’t work, you will get the same old results that you are not happy with. To change something you have to change the way you are doing things.