Mood Over Math: The Secret of Lasting Weight Loss
Keto. Intermittent fasting. Paleo. Vegan. Atkins. While often quite different in terms of what you eat, all these types of diets have one thing in common: they can help you lose weight by encouraging you to expend more energy than you ingest. Calories in should be less than calories out: this is weight loss 101. Of course, there's a little more to it in terms of macronutrient measuring if you want to ensure you're losing fat and not hard earned muscle, but all weight loss essentially comes down to that equation.
So, if the equation is so damn simple, then how come it can feel so damn hard to lose weight?
Easy. You don't like your diet. You're eating in a way that doesn't make you happy — that doesn't bring you fulfillment — and as such, you don't stick with it. For some people, a low carb diet is great since they are carnivores at heart and don't feel extremely deprived by having to really restrict their carbohydrates. For others, low carb diet is their own personal version of hell. While these people may be able to have short-term results, they will ultimately be miserable and revert back to their previous, less than ideal eating habits.
Same goes for someone who is trying to sustain a healthy plant-based diet but loathes leafy greens. Same goes for someone who has an insanely spastic work schedule who is trying to get into intermittent fasting. The truth is, the way you feel about your healthy diet far more important than what, exactly, your healthy diet consists of.
Sustainable success is driven by happiness.
On some level, you know this already. We're just pointing it out so that you don't feel like you have to go keto or paleo or vegan or whatever if you want to reach your goals. What you have to do is find a gustatory lifestyle that gels with your tastes.
These exact same principles apply to exercise: you don't have to run to shed fat. You don't have to do chin ups to build solid upper body strength. You don't have to do another burpee ever again if doing one is the difference between you never doing another HIIT sesh and you just swapping it out for push ups or squats.
Find Your Challenge
Yes, you should always attempt to add, limit or tweak elements of your diet and exercise regime to bust through plateaus and see results, and you should always keep challenging yourself, but these challenges absolutely must be realistic for who you are now, and what you are capable of at this moment.
It's an often unspoken but critical part of self-care: respect yourself. Mind, body and soul. To quote tennis champ Arthur Ashe, "Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can."
There will be moments of intense discomfort: when you will have to fight through a particular move in a workout or a craving for an unhealthy food, but your healthy lifestyle should be balanced enough that these battles won't break you. If they are — if you're finding your whole life is a fight between want you want and what you feel you have to do — then it's time to rethink your strategy.
Talk to us. Join the BodyRock Insiders Group on Facebook and get inspo from your FitFam.
Educate yourself. Talk to a dietician or nutritionist. Get books and guides on healthy eating options so you know what's out there.
Try new things! Whether it's a new recipe, a new piece of training equipment or a new type of exercise, trying new things will not only help you find what you like to do, but it will also help you infuse your life with the variety that will keep your mind and body from getting bored.
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Excellent article….new way to look at how you can be successful without the dread factor.