Why Habits Work Better Than Diets
When we want to lose weight, most of us first think I need to go on a diet. The obvious problem with that statement is that you will eventually go off the diet. In fact, two-thirds of people who go on diets end up fatter, less muscular, and hungrier than before they started the diet.
Honestly, if you want to get fatter, the best approach might be to go on a popular weight-loss diet.
There are some great diet plans out there. I like and agree with most of the aspects of the paleo/primal diet and the Whole 30. I also really like the ketogenic diet as an option for dealing with neurological or autoimmune issues. But most people fail on these diets because of their approach. They jump with both feet into a completely new eating plan that their body and brain immediately reject.
Every diet is an endeavor to dramatically change eating habits. Habits are routines or behaviors that are performed regularly—and, in most cases, automatically. Most of us have spent decades developing our current eating habits. Any attempt to dramatically change habits we have developed over decades will almost always result in failure. That’s why diets don’t work.
Your psychology and biology do not like big changes—they don’t even like small changes. All of us have developed a comfort zone in which we live every day. We like being comfortable so much that we spend thousands of dollars every year keeping our houses at exactly the right temperature all year long. Any time we push ourselves outside of that comfort zone, our psychology and biology do everything they can to push us back to the place we are used to living in.
For 18 years at Exercise Inc, we’ve been helping our clients lose weight and keep it off long term. Our proven approach involves coaching our clients to adopt a few simple habits they can live with (pun intended). Losing 20, 30 or even 50 pounds in a year does not take a dramatic change. It simply takes a commitment from you to make a few small changes and stick with them for life.
If, instead of going on a diet, you simply choose our first simple habit, Drink 8 – 12 Cups of Water a Day, and stick to it for a year, you would probably lose a significant amount of weight. While the math of calorie counting doesn’t always work, the logic of calorie reduction does play out over the long term. If you add ice to your 8 – 12 cups of water, you could theoretically burn an extra 100 calories a day. While that doesn’t sound like much, it equates to 10 pounds of potential weight lost in a year.
That’s the power of adopting one simple habit you can live with.
Our Simple 9© program focuses on adopting nine simple habits you can live with. But, honestly, most people can lose weight in the long run by consistently sticking to three or four of our Simple Habits.
The habits we teach are simple for a reason. Your psychology and biology will more easily accept a couple of simple changes than an entire overhaul of habits you spent decades developing.
We create our habits through repetition and frequency. In previous blogs, we’ve shared the four most important habits we feel everyone should adopt to lose weight and keep it off long-term. The habits we recommend really have more to do with living a healthy lifestyle. The weight loss actually becomes an added benefit of adopting that lifestyle. We’ve been recommending these habits to our clients for 18 years.
If you haven’t done so already, start working with your coach today to adopt our Simple Habits so you won’t be tempted to go on a diet.
Stay Strong and Healthy,