In Part 2 of this series, I tried to back up my belief that our unconscious minds make us fat with some science.
In case you missed it, here’s the Cliffs Notes version:
- Our Western Diet is high in sugar, fat & salt
- A diet high in sugar, fat & salt over-stimulates our reward centers and causes us to…
- Seek out more and more sugar, fat & salt
In essence, this Un-Holy Trinity of processed food ingredients is an addictive substance.
Just like drugs or alcohol or sex.
So, what do we do about it?
Whether you know it or not, your brain is constantly searching for the answers to questions…all sorts of questions…Why am I so fat?…What smells in here?…Why would she wear those shoes with that dress…..
What we need to do is to harness the power of our own personal Google search engine by asking it better questions.
Better questions lead to better answers.
Better answers leads to better assumptions about yourself.
And better assumptions lead to better actions.
And better actions leads to success.
And I know that this all sounds like a bunch of self-help, new agey blah blah blah, but I have seen it work time and time again.
It is one of the main reasons successful personal trainers have successful clients.
Because they have helped clients lose weight and get fit in the past, they assume that all of their clients will lose weight and get fit. And then they go and lend that confidence to their clients…and eventually, the client accepts that the trainer is right and starts assuming that they too will lose weight and get fit.
And then they go out and do it.
And this is how you’re going to do it.
1. Ask yourself what you want.
Lose weight, get fit, be healthy, have lots of energy, see my abs, see my toes, live to 100, firm up my arms, run a marathon, shrink my butt, get a bigger butt, etc…
2. Write down these “wants” in the form of a question. But, most importantly, write that question as if you have already achieved the goal.
- Why am I fit?
- Why does my butt look so great in my jeans?
- Why can I run a marathon?
- Why do I have so much energy?
- Why does everyone find me so damn sexy?
3. Don’t actively try and answer the questions. Just ask ’em.
Ask these questions often and just let your unconscious mind start working on finding the answers.
4. Start taking actions based on the assumptions raised by your questions.
This is the hard work – changing your diet, exercising more, getting enough sleep, etc…
Your body functions best on a diet of non-processed protein, non-processed fats and non-processed carbohydrates.
The less processing the better.
- Your Mom’s “homeburger” is better than a Big Mac
- An orange is better than orange juice
- Grass feed beef is better than corn fed beef
- Roast chicken is better than McNuggets
and don’t pretend that you don’t already know this stuff.
Because we both know that you do.
And even though your unconscious mind is forcing your body to crave junk, consciously, you know that stuff is bad for you.
This is what’s good for you.
- Beef, chicken, pork, poultry, fish, eggs, etc…unprocessed, organic if possible
- Nuts & seeds – not fried in oil
Now, how you transition from eating junk to eating healthy is up to you.
Some people prefer to do it gradually…cut out the McDonalds first, then cut out Subway, then cut out the “microwave-ready” meals and eventually they end up with a diet that is good for them
Other people like to dive right into the deep end. Throw out all of the junk and re-stock the pantry with healthy stuff.
It’s up to you, but I would recommend the second option. It’s just like tearing off a band-aid. It hurts more at first, but it’s over with much quicker.
Note – for this article, I am not going into much detail about the diet. I will be doing that next week. But, if you can’t wait, take a trip through the archives.
There has been a bunch of research done showing that exercise stimulates the same reward centers in the brain as food or drugs or sex. In these studies, the type of exercise was shown to be irrelevant. You will receive the same benefit whether you walk, do yoga, play softball or take up weight lifting.
And considering that you are going to be facing a big enough challenge with your dietary changes, I would suggest that you choose an activity that you might actually enjoy.
In a perfect world, I would have you do a variety of exercise in order to improve all of the aspects of your physical fitness.
But, for now, finding a workout buddy and going for a brisk walk each night is a great start. If you’re extra motivated, stop every now and then and do some push-ups or partner assisted bodyweight rows. If you’re extra-extra motivated, throw in some short bursts of jogging/running/sprinting during your walk.
In the coming weeks, I will be posting a variety of exercise videos that you can do in the great outdoors.
This may be the most difficult part of the plan for some of you.
During this process, you are going to screw up. Guaranteed.
You’re going to give in to temptation and demolish a bowl of ice cream or a bag of potato chips.
And you know what, it doesn’t matter. One meal (even one really big meal) isn’t the reason why we gained the weight in the first place.
And one meal isn’t going to derail your efforts to lose the weight.
But, if you beat yourself up about it, you WILL be more likely to wallow in that guilt. And if you wallow, you are much more likely to slip again and again and again….until you eventually give up altogether.
So, when you give in to the lure of the Golden Arches…ENJOY IT!!!
Don’t worry about the calories. Don’t skip breakfast the next day. Don’t go to the gym and run on the treadmill for 2 hours.
You’re human. You screwed up. The world didn’t end. Start over.
As well, I would also recommend people take a look at including some form of Mindfulness Meditation in their program. It’s an unbelievably powerful practice that has been shown to have numerous health benefits.
However, I also know that a lot of people think this stuff is a load of crap. No way, no how are they going to meditate…mindfully or not. Up to you.
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