I am currently reading a book recently that I think is excellent and I think anyone concerned with weight loss or health should read it. It’s particularly good for habits for weight loss, but I think it can apply to almost any area of someone’s life and help them be successful and meet their goals in every aspect not just weight loss, the book is mini habits for weight loss by Stephen guys and if you don’t want to read the whole book, then chapter 5 strategy and chapter 6 food strategy is cri
tical. You should definitely check out chapter 5 and 6 of this book, but I think the whole book is excellent And below I’m going to comment on some aspects from the book and mention some things that I thought were particularly interesting. I hope you enjoy this and if you have any questions, please reach out to us at the office.
Do not think of dieting as taking away food you like or restricting things. Think of it as adding new healthy foods to what you have been eating.
It is much easier to quit something with strategy, than with emotion.
Use delayed gratification. Say to yourself, I will drink water today and have a Coke tomorrow. Sometimes the anticipation of a reward is better than the reward itself.
Identity-based decisions make an enormous difference when trying to change behavior. It is involved with any lifestyle change as well. By identity I mean the way we identify and describe the actions we can or cannot take. One example is when a child asks his parents if he can stay over with a friend, and they say no he is distraught. However, when an adult says that they cannot eat a candy bar they are the actual decision maker, so it is very easy for them to break that standard. If this happens repeatedly, the rules we set for ourselves become less important and that can be a problem in our struggle for success later in life. I would like to give an example of someone who is offered a cigarette. If the person is offered a cigarette and they do not smoke, that’s what they say they’ll turn it down and say no I don’t smoke they don’t say I can’t smoke because obviously they can smoke, but they choose not to. They are in charge. They are both the parents and the decision maker, and it does not set them up for failure, if they do slip up and try a cigarette, this is a very good way to look at how we describe our eating habits. Instead of saying I cannot eat mashed potatoes, or I cannot eat chips try to think of it as I do not, or I do not eat mashed potatoes I choose other foods instead.
If you are at a party and someone offers you cake, please do not say I’m on a diet. It makes you look awful and makes you feel awful. Just say I do not want any. That makes you look and feel empowered.
Try not to assign specific rules about foods you can and cannot eat.
Do not assign moral value to different types of food. Food is not good or bad. If you eat good food it does not make you good. If you eat bad food, it does not make you a bad person. There is no such thing as good or bad food. There is just food. Think about it as what is the goal when you eat this type of food and will it help you reach that goal or not, but foods are not good or bad so try to avoid that mentality. Someone who eats a very healthy diet is no better or worse than someone who eats a “quote” unhealthy diet. Your value as a person has nothing to do with what you eat. An example that he gives in the book is someone who says oh I am so bad for eating this right before they eat an entire chocolate cake. Obviously, the emotions that generates are guilt and shame, which are detrimental not just for our physical health, but also mental health. This can and often does lead to a severe spiral down into depression, anxiety, and fear. All of this severely limits our ability to live a normal life.
Why are we more likely to binge eat potato chips than broccoli?
Congruency. Try not to make two mistakes when eating. If you eat something that is high fat, high carb, or just high calories that will promote weight gain try not to eat a lot of it. That would be the double mistake of eating a large amount of an undesirable food. People often tend to complete mistakes. This is a principle of congruency. We resist change. Once we have made a mistake and we’re in the middle of it we for some reason want to finish it We feel less guilty if we complete it. Once you start eating what you consider unhealthy food people tend to say well I’ve already messed up now so might as well go ahead and finish this then stop. This happens a lot with addiction. If a person is drug tested, even if they haven’t used any illicit substances, but the drug test showed a false positive the person is very upset about that. So upset in fact that often times they will go and use just because it looked like they had used. Despite the fact they knew that had not used. More guilt here. This is a very dangerous Way of looking at things and people do it all the time.
Have you heard about sensory specific satiety? This is the phenomenon where, after eating a certain amount of food you feel satisfied and full, which significantly limits your ability or your desire to eat more of it. This is very evident in strong flavor foods like fudge for example. Most people can only eat a little fudge because it is so strong and so rich. They get literally fed up rapidly and just don’t want more of it. Pancakes are like that for me. I can only eat a few bites of a pancake before I feel sick if I eat anymore. Food scientists are very aware of this, and they have found a way around it. They add or change the flavors of many foods to prevent developing satiety sensitivity. This is so that you will continue to eat enormous amounts or drink large amounts of these things without ever feeling full. So, if you’ve ever wondered why you don’t feel full when you should it is the probably much of our food is engineered to prevent that sensation.
Another concept I think is important to understand is that food and beverage companies are businesses. Their goal is to sell more food and beverages. Your personal health is not their concern. It may come up in a meeting occasionally, but their major concern is profitability and sales. So, when you look at foods in the store, or when you go out, it is important to look at it through the lens of how they are trying to market this to me. And consider the fact that what is the best type of diet food? The best one to sell you is one that you think works but does not. Stop and consider that for just a minute. The food and beverage companies are actually more motivated to sell you products that you think help with weight loss but don’t actually work. You will buy more of those than you would the ones that do work. do not delegate the importance of your overall health to grocery stores, the government, or even your physician. Take charge of your own health.
I thought this was a great line from the book. Dogs get treats, humans get rewards, find an alternative form of reward for yourself other than food.
You have to be OK with not fitting in! If you live in a world or a country where 70% of the population is overweight and you are not, then you will look and be different. You have to be OK with that. If everyone around you drinks soda with a meal but you get water that is going to be a little awkward, but you need to be prepared for that. That has to be one of your strategies. If you go out to eat with a group of friends and they order a cheesecake to split for everyone, but you don’t want any, that puts a lot of pressure on you. You have to be prepared for this. You realize the cheesecake has a lot of unhealthy ingredients. It is highly processed. It is going to stimulate and trigger insulin release and weight gain, so you really don’t want to have any. You are probably not even hungry at that point, but you know that if you refuse it that you might upset someone you had to be prepared for that.
If you are struggling with Health, Fitness, or weight loss goals, check your environment. Are you surrounded by people who have unhealthy habits are you constantly confronted with an unhealthy choice for not just food but exercise and activities take a look around and see if there’s ways you can make small changes to improve it , sometimes just changing a place you go during the day or person you talk to can make a huge difference.
Be careful, or at least be aware that when you limit calories or you limit foods, or completely exclude them in a hard and fast manner, which triggers the impression of scarcity or rarity. We often desire things that are scarce or rare. It can actually make you want them more, so eat in abundance. Just try to eat more things that are actually difficult to overeat. It is almost impossible to overeat on broccoli but very easy to overeat with potato chips.
Another critical element discussed in the book is that of shame and guilt. Shame is focused inward, and guilt is focused on others, so we feel guilty about things we do to other people that harm them, and we feel shame about things we do that harm ourselves. The problem with shame in particular is that feeling shameful about something actually makes you repeat that activity rather than stop it. We see this all the time. Someone who overeats feels a great deal of shame about it and if they continue to overeat, they will actually eat more, and they get in a cycle of shame. Another example from the book is that if someone plays video games too long and feels ashamed that they have wasted time then they want to do things to make them feel better. They want to do something they enjoy and so they play more video games, which repeats the cycle of shame. It is extremely important to recognize this and look for ways to not feel shame about eating. This would also apply to raising your children. Try to have them not feel shame about most things in life. At least as it relates to things which we should not feel ashamed about. Help them recognize those activities that can be harmful for later goals that they will have in life.