Beat Dieters Dilemma | What to Do When Willpower Fails

Pretty much everyone can recall a time when their best intention to stick with a diet & exercise regime weakened and failed. I’d be willing to be it’s happened to you more than once, especially if you have been a player in the diet and exercise game.

Being fat and failing to stay on your diet feels like a personal defeat. It is embarrassing to imagine people thinking, “She has no Willpower“…”She’s a fat ass that eats too much“…”She can’t control himself”.

The worst thing is that you may believe these things yourself. But you are WRONG Girl… Wrong! Here’s why:

Depending on willpower to sustain you through a diet and fitness program is like jumping out of an airplane with a handkerchief for a parachute.

Evolution is Against You.

The problem is that when you set out to get fit and lose a significant amount of weight, you are actually forcing your body to do something that it has been designed to resist.

At the most basic level, evolution is against you. Since the dawn of mankind, our physiology has developed mechanisms to conserve precious energy. In earlier times, loss of bodyweight was always a potential threat to survival and as a result, our body’s immediate response to a reduced caloric intake (a diet) is to slow its metabolic rate and store fat. It thinks you’re in a FAMINE and starving to death, so it’s main objective will be to store fat so you have calories to survive until your next meal.

To compound the problem, physically depriving yourself of energy quickly leads to a deep, systemic urge to eat that is impossible to deny.

To add insult to injury, social and emotional factors come into play to further test your already weakened resolve. In time, be it three days, three weeks or three months, your diet plan will eventually crash and burn.

It is clear that willpower is no match for nature; however, there are proven strategies you can easily learn that are far more effective and reliable.

Create Systems and Habits.

It is not enough to simply decide to “eat less” or “completely cut out junk food” or to just pick a new “life sucking diet” from the long list available.

You must understand exactly why you are doing this in the first place. Ask yourself:

Why did you decide to change your diet and lifestyle?
What rewards are waiting for you once you hit your goal?
Precisely how you will handle every detail of your exercise and nutrition regime?
Who will be your supporters?
How will you manage the internal and external saboteurs that lie in wait to defeat you?

If you are able to use systems that later develop into habits, you command powerful tools that replace and eventually eliminate any dependence on willpower.

Here are some examples to get you on your way. You can easily use your imagination to customize these and also design new ones to meet your needs.

1. Use a structured eating plan. If you are not completely confident that you understand what constitutes a healthy, balanced diet and that you can design a plan to consume enough calories so that you lose no more than one or two pounds a week, buy a session with a registered dietitian, health coach, or fitness trainer. This knowledge will last you a lifetime and puts you way ahead of all the other “dieters” out there.

2. Avoid Hunger. Plan what you are going to eat for the entire day in advance, three small meals and two or three decent snacks. Don’t get caught short, starving with nothing to eat. Buy a small, insulated cool-pack, stock it with snacks and always have it with you. Eat a meal or a snack every three hours at least when you start. Allow yourself one “anything I want meal” each week; enjoy two when you are on track and losing steadily. Schedule them and write it down. Don’t start with a fasting protocol such as intermittent fasting right off the bat. This is only going to keep you hungry and your body will urge you to eat until you finally cave. This can be added later down the road to boost your fat loss but not right from the start.

3. Always include some exercise. Walking is a good start; jog if you are able. Easy and simple is best at least when your starting because it builds habit and won’t be so difficult to stick too; save the tough stuff for when you are in shape and exercise is a habit. When you get to this point, for added fat loss benefits try HIIT running. Jog/run for 1 minute, walk for 2 minutes (6-8 sets). It’ll take you about 20-30 minutes but you will continue to burn fat for hours after the workout accelerating your results. Do this 3 times a week and you’ll have a solid cardio plan. Schedule your exercise in advance and log exactly what you do. Always remember, doing something is a thousand percent better than doing nothing.

4. Get a partner to join you; at the very least, show and explain your plan to someone and ask for their support. Set daily, weekly and monthly goals in writing and have your supporter hold you accountable. If you make your goal, they take you out to dinner. If you fail, you buy them dinner.

5. Create a vision. Sitting in a quiet place, relax and visualize exactly how you will look and feel and enjoy life more when you have reached your goal. Make a movie in your head; make it in color with sounds, smells and actions. Look at yourself in the movie and then write a list of ten or twelve adjectives that describe how you look and behave. Describe yourself physically, mentally, socially and spiritually. Envision and repeat: I am (your description). Do this at least three times a day and whenever you are feeling stressed, overworked, tired, angry, nervous or afraid. It sounds Woo Woo but trust and believe it does work to keep you focused and motivated towards your goals.

Strategies like this do three things for you.

They help you avoid circumstances that lead to bad lifestyle choices in the first place.

They help create an environment that is conducive to making healthy lifestyle choices a habit, simply a natural part of your routine.

They build motivation and a correct mental attitude that is the essential first step to achieving weight loss, health, and well-being.

 

When you have systems and habits working for you in place of unreliable willpower, success is much easier. A fitness plan that does not include this kind of an approach is usually doomed to failure before it begins.

5 Simple Steps to Stopping a Binge | Stop Binge Eating

When you have a negative feeling, the thought of comforting and drowning yourself in food sounds like a good idea. Your mind will be taken off of dealing with your emotions and food will heal… Well… at least for the first five minutes of a binge. After that, you will continue to eat, but not because you are hungry. You will start to notice that your original feelings of sadness or other reasons will come back, along with new feelings of guilt because you just ate so much food. Is there a way out of this crazy cycle?

Of course there is!

Here are five steps that you can start implementing into your daily life to conquer a binge.

The first step is to feel deserving of yourself. You need to feel that you are worthy enough to change your binge eating habits. Only after you do this and improve your self-esteem can you win the war over Binge Eating Disorder.

The second step is to throw out all foods in your house that you like to binge on. Remember, if the food is not readily available to you, it will be harder to binge. This also means when you go grocery shopping. When you don’t purchase foods that you binge on, it will be easier to conquer a binge while you are at home. You want to make it as hard as you can.

The third step is to buy a journal (it can be electronic as well). I like to use the Day One app in the App Store. In your journal, you are going to record all binges and what feelings were present during the binge. Record all details including the time, day, what you ate, how much you ate, and how you felt before and after the binge. Journaling is a great tool because this will provide insight to you as to why you turn to food like you do. This will help to narrow down your binges so that you will be able to see any similarities that happen when you binge.

The fourth step is to find a healthy replacement. Simply stopping a habit (especially a lifelong habit) will be difficult. Not to mention impossible unless you replace your bad habits with a healthy one. For me, when I get bored, I like to watch YouTube fitness videos or health documentaries. It’s hard for me to do something unhealthy when I am constentlt learning about health. I also make it a habit to do some calisthenics while I am watching my favorite shows. It makes it much harder to eat out of boredom if I am busy working out. The point is to occupy your time with something you like and enjoy instead of trying to fill a void with food because food can never feel that void (at least in the long term).

The fifth and final step to stopping a binge is to talk about it. Talk to a friend or anyone else that you can trust about how you are feeling. If you are upset, vent your frustrations out to them. Just having someone listen will be very helpful to you. You will feel that a weight has been lifted from you after you get everything off of your chest.

When we hold our emotions in, the emotions will continue to build up negative energy to the point that it will explode and you will give into temptations. By talking things out, you release any negative pent up energy that can fester causing you to reach for food, to numb temporarily numb your emotions. This in turn just causes more negative emotions because you beat yourself up for binging only to repeat the cycle again and again.

Are you Eating to Fill a Void?

Are you eating for emotional reasons?

Maybe you eat to celebrate a positive achievement or to punish yourself for some type of failure. Can you remember times as a child when you snuck food or sugar because you were scared, sad, or upset? If any of these sound like you, you may be eating simply to fill a void in your life. It’s easy to do, because there are so many great tasting foods but sadly some of them are actually NOT healthy for you.

Filling a Void With Comfort Foods Can Be Unhealthy and Dangerous …

 

A lot of the “comfort foods” commonly used as an emotional crutch are unhealthy, and even dangerous when taken in excess. So if you are eating for the wrong reasons, emotional, mental, or spiritual ones, you could be treating your problem with food which in turn creates even more issues in your life.

You begin to live in a dangerous cycle where you feel bad about your emotional eating habits which leads to depression and low self-esteem.  You then treat this pain by eating… again… so you stay in a never ending emotional roller coaster. In a very short period of time a healthy individual can suffer drastically and significantly, both emotionally and physically, by eating for the wrong reasons.

If you have just lost a loved one, you may turn to food to soothe your feelings. Research has shown that fat, sugar and salt make us feel good which is why most of the “comfort foods” we enjoy as a child are loaded with sugar, fat, salt, or a combination of all 3.

 

Dopamine, Endorphins and Their Effect on Emotional Eating

 

The problem arises when you gorge yourself on foods heavy in carbohydrates, starches, sugars, fats, and salt. The chemicals in those types of food naturally release endorphins and dopamine in your brain. Endorphins are a “feel good” chemical, and dopamine slowly lowers the effect of fat, sugar-filled and carb-rich foods on your brain.

This means that in order to soothe yourself, you require more of these foods to deliver the same response over time. In this way, eating to fill some void or a missing component in your life can very naturally, and very gradually, lead to obesity, health and cardiovascular problems, poor circulation and a host of physical ailments.

Coping with loss or any other major void or absence in your life is very difficult. Get help from your friends and families emotionally. Turn to a psychiatrist or food addiction specialist for more answers. The next time you feel the urge to eat, ask yourself if it is for emotional or physical reasons. Mistreating an emotional problem or void with food usually leads to poor health, as well as more physical and emotional stress.

 

Is There Hope?

 

Emotional eating effects a lot of people, including me. I never realized I had this issue until recently. It really peeks its ugly head out on weekends. I find myself in the kitchen pantry looking for something to munch on, even when I am not hungry… I get so bored sitting at home doing nothing that I just need to do something to fill the void of boredom. After I binge I end up reeling in an emotional rollercoaster of guilt because I know better, but I do it anyways.

That guilt causes me to eat even more to “feel better” which just ends up making me feel worse. Trust me when I say,  you are not alone… Over the years, I have found some tips and tricks to tame my emotional eating habits, making them much less frequent.

Now, I want to help you get your emotional eating binges under control. If you are ready to start getting your emotions in check and get your binge eating under control take my FREE Stop the Binge eCourse.

Are Carbs Your Enemy? | Find Out the Real Truth

Are Carbs Your Enemy? Find Out the Real Truth

Carbs which are short for carbohydrates have received a really bad rep. Nobody serious about losing weight is showing carbs any love. There are low carb diets, no carb diets, etc. Even celebrities have come out and said that they barely consume any carbs to maintain their slim, toned figures. So, are carbs really bad for you?

Carbs can be good and bad for you. When consumed at the right times, carbs can in fact help to boost your metabolism and help you lose more weight. They give you the energy to work out harder and carbs also make you feel better. People on low carb diets often feel sluggish and easily irritated. This is a side effect of low carb diets.

Carbs are your friend and not your enemy. You just need to know which the good carbs are and when to consume them. You’ll also need to be aware of how to combine your carbs with the other macronutrients for fat loss benefits.

First Let’s talk about the negative effects of carbohydrates.

-Carbs have a direct impact on a well-known hormone called Insulin. Carbs spike insulin levels and elevate blood sugar higher and faster than all other macronutrients (proteins and fats). In the presence of high insulin levels, it’s pretty much impossible to burn fat as fuel because your body will also burn stored glucose before it can get to the fat stores.

-Excess carb intake creates a lot of water retention (bring on the bloat), which leads to a soft look so it makes you look and feel bloated.

Now, let’s look at the positive effects.

Carbs are the purest, most natural forms of fuel, provided you eat the NATURAL carbs from sources like brown or white rice (I personally prefer white rice because brown rice tends to have anti-nutrients but that’s a story for another day), potatoes, etc. A doughnut is NOT a natural source of carbs.

Carbs help to build muscle, boost metabolism, raise thyroid output, keep leptin (your body’s #1 fat burning hormone) levels in check, improve the free testosterone to estrogen ratio for both men and women, burn more lower stomach fat and much more.

I personally practice carb cycling because I have found it helps me get a jump on fat loss by replenishing my well-spent muscles and keeping my metabolism from dropping due to calorie restriction when I am cutting.

I also find because I practice HIIT Training on a regular basis being solely low carb or kept causes my performance to suffer and me to fatigue a lot faster.

These are definitely some good reasons to keep carbs in your diet. In fact, if carbs help you lose weight faster, why would you even want to eliminate them? You just need to substitute bad carbs with good carbs in moderate amounts.

So what are good and bad carbs?

Cakes, doughnuts, white flour products and actually any processed form of carbohydrates are best avoided. Most people have difficulty doing this because of habit. They are so used to eating these comfort foods that giving them up just seems so painful. Making this crucial change to good carbs will make all the difference. Examples of good carbs would be rice, potatoes, squashes, fruits, etc. Eating these starchy carbs when prepared the correct way, will really benefit you.

Of course, there are a few more factors like combining your carbs and when to consume them. However, those are beyond the scope of this article which just aimed to show you that carbs can be good for you.

If you wish to learn more about fat loss, carb cycling, and weight lifting then tune into my YouTube Channel.