Anytime one does something long enough patterns develop. Over the years I’ve helped hundreds of people to lose fat. To be sure there have been some that haven’t succeeded, and in that time I’ve come to distinguish a few patterns among them.
1. Those that “get it” pretty quickly and start to immediately adjust their eating and lifestyle habits.
2. Those that take some time, perhaps 3-9 months, before it sinks in that changes in eating and exercise are not temporary, but have to be sustainable, lifelong changes.
3. Those that for a variety of reasons aren’t yet willing to face those changes and who stop training. That’s not to say those individuals didn’t start back up later and succeed.
One of our members has recently faced the fact that unhealthy eating patterns had crept back into daily life, and wrote the following:
Watching ‘Super Size Me’ the 2nd time. The first time I saw it I actually ate fast and greasy food a few times a week. Now I eat Fast food every once in a while and it is still too much. Changing habits over time is hard but rewarding.
When I was really poor I used to pride myself in finding the best caloric value for the dollar. The dollar meal always won over a salad. I didn’t realize saving a buck then would cost me so dearly when I got older not only financially but also with a poorer quality of life. Thankfully it is never too late to turn it around.
This person is correct that it isn’t too late, no matter how many times one has tried and failed to make lasting changes. Provided of course, that we are armed with good information and an effective strategy to deal with the many hurdles we all face when making altering our lives.
Dr. Mark Hyman M.D. has a new book titled “The B lood Sugar Solution”, and though I haven’t read it yet in this excellent interview he made some profound statements regarding the ways in which the medical community has not been trained to deal with helping patients recognize and deal with eating and lifestyle issues at the heart of obesity, diabetes, and other chronic diseases. Dr Hyman has a series of video blogs worth checking out at Huffington Post.
His primary point is that obesity, type II diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic diseases are essentially a lifestyle issues which can be helped greatly or completely reversed by changing our eating habits.
According to Dr. Hyman much of the problem has to do with the enormous quantity of processed sugar and flour, citing that the average American eats 150 lbs of sugar per year.
So while you might not consume nearly that amount it is an eye opener to track what you eat for a week and see just how much you do take in, which is why a fundamental part of my coaching is encouraging students to become aware of exactly what they are putting in their bodies. Only from the point of awareness and recognition can the willingness to change come.
Once we are aware of what needs to change then it is time to develop strategies to instill positive eating habits. But these strategies may be different for each person, which is why diets always fail in the end while incremental changes succeed.
So take a week to write down what you eat, then identify possible roadblocks to better health and look to make small changes one at a time as they become habit. Creating stability in blood sugar (insulin) levels is for many going to be a giant piece of the puzzle.