IF you’ve ever tried to lose weight, you know it’s a head-over-matter situation.
Staying motivated to stay on track is often the hardest part of the journey.
It kicks off with a weekend of indulgences and before you know it you’re back to your old ways with no spark to get back on the wagon.
Graeme Tomlinson, known as The Fitness Chef, shares some strategies to help you stay in shape in his new book Lose Weight Without Losing Your Mind.
His approach to weight loss is to learn new, healthy habits that he can stick to long-term while avoiding crash dieting at all costs.
But as we all know, change takes time.
Here’s how Graeme advises addressing these mental disorders:
THE RED POINT
The “Red Dot” method is a way to refocus the mind.
Graeme says it borrowed from classical conditioning first developed by Ivan Pavlov, a Russian physiologist.
Graeme says: “Before the 2010 British Open, South African golfer Louis Oosthuizen couldn’t concentrate before every shot.
“To help him focus again, he used something called the ‘anchoring’ technique.”
Here’s how it would work:
- Think of a time when you played a brilliant round of golf
- How did you feel playing this round?
- how was your mood
- What was the focus?
- Give color to this state of peak performance
- Put a dot of that color on your golf glove
- Before each shot, look to the point and use it to focus on what you need to do
“For Oosthuizen, the color of the point was red. He looked at it before every pitch at the British Open and he won.”
What does golf have to do with losing weight?
Graeme says, “The above seven steps seem like a lot to take in mentally before every golf swing or meal you hit.
“But even if you consider one or two of the points each time, it can help refocus your focus and improve the quality of your decisions.”
“Your anchor doesn’t have to be a red dot, but something you see every day can help you remember why you’re trying to make changes in your life and what you need to do to achieve them.”
ONE PER CENTERS
Graeme says that long-term change isn’t rooted in willpower, but in slowly changing your habits in achievable increments.
He calls these “one per center”.
Graeme says, “For fat loss, sustainability isn’t about having willpower, it’s about finding ways to make it easier to make it work.
“In a cheese sandwich, replacing 100g regular cheddar cheese with 100g 50% reduced-fat cheddar saves 167 calories.
“Let’s say you like cheese sandwiches so much that you eat 100 of them every year.
“By switching to the lower-calorie cheddar, you would save 16,700 calories, which is 4.5 pounds of body fat.
“That’s a third of a stone, or about 2kg of body fat, lost by eating the same portion of virtually the same food.
“The secret to getting lasting results is to never stop making continuous improvements of one percent and combining those tiny advances over time.”
We’ve all tried to cling to a new habit only to watch it slowly go down the drain after a few days, whether it’s 10 minutes of daily meditation or a glass of water when you wake up.
Graeme has a trick to help, from James Clear’s bestseller Atomic Habits.
It’s called habit stacking and is quickly becoming a strategy for creating and maintaining new healthy habits.
The idea is to introduce new habits by stacking them on top of something already ingrained in your routine.
Graeme says, “When you attach something new to something you’re already familiar with, you’re more likely to stick with and benefit from the new habit.
“Stacking a new behavior and pairing it with an existing one means you don’t have to put as much effort into implementing the new behavior.
“When a habit is already ingrained, it’s the perfect place to start stacking a new habit that you want to make permanent.”
For example, if your goal is to drink more water, you could drink a tall glass after brushing your teeth—something you (hopefully) make a point of doing every morning and night.
If you plan on going to the gym more, you can tell yourself to put on your workout clothes as soon as you take off your work shoes.
This will encourage you to get out of the house and hit the gym.
Excerpt from The Fitness Chef: Lose Weight Without Losing Your Mind by Graeme Tomlinson (Ebury Press, £16.99).
https://www.the-sun.com/health/5290006/simple-brain-hacks-help-stick-to-weight-loss/ I’m the fitness boss and here are simple brain hacks to help you stick to your weight loss plan