Have you ever felt frustrated in your weight loss endeavors because you already know WHAT to eat but can’t figure out WHY you’re unable to make it happen?
The advice seems simple enough: eat less junk food and more fruits & vegetables.
So why is this still a constant struggle in spite of your knowledge?
Is it because the unhealthy food is too convenient, abundant, and gob-smackingly delicious to ever choose a celery stick over it?
In other words, is it a willpower problem?
[Before I dive deeper on this subject, let’s make sure that you do know the basics of what to eat to support better health and weight loss, as it can be confusing for many with all the noise out there. Take a look at my non-dogmatic, 5 Healthy Eating Habits Guide here to ensure that box is checked.]
Now, don’t misunderstand me.
A solid grasp of which foods will rocket you toward a leaner, healthier self is VITAL.
Yet knowledge ALONE is not sufficient to achieving your weight loss goals.
It’s not even half the battle.
Hey, that’s true for everyone, so don’t feel singled out.
The reason food knowledge is NOT sufficient is because there are many other factors that contribute to weight loss success that need to be developed.
Here are some of the biggest ones:
Think back to the last time you tried to improve your diet. Was it simple because you only focused on one area? Or was it an anxiety-inducing affair because you tried to attack a multitude of areas at once (e.g. reduce alcohol, cut out sweets, eat a better breakfast, get a salad for lunch, etc.)?
Here’s the deal: your odds of success dramatically improves when you focus on just one aspect of your diet at a time, but few people approach it that way – which is why knowledge alone can’t save you.
Most folks have been taught to believe that you are either ALL IN on a diet or you failed, spunky.
This attitude helps no one.
Everyone needs the flexibility to accommodate crazy work hours, a bad day or begrudgingly attending a social event without feeling like they failed if they eat poorly.
Without that wiggle room, we’re likely to throw in the towel.
In short, the problem with an all-or-none attitude is that it usually ends up being none – even if you can rattle off the exact calorie count and micronutrients of six ounces of salmon.
While people generally need to eat the same categories of food to be leaner and healthier, HOW we do it will vary based on a person’s food preferences, lifestyle, and unique strengths and weaknesses.
For instance, I might be AMAZING at eating salads for lunch, while struggling with weekend overeating. And you may be the opposite.
So we’ll each need to experiment with different solutions that fits our uniqueness.
That takes time to learn.
When you can give yourself permission to to mess up and figure out your individual method for eating better, success becomes more likely.
Your environment includes anywhere you are on a regular basis, including work or home.
It’s essential these areas make it easier – and not more difficult – for you to eat better, at least to the extent possible.
Do you have healthy snacks in the office? At your desk? Or did co-workers convert your workspace into a pastry fest?
What’s inside your fridge at home? Do the contents make it easier or harder to eat better?
Without looking at your environment and having it support your goals, knowledge of what foods to eat will melt in the face of a candy jar in your living room.
In a way, your closest social circles can be an dimension of your environment and are hugely influential.
Can you imagine stocking the fridge with new, healthy foods that your spouse refuses to eat?
How about dining with your friends on the weekend while they have zero interest eating anywhere that offers the better food choices that you prefer?
Getting positive social support ain’t easy, but weight loss can be a losing battle if it’s not dialed in.
Your turn!! Which of these five areas do you feel you need help with? Which do you have down already?
Comment below and let me know!