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Why Dieting Doesn’t Work and What to do Instead

In case you missed it, I wanted to write to you about something I talked about recently in a video in my Inner Fire Facebook group. So, as I do most days of the week, I started off one of my mornings last week with a motivational YouTube to listen to while I was getting ready. This day it happened to be a Tony Robbins video. He did a demonstration that made me think of all of my clients and community—which is YOU—So, I thought I’d share! Okay, try this… Bring your arms out to your sides (like a “T”) with your fingers spread apart, and then clasp them together straight in front of you. Repeat this 3x, but hold your hands in front of you on the last time. Make note of which thumb is crossed over on top. Now bring your arms out again and try to clasp together with the opposite thumb on top. You had to stop and think about it, right? This task is like changing a habit. Habits are the actions we take automatically without any thought, and when we start a new one, we have to stop and think about it before it becomes second nature. We all have good habits that serve us and bad habits that don’t. But, in regards to implementing habits that allow us to achieve long-term weight/fat loss, it comes down to 5 actions: 1. Finding and eating healthy foods that are both simple to make and that you enjoy. 2. Doing physical exercise and movement that you (at least) somewhat like and that fits into your busy schedule (I mean who ISN’T busy these days??). 3. Changing your mindset and focus. 4. Reducing your stress. 5. Managing your sleep. Which one of those five things (that I happen to call the “Healthy Five”) do you think will make the biggest impact on the success of your long-term weight loss? I believe it is “habit 3”: changing your focus and mindset. Without shifting your attitude and changing your energy and excitement towards getting healthy and fit, it will never stick, and let me tell you why. Think of the many people (approximately 45 million annually in the US) that start a diet. They excitedly revamp their entire nutrition at once and then all of a sudden the hunger sets in and it’s not as fun as they thought. Their focus becomes that they don’t like what they are eating, they are mad that they even “have” to be on the stupid diet and instead decide to go back the thinking that it’s easier to be overweight and eat whatever they want. But, they still are unhappy with how they look and feel. Can I tell you how sad this makes me?? Ugh! But, it’s not their entire fault. Diets set you up to fail. Dieting, by definition is a short-term food plan that involves restricting oneself to small amounts or special kinds of food in order to lose weight. I’m sure you’ve seen the staggering dieting statistic that 95% of dieters will regain the weight they lose within one-three years. Well, considering how motivating that stat is, what do you do?? Um…hello… STOP DIETING!! If you are truly ready to change, and I mean you are at a place where you are sick of squeezing into your clothes, the mirror is not your friend, you feel crappy more than happy and you are just DONE feeling like that…. It is your time to shine for YOU!! Your overall goal should be to implement healthy habits a little bit at a time AND enjoy the journey! However, transformation and change happens from the inside out. So, first on the list is changing your mindset and focus. Start here: 1. Reconsider your Goals. So many people only focus on the scale and end results. Now this definitely plays a part in measuring progress, etc. but instead try to shift your goals to implementing one new healthy habit into your life. It might be to drink more water, increase your protein or get more sleep. Just make tomorrow better than today until it becomes automatic. You don’t have control over what the scale says due to water weight and other variables, but you do have control of your actions working on a habit. 2. Keep Good Company and Positive Vibes. Negative images and people can drain your energy and even change your mood. For example, it is not the best idea to be eating lunch with co-workers who give you a hard time for ordering a side of veggies instead of fries at lunch.

  • Start each day with a few minutes of positive affirmations/thinking.

  • Limit time with negative people in your life.

  • Post some positive quotes where you see them most. Try some in your office or in the background of your phone.

  • End each day with gratitude.

3. Treat Yourself Like a Friend. Why do so many of us treat our friends and family better than ourselves? Celebrate your achievements (however big or small), and don’t beat yourself up when things aren't moving as fast you wish. Enjoy the journey and process of getting healthier, and be kind to yourself in anyway you can. You deserve it! Let’s get fired UPP, Nat P.S. To help you get started on a step-by-step journey to find the best version of yourself, check out my guided, self-paced online coaching program, Fit, Fueled and Fired Upp (formerly a group program). This 12-week Healthy Lifestyle Blueprint shows you exactly how to implement healthy habits that will stick. It includes Nutrition Tips and Guides, Quick Home Workouts, Meal Ideas, Accountability and much more!

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