It’s your day-to-day activities, the mundane of your every day life, that determines your weight, your happiness, your wealth, and your health.
As such, “ruts”, or patterns of behavior, are what define who you are.
In other words, who you are is formed through practice and this is where great change can occur.
Consider the following – it is often said the 99% of people who lose weight gain it all back.
This statement is refers to people who lose weight in research studies, then after the study is complete, even with counseling and outreach services, these people tend to slowly gain most (but usually not all) of their weight back.
Why??? Because they didn’t really change their day-to-day practices, they just passed on the responsibility to someone else, in this case the people in charge of the study. When the study was over, they regressed back to their typical lives, with their typical day-to-day practice.
It is your daily, habitual physical AND mental habits that are most important, not the time spent in the gym (which, even if you work out for an hour a day every day, is only 5% of your week).
This is why long term weight loss is difficult. If you’re heavier than you want to be, if you’ve had trouble losing weight in the past, then I’m not just asking you to workout, or even to start fasting one or twice per week, I’m asking you to slowly, purposefully start to change your day-to-day life.
…And this is an extremely difficult thing to do.
If I can make a suggestion it would be to start with your sleep habits – which have a profound effect on your happiness, hunger, ability to lose weight, and even your ability to build muscle. Making sure you have a consistent and proper bedtime is about as mundane as it can get, yet is the perfect example of how the mundane aspects of your life are what truly guides you towards change.
Next, whenever possible have some sort of way to regulate how much you eat in a day. For many people simply saying that you don’t eat after a certain time (let’s say 8 or 10 pm), goes a long way to slow or prevent weight gain. You won’t be able to do this all the time, but what counts is the times you can do this. Get a sense for what is “enough” food. Enough in a meal, enough in a day. Know what it feels like, then stick to this as a point to stop eating. We have no real boundaries to how much or how often we eat in a day, so any boundaries have to be self-imposed, and they must be part of our everyday living.
Finally, pay attention to self-defeating choices you make in your day-to-day life, and try your best to figure out the motivation behind these choices. Why do you do what you do?
To sum it all up while losing weight over the short-term takes a temporary departure from how you normally live your life, keeping the weight off means changing how you normally live your life.