One of the hardest things you’ll ever attempt in your life is weight loss. But in reality, it’s change that you’re trying to accomplish, and change can be hard – really hard. If there was a way you could take a more hands-off approach to weight loss, wouldn’t you do it? Well, there is. The following ideas will help you put your weight loss efforts into the back of your mind so that you can focus on living your life to the fullest.
Don’t Try to Lose Weight – At All
The easiest way to put your weight loss efforts on autopilot? Stop trying to lose weight in the first place! You must think I’m crazy, but let’s not forget that weight loss/gain is a symptom of your current lifestyle. Wouldn’t it make more sense to focus on the core problem instead?
Your body, mind, and health are the sum of your daily habits. Focus your efforts on making healthier choices in all aspects of your life, and you will continue to make progress towards your ultimate goal of healthy and fit. Once you make the shift from trying to lose weight to being healthy, you’ll notice a sense of freedom from the shackles of weight management.
End the Calorie Counting
But isn’t weight loss all about calories in vs calories out? Yes, energy balance is the determining factor when it comes to weight loss. However, there are round-about ways to control your calories without counting them. Controlling portion sizes and eating quality foods are two of the easiest ways to accomplish this.
Try to focus your efforts on simply making good food choices. Each time you decide to eat something, simply ask yourself if what you’re eating is “healthy or not”. If it’s healthy, eat it up!
Your body has a great built in system for regulating the amount of whole foods you eat. Feed your body processed foods, and it doesn’t know what to do with them. The lack of nutrients and the foreign chemicals cause confusion that result in overeating.
Is there a place for calorie counting? Absolutely, but you might as well not add more work to your weight loss efforts than is necessary. Change the quality of your food first, and if necessary you can start manipulating calories. You’ll soon realize that portion control and food quality are the dynamic duo that positively affect body composition.
Break Out of the Day-to-Day Grind
When people decide to lose weight, thoughts of what to eat, when to eat, what to do for a workout, how much to eat, is this working, and self-doubt start to consume your mind. If left unchecked, those thoughts can quickly turn fitness from a passion into an unhealthy obsession.
If you think all day long about weight loss, other aspects of your life aren’t going to get the attention they deserve. You need to leverage your time and especially your thoughts so that your fitness can happen in the background while you live your life.
At the beginning of your weight loss journey you will need to direct much of your energy into changing your daily habits. Changing habits that have been engrained in your mind for a lifetime is hard work, and a constant awareness and emphasis will need to be concentrated on doing that.
However, as time goes on, you will inevitably need to start shifting your time horizon. Once you really let it sink in that weight management is a rest-of-your-life activity, you can stop gripping so tightly to the day-to-day cause and effect of your lifestyle choices. Your lifestyle is either being run well or it’s not.
Looking at your lifestyle over periods of weeks or even months will really help make the time fly. Right now you’re taking it a day at a time, but eventually you’ll start stringing days together until they become weeks. Those weeks then become months. Once you’ve made it that far, you’ve successfully put your fitness on autopilot.
Don’t Force Your Workouts
For the most part I love to exercise, but that doesn’t mean my life hasn’t been filled with periods where I just didn’t want to lift weights. Motivation is a tricky thing, and willpower can be used up quickly. The key then is to find physical activity you enjoy doing, and then find creative ways to make that activity harder and more intense.
If you dread having to wake up and work out, or just plain hate what you do, you’re never going to make the exercise habit stick for the rest of your life. Instead, think long and hard about the activities you do enjoy doing, and then go out and get active. Some of my best workout weeks were periods that I didn’t dedicate time to exercise at all.
During these weeks maybe I was building a shed or hauling around dirt and heavy stones to build a flowerbed. Not only did I get in a great functional workout, but it never even felt like I was exercising.
Plus, I got the added bonuses of a sense of accomplishment and beautification of my property. The strenuous exercise was a side effect of the activity I enjoyed doing. Find exercise you enjoy doing, and you’ll never work out a day in your life.