One thing that most people trying to lose weight should realize that their current weight — their current lifestyle — are all products of their habits. The interesting thing about habits is that we think we’re conscious about them, but unfortunately most people really aren’t very conscious about the things that are going on in their lives. In many cases, the only notice, the most obvious things that are happening around you. Now, in terms of, like your internal processes, how you react to things, how you respond, the emotions that you associate with said certain mental images; these are all pretty much automatic.
In many cases, people aren’t really even aware of them. And this is precisely why many Americans are grappling with weight loss, with weight issues. They feel that their lives when it comes to eating and activity — physical activity levels — are pretty much said in stone. They think that’s how they respond to food is pretty much who they are. A lot of overweight people say, “Well, that’s just who I am.” You choose who you are.
Seriously, when you choose your habits and you choose your lifestyle, you can get totally different results. The reality that meditation, psychological research and sociological analysis as produced over the years again and again, is that people create their own reality that seriously. When we choose our thoughts and how we process external stimuli, we can change our external reality. Unfortunately, most people would rather like to believe that they are just helpless passengers in their lives and they’re just taking this automated trip and they are in a car called “their life.” If you feel this way, you don’t feel like you have much control of your life.
It would not be surprising that you’re having weight issues. It would not be surprising that weight loss is almost impossible. The good news is that it wants you become aware of the power of habits. A whole new world opens up to you, not only can you be able to lose weight, but you also feel better about yourself. Moreover, you will be able to take control over many different aspects of your life.
There’s no magic in this; there’s no magic pill and expensive supplement you have to buy. It all boils down to one thing and one thing alone: “consciousness.” As long as you are aware and as long as your consciousness is sharpened, there’s just so many things you can do. Remember, your mind is probably the most powerful organism in the universe. Learn how to tap the power of your mind through a proper understanding of the power of habits.
Habits Are Very Hard To Shape
The reason habits are very hard to shape is because of the fact that people are lazy; people are very scared of change. If you feel that certain things happen in the certain progression, it’s very hard to get off that chain and try something else. This is true when it comes to personal finance. This is definitely true when it comes to personal nutrition and try to lose weight. If you are overweight or obese, I’m sorry to break it to you, but you weigh the way you weigh because of your habits. If you want to change the way you look and how you feel because of how you look, you only need to change your habits. Sure, this is easier said than done, but the truth has to be said. Your physical shape is a reflection of your habits.
With that said, habits are very hard to shaped because, as mentioned above, people think that they are helpless. People think that there’s really nothing they can do because there’s this almost automatic linkage between mental impulses, a personal action and of course, of weight gain and physical appearance. There is an iron chain connection between all these different items in this sequence. You can break the sequence; you can break the chain. It all begins by focusing on the part of the chain that you can control the most. Which part is this? Your thoughts.
Habits Are Composed Of Physical Patterns and Emotional Triggers
The main reason why habits seem that they are said in stones is because when a certain emotional trigger, when we perceive certain external stimuli by habit, we respond in emotional terms. These emotional triggers then trigger a secondary wave of physical action. For example, when somebody calls you “fat”, you can either get mad and hit the gym, you can run around a block, or you can just go straight to your fridge and eat.
If you feel bad about yourself or feel somewhat depressed, you can choose to workout, read a book, or order some fried chicken. Habits are the interplay between physical actions and emotional triggers. You have to be aware of how they are linked for you to eventually control this linkage.
The Secret to Changing Habits Is To Change Emotional Payoffs
Have you ever realized when you get worried or anxious that you attempt to overeat? The reason you overeat is because there is some emotional payoff, there’s some “calming effect” when you eat. The problem with dealing with emotional triggers this way is it leads to your packing on more pounds. When you look at the mirror and you’re bigger, you feel sadder. When you feel sad, you want to eat more because it calms you. When you eat more, you get even bigger. You see how this works. It can be a downward spiral.
The secret to changing habits, then is to change the emotional payoff that you get. Instead of a feeling calmed when you eat that ice cream, focus on feeling panicked. Focus on the fact that for every extra calorie that you eat due to chocolate candy bars, ice cream, fried chicken, or burgers, it all goes to your waistline. When you do this, you change the emotional payoff. Instead of you feeling calm and reassured, you feel panicked, pain, shame, and embarrassment.
Redirecting Emotional Payoff versus Change in Emotional Payoff
There are many different ways to deal with negative habits that we have established and picked up throughout the years. Emotional eating is one such negative habit. One way to deal with that is to basically change the emotional payoff. When you hit that quart of ice cream, instead of feeling calm, soothed and reassured, you feel guilty and ashamed because you know those calories are going to end up in your thighs. That approach changes emotional payoffs.
The other approach would be to redirect emotional triggers. Instead of a feeling that when you’re stressed you need to hit the fridge to eat, you replace that with feeling in control, feeling that you can choose how you respond. In many cases, simply giving yourself the time and the space to choose your emotional response goes a long way with you questioning your habits. The moment you are able to successfully question your habits is the moment you will start making progress regarding breaking that habit. You’ll be surprised as to how many people feel that their habits are all automatic; that they are slaves to their habitual patterns. This is not true. We learned our habits and we can unlearn our habits.
The Right Habits
Obviously, if you’re reading this blog post, you probably already know what the right habits are. If you are struggling with a few extra pounds, you know exactly what the right habits are. But just to be safe, let me break it down too. The right habits that you should be establishing with your emotional triggers should be focused on lowering your calorie intake. The less calories you eat every single day, the higher the likelihood you will lose weight. Why? Your body will compensate for those lost calories by burning your stored fat.
The other approach would be to increase the calories that you burn every single day. Normally, people exercise, they walk around and move around, to increase the rate at which their body burns calories. This is the classic weight loss equation: Eat less, move around more. If you do both of these, the pace in which you burn calories increases.
The pace in which you lose weight increases.
The Right Habits Lead To Better Emotions
The good news is that if you adopt the right habits, you feel better about yourself. You feel more victorious. You feel that you’re in more control over your life. The main reason most many Americans feel bad about the state of their lives is because they feel that they’re not really in control; this leads to a higher level of frustration, depression and anxiety. This is no surprise that the number one prescribed medication in the United States for the past few decades had been anti-depressants, anti-anxiety medication, or anti-hypertensive. Bad news.
The good news is that by adopting the right habits, you can have better emotional payoffs. This leads to a feeling that you’re in control of your life. This can create an upward spiral where you engage in positive habits to get the emotional payoff, which then encourages you to engage in more physical habits. At the end of the day, you look better; feel better about yourself; and you’re healthy on overall.