Setting The Scene
So let me guess.. over the course of 2 months, you lost about 12 kgs and you can fit into the jeans you bought 10 years ago when you were out shopping with your ex-girlfriend. Your colleagues at work noticed the difference and are saying how you are looking awesome. They ask you how you did it. You say it’s a lot of hard work in the gym. But you also mentioned this intense diet you have been doing the past 2 months where you can only start eating at 12 pm and completely stop at 8 pm. Your colleagues know what you are talking about. “IF, that’s what Jerome is on as well, he lost a lot of weight”
The group of boys nods in agreement…
It’s crazy to me how in 2023, there are still people engaging in some form of fad like intermittent fasting; also appearing in other guises like keto, veganism, paleo, and the infamous juice detox as popularized by countless “fitness influencers” on social media platforms.
“When you do something extreme, expect extreme results”
When you stop eating carbohydrates (taking out an entire food group) or start to only drink liquids, believe it or not, you’re bound to see something extreme happen.
If you didn’t already know, these fads work only because you end up in a caloric deficit because of such an extreme measure taken. And if you eat less than what you burn, you have to tap into your body fat storage. Think of it like you’re spending more than what you earn — you have to tap into your savings.
As a Personal Trainer, a common theme I hear in most consults is that they’ve done a fad before, and in such cases, without fail, has been always followed up with the word “rebounded”. And that’s my fucking worry.
So the question I would like to ask you, my fellow friend… Is whatever you are doing now to achieve your fitness goal sustainable?
Creature of Habit
As an ex-physicist, I would like to humbly quote Lenz Law.
The current induced in a circuit due to a CHANGE in a magnetic field is directed to OPPOSE the change in flux and to exert a mechanical force which opposes the motion
What Emil Lenz discovered also applies to human psychology. The change we introduce to our body will experience an opposing change. Can you imagine what an extreme change would do?
Change in some societies has led to genocides. And for the average person like you and me, if we are being truthful to ourselves, we are highly resistant to change — even if our intentions bold well. We need something smaller than change. We need something so small and infinitesimal that we could trick our body into doing so and not subconsciously complain about it to you. We need an atomic habit.
What is a habit you can build that is almost effortless but drives you toward what you want to achieve? To give you some hints…
Example 1: I want to lead a healthy lifestyle and look better in my clothing.
Habit 1: I will purchase a water bottle and carry it with me whenever I eat a meal daily.
Example 2: I want to be wealthy by age 40.
Habit 2: I will start managing my income and expenses daily.
Example 3: I want to be a people person.
Habit 3: I will start by asking the people around me “How’s your day?”.
The point is this. If you are eating like crap every day, start by eating one less crap a day, swap out for one a healthier meal, or simply just start by giving out your stash of tidbits. Your physique is the result of the lifestyle you lead. And your lifestyle is the summation of the little habits you’ve built and do daily.
If you want to make a change that sticks, START SMALL.