These five habits lost me 20 lbs forever they are tiny or Atomic habits taking 2 minutes tops and yet just like a plane being 1° off means Landing in Washington DC instead of New York these 2 minutes meant the difference between 10 years of yo-yoing the same pounds over and over again versus losing weight once and for all they ended my unhealthy Habits Like.
Snacking throughout the day ordering takeout for dinner instead of cooking putting off exercise over and over again being good all week than losing all control on the weekend then feeling scared to weigh myself so I fall off the wagon for weeks and months these five habits are how I applied the principles from The New York Times bestselling book.
Atomic Habits by James Clear who uses scientific evidence from Psychology and Neuroscience to show how to break bad habits and form good ones what is normal is it normal to lose only half a pound a week to lose none or even gain some for weeks while doing everything right do I have to give up pizza and pasta though if I ovate yesterday should I undereat.
Today these questions plagued me I didn't want to waste time and effort on the wrong things I wanted to get to my goal and put weight loss behind me as soon as possible this is what James Clear calls goal-based thinking there are two problems with it one goals are at odds with long-term progress after I lose the weight I have to keep it off.
Forever and yet because I was so focused on the number on the scale I'd often make choices that I knew I wouldn't be able to keep doing forever like cutting out all carbs even though I know deep down I can't say no to rice or pizza forever the second flaw is that goals restrict happiness cutting carbs not only isn't sustainable for me it also.
Makes my present life hell it's a gigantic wrecking ball smashing into my social life and vacation eating I'd soothe myself with well by the time I get to my goal I'm sure I'll get used to this but I never lasted long enough because the day-to-day was a battlefield of sacrifices James's antidote to this is best described by the metaphor he.
Uses of a stone cutter as a stone cutter hammers away at a rock there are hundreds of blows that result in no visible change and yet on the 500 Blow The Rock cracks it's not the 500 blow that caused the rock to crack it's all the blows that came before it but the stone cutter wouldn't have had the stamina to make 500 blows if he was.
Using an axe that was too heavy for him similarly the habits I choose to lose weight have to be at a level of effort that I can do repeatedly every day that wasn't cutting out all carbs for me so what is it the answer lies in james' Mantra of 1% better every day the math is compelling if you get 1% better daily you end up 37 times better in a year.
Tiny or Atomic habits remarkable results the equivalent to this for weight loss is a simple rule eat one less junk or sweet every day cut one soda and replace it with one glass of water cut one meal out at a restaurant and replace it with one homemade meal or a frozen meal cut one slice of pizza and replace it with one cup of greens that that's it do this.
Every single day until your weight loss gets stuck you'll be surprised how far you can get before getting stuck and when you do then it's time to make it one less again sounds too easy right but is it I too would start off drinking one less soda or eating one less pizza slice and then inevitably a day would come along where I felt I deserve the extra.
Slice and soda or I would bring a bag of chips to my desk while working on a project and then realize 20 minutes later that I finished the entire bag why does this happen James explains our craving is not for the Habit which is eating food but instead we're craving a change in our emotional state let's rewind back to stressful work days after.
Which I came home I do different random things and let's say one of these stressful days I happen to sit down to watch TV and eat some pizza suddenly I feel less stressed my brain registers this as a reward and spikes dopamine like a bookmark saying remember this action it feels good another stressful day happens and I decide to do the same.
Thing another dopamine Spike to catalog it as more evidence evidence of this being satisfying eventually I start associating coming home with watching TV and eating pizza the stress part doesn't matter anymore same happens when I mindlessly eat while working in my past I found relief from boredom while working and now my brain jumps to eating.
While working regardless of whether I'm bored or not this is the power of habits they're automatic actions that take zero effort but this is also the danger of habits they are automatic so we don't even realize why we're doing what we're doing how can we change something that's impos put into our brains James suggests adopting an idea from the Japanese.
Railway crew Japan has one of the best strain systems in the world and it's thanks to their conductor's peculiar habit of pointing at different objects and calling them out like pointing at the signal and saying out loud signal is green pointing at the speedometer and saying speed is 300 kmph as a result nothing is overlooked just because it's.
Routine they make 85% less errors and experien 30% less accidents because of this point and call system for weight loss the system is simple that when you're about to eat or drink anything say out loud I'm about to eat or drink food out of hunger or craving for example I'm about to eat lasagna out of hunger I'm about to eat chips out of.
Craving now I'll admit I didn't do the calling part out loud I just said it in my head but it worked while eating out of Cravings didn't drop to zero it reduced drastically because it made me aware of just how many times I was eating out of Cravings in a day after imp imp menting the PO and call system for 3 months the ratio reversed but this.
Didn't take care of the times I did eat out of Cravings or went to parties and restaurants I still had the habit of eating out daily at the time and even with the one last daily approach I would get stuck in my weight loss quicker than I wanted because so many of my habits were working against weight loss to combat this I could level up the one.
Less daily to cut out one more restaurant meal but I felt that would make my metaphorical axe too heavy too soon I really enjoyed eating out with friends it was the time for connection and I was nowhere near a good cook so it provided some much needed fun and Novelty to my meals or even with Cravings at home or work it was.
Difficult to cut it out entirely because enjoyed the occasional Pizza of a TV there was nothing quite as relaxing James goes through pages describing how there are entire armies of food scientists whose whole job is to discover how to push our primordial instinctive brains into a frenzy a mix of salt fat and sugar does exactly that.
There's literally nothing in nature that wraps all three crank to the m into one food except for maybe breast milk there is also nothing in nature that has the maximum contrast of crunchy exterior and soft creamy interior like french fries or Oreos most Foods in nature are evenly textured which is why we don't enjoy the 17th bite of spinach like we do with.
French fries combine all of this pleasure B ass salt and it's no wonder We Can't Stop craving or eating as much of these packaged and restaurant foods like we want the antidote here is twofold I'll cover the second one in the fourth Atomic cabit but the first is to to combine what I want to do eat my crave food with what I need to do eat.
Whole Foods James calls this temptation bundling when I went to a restaurant I'd order the starter salad first and only after having eaten that I'd order my entree unsurprisingly the salad would fill me up and my brain would calm down from I have to eat everything to I like this but let's be reasonable if my point and call was I'm about to eat chips out.
Of Cravings that would be the reminder to First eat one fist-sized vegetable like a cup of carrots and then eat chips but if you're like me you know this isn't a foolproof plan I could eat the cup of carrots and then proceed to eat the entire bag of chips anyway thanks to the aforementioned food scientists to borrow the Lays ad.
Jingle except this is not just for chips but for all habits that are encoded in our brains think about it I start watching a movie and 15 minutes in I realize it's not as good as I expected but I finish watching the entire movie anyway once I've started it or I start eating pizza while watching the movie and even though I was full a slice ago I.
Keep eating anyway this was because habits are the on-ramp to the highway of actions we automatically do once we're on it the onramp or as James calls it decisive moments was picking the movie once I got onto the highway I couldn't stop until I finished it same goes for pizza the decisive moment was picking Pizza as the snack while watching the.
Movie each decisive moment Narrows down my path further and further to where either a damn proud of or a damn disappointed so the second antidote when eating out of Cravings is to upfront decide what choice to make in those decisive moments I had three decisive moments pre-planned at all times first if I was eating a crave food at home I.
Would only eat in a specific Bowl I kept for that purpose so the order of events went I point and call I'm about to eat chips out of Cravings I do Temptation bundling first which is grab my small bowl and fill it with carrots after I'm done with the carrots I decide if I'm still craving chips half the time I wasn't anymore but if I was I'd fill it.
With chips and then once the bowl is empty I don't add more chips going back to how our brains start associating the queue with reward I realized that just the act of me swallowing was sufficient to make my brain feel like I was still eating chips so if after chips are done and I still feel a craving I drink water this minimized the damage my Cravings.
Did to my weight loss so much so that I didn't have to level up one less daily for months longer than I would have without them second pre-planned decisive moment was for restaurants I'd order my starter salad and then when I order my entree I'd also tell the waiter to pack half my meal if I didn't do this I'd on wrap into finishing my entire entree.
Until I felt like I needed a nap but if I leveraged the decisive moment correctly I need have my entree feel satisfied and come away without having overeen third pre-planned decisive moment was after work I realized that once I shut down my computer if I put on my jacket to go for a walk I'd end up feeling way more relaxed and not craving.
Pizza and tv but if I didn't put on my jacket I'd crash on the couch for TV and pizza so I always had my jacket with keys cards and phone ready on the doorknob of my office while my time between plateus extended I still found them getting more frequent the leaner I got I tried reminding myself of systems space thinking I tell myself I know if I.
Keep doing one less daily point and call Temptation bungling and stick to my pre-planned decisive moments the weight will come off but it's hard to blindly follow this for months with no weight loss because inevitably my mind would start whispering did you pick the right decisive does on less daily not work anymore.
James's antidote to this is to make the response the reward his favorite being the satisfaction of checking off a habit each day being the reward this didn't solve my double guessing though since James gives no answers to this here's my take expand what counts as success to actions like James says but also to a holistic measure of outcomes for me this.
Was not only tracking weight loss but also fat versus lean mass loss this was a GameChanger because 90% of the weeks where I saw little to no weight loss I saw fat loss and or lean mass gain I would have never known this if I hadn't broadened what counts a success another measure of success was time to recovery meaning instead of tracking how long I.
Was on the wagon I tracked how long I stayed off the wagon when I fell and my goal was to keep shortening this time to recovery because successful people don't fall off the wagon less they fall off just as much but they have shorter times to recovery there are actually three category of measures you want to track this is why you don't want to ignore.
This video where I describe the three categories unless all three categories are progressing in lock step with each other it's impossible for anyone to keep their lost weight off forever so you don't want to miss the complete step-by-step breakdown here and always remember you can do it