Want to know the number 1 indicator that someone who is struggling to lose weight and keep it off will continue to do so?
Ironically, it has absolutely nothing to do with the foods they eat, the training they do, or how active they are.
There’s one single thing that’s an even better predictor of success or failure when it comes to achieving your goals, and keeping them.
Think of it like the marshmallow test, but for nutrition and fitness.
Delayed gratification and success – are they connected?
The marshmallow study was done in Stanford to show a correlation between delayed gratification and success in all areas of life.
Kids that turned down 1 marshmallow with the promise of getting more marshmallows at a later date ended up being more successful in a number of ways.
Try it out on your kids and see if they need a little nudge in the delayed gratification department. 😉
Anyway, we have a similar litmus test in the nutrition world which is a dead give away for weight maintenance issues.
If you’re struggling to lose weight, think about these questions:
Is a diet something you’re on or off?
Is food good or bad?
If yes … you fall into the camp that has an increased probability of struggling with maintaining your weight loss goals.
I didn’t make the rules. I just report psychology research.
But, it makes perfect sense if you think about it.
Common traits in people who AREN’T struggling to lose weight
There have been a number of research studies to try to pinpoint the commonalities amongst the 5%ers.
The 5%ers are the people who have successfully lost weight and kept it off for more than 3 years.
Researchers thought there must be some common way that they’re eating so we can start to educate on “the best diet.”
Only … it didn’t exist.
Some of them eat high carb, some eat low carb, some eat meat, and some of them don’t. Some of them eat several meals per day while some of them eat fewer meals per day.
Shocking, I know. It’s almost like personal preference matters.
Anyway, the one common trait when it comes to their nutritional habits is this …
They don’t view what they’re doing as something they are on or off.
They don’t view their food choices as good or bad.
They simply eat in a way that supports their healthy lifestyle.
Yes, they prioritize quality foods but they also have flexibility and don’t feel guilt or shame about eating cookies, ice cream, or cake when they want it.
Because no food is off limits.
How do YOU define your diet?
When you think about dieting, you probably think about all the things you’re not able to do.
You probably think of a whole “can’t do” list.
Which inevitably makes your diet a ticking time bomb.
Have you ever considered that your diet is simply, by definition, the foods and drinks you consume?
Which means you should probably include ALL of the foods and drinks you enjoy.
Alcohol, ice cream, cookies, fries, sushi, burgers, and pizza are all important parts of my diet.
I’m never “on a diet.”
However, I do go through phases where I lean heavier towards being more intentional and specific for the pursuit of a goal.
And, I also go through phases where I lean heavier towards being more flexible and knowing that my body composition is not going to be at its best.
Which is ok.
I’ll take that trade off when it feels appropriate.
The key difference is that the foods in my life are the foods in my life at all times.
I eat mostly whole, quality foods.
Lots of veggies, lots of fruit, lots of protein, lots of rice and potatoes, lots of eggs, fish, meat, and dark chocolate.
I also have a drink or two each week, go out to eat or order in each week, get ice cream when I want it, etc.
Now … I never have to “turn it on or off.”
I simply turn the dial more in one direction or the other.
It’s like trying to find the perfect water temperature.
Are you ready to stop struggling to lose weight … for GOOD?
Most people go with freezing cold and then turn the dial to piping hot.
Back and forth they go.
We call that all or nothing dieting or being “on or off.”
Again, that’s the number one predictor for struggle.
Why not take the time to establish quality habits and a strong foundation so the water temperature stays consistent?
Then … when you really want to pursue a specific goal, it’s a simple turn of the dial slightly in one direction.
When I want to get leaner, I simply order in less frequently, drink a little bit less, and put more emphasis on the quality foods that I enjoy.
I don’t stop eating ice cream or pizza.
It’s just a little less frequent.
When I want to enjoy more flexibility and don’t care as much about being super lean …
I do those things more frequently.
The problem is that we’ve been conditioned to view our diets as something we’re “on or off.”
We’ve been conditioned to live in that all or nothing cycle.
If you stay in that cycle, you’ll pump plenty of money into the diet marketing machine.
Because the more times you visit fuck-it-ville, the more you’ll want to do extreme shit and will sign up for the next diet craze that hits your town.
So, what do you do with this information?
Well, my suggestion is to gradually modify your behavior to establish some strong habits around nutrition that includes mostly quality foods with the amount of flexibility that works well for you.
I know, super boring.
But, also really effective.
I mean, you can keep playing the all or nothing game and hope it works out for you.
Personally, I like to keep probability on my side.
Hopefully this perspective makes you do a little introspective thinking.
More importantly, hopefully this perspective prompts you to take action.
Because nothing will ever accomplish more goals than simply doing.
In the meantime, I would suggest you join our FB group if you want some additional resources on how to make this happen.