Nobody knows how many diet books are in circulation, its in the thousands , people buy them clinging to the hope that some where between the covers all the answers to " weight loss " or indeed " gain" can be found . Its a huge industry , each author tells you to follow this plan, this advice, but if they all held the answer then we would in theory only need one book, they come and go in trends ( just one feature on the Ophray Winfrey Show was enough to sell thousands of copies)....low carb, high fat, south beach, atkins ... but successful body transformation is not as easy as people are lead to believe.As John Berardi put it nicely in his Precision Nutrition manual " how often does merely reading a book cause someone to change the habits of a lifetime' . When you think about it these cooker cutter books obviously cannot work for every ready, its way more personal than that.
He continues to suggest people need action based strategies and that book reading is intact just that, " passive", this is based on the premise that to change body composition is as much about re wiring the brain as it is changing your diet.
Indeed in her new book " The Weight Loss Prescription " Dr Ali Zentner suggests " lets face it , diets don't work... they are only for a fixed period of time...they offer a beginning a middle and an end" In contrast " lifestyle changes offer a completely different mindset and a way of doing things"
Indeed all diets restrict calories, its a way of making results ( and book sales) possible.
Even if you find the knowledge you want in a book and you know exactly what to do you will not achieve them unless you turn what you know into action. Not doing anything is the biggest hurdle to change! People it appears are good at seeking knowledge but poor at applying it.
Dr Berardi suggests 10 tips towards achieving success, at the moment I am being coached through the same system and its pretty powerful. I like these and see this with nearly everybody who is in a body change situation.
1. "Maybe You don't know"
I like this one the most. Imagine the conversation between a doctor and a patient : " you need to lose weight and exercise more" In reply the patent nods their head "I know I know" The patient has probably heard it may times, but even though they think they know maybe they just don't and use the " I know" as a standard reply as a mental shortcut to shut off the brains. Do you really know something unless you have actually done it ?
2. Match behaviour and goals.
Stuff doesn't happen just because we want it too, it only comes to us when we engage in the right behaviours, if the goal is big the behaviour should match the goal.
3. During the course of any change programme there will be peaks and valleys
Stuff comes along that throws you off the path you want to travel on, it happens to everyone, you can't be full on all the time.
4.Start small and slow.
Too much change too quickly can be overwhelming and self defeating, however as with tip 2, if the goals are big small change will result in small not big results
5.Start basic, then individualize to suit your needs
6.If you have specific goals measure them..
This can be done in many ways but at least you know where you are at and how its all going!
7.Measurement and Expectations
Progress can be hard to see on a regular basis, plateau`s can happen frequently, stagnation can occur...if you stick to it change will happen sooner or later , don't be discouraged
8.Dont live and die by numbers.
Dont relate happiness to a number( good or bad ) on the scale..this isn't just about numbers but about health, longevity, energy levels, sleep quality etc..
9. Reasonable progress
Understand reasonable progress, celebrate small daily " wins' and don't get impatient if you aren't loosing 3% body far each month..
10.Maintain your rate of progress
Quick progress cannot be maintained indefinitely ,as you get leaner for example you body will fight to retain fat, around this time you may have to start tweaking what you are doing to get the body to change its response to stimulus.
Part 2 where we look at habits will be coming shortly...