Oh hello :) Today I am going to drop some very important knowledge on you.
Brace yourself, it is a doozy. But it is the single most important distinction you need to learn if you want to change your life and your health.
Overall health and a balanced relationship with food, no matter who you are or how old you are, is about consistency not intensity.
Dieting is a temporary way of eating that we enter into with intensity and a grandiose sense of will power. I will eat this way for 30 days, slim down and shortcut my way to the body of my dreams.
We tell ourselves we will exhibit massive amounts of control and resist all the carbs and cookies and french fries and just do it.
We hate our bodies and need to get results fast.
But moments of intensity rarely, if ever, lead to the lasting changes that we want.
In fact only 5% of people who go on diets keep the weight off for longer than 3 years. They are from a statistical point of view a waste of time if long term weight loss and health are your goals.
Temporary solutions equal temporary results.
Dieting is a temporary moment of intense changes in how we eat and live thus yielding a temporary change in our health and weight. Generally we just swing on a pendulum from one extreme to the next i.e. yo-yo dieting or binge-cleanse cycling.
To achieve long term results we need a long term solution.
Simon Sinek, a motivational speaker and author explains that we cannot go to the gym, workout for 9 hours and get in shape. It doesn’t matter how hard you push yourself or how many calories you burn it just won’t happen.
But if you work out for 20 minutes every day you will absolutely get in shape, over time.
The problem is we just do not know when. It’s a hard metric to nail down but we know beyond certainty that 20 minutes every day will drastically improve your health with time.
Simon explains that intensity, or dieting, is like going to the dentist. “It’s fixed in time, we know exactly what date we’re going, we know how long we’re going to be there and we know that when we come out our teeth will feel smooth and look pearly, but if that’s all we do, all our teeth will fall out. In other words, intensity is not enough.”
We also have to brush our teeth twice a day every day for two minutes. While the impact of those two minutes on their own is hard to identify we know that doing it every day will keep our gums and teeth healthy. But for how long do we have to keep up this daily habit before we see changes?
I don’t know. We just know that it works.
Again, it’s a harder metric to measure which is why we like intensity. We like things that are fixed and measureable. We like to know when we are going to see results. That is why we like dieting.
Do this for 30 days and lose 10 pounds, YASSSSS!
It is consistently doing small acts over time that add up and create lifelong shifts.
Eating a salad one day at lunch is fantastic. Going on a walk after dinner, bravo! Swapping dessert for a cup of tea, you go Glen Coco!
Doing just one of these acts on their own or for a short period of time does absolutely nothing for overall health but the accumulation of those small acts consistently over the course of time, absolutely will.
One day you will wake up and have lost the weight, changed your habits, potentially be off your medication and walking up stairs without getting winded and fitting back in the clothes you wore in high school.
I just don’t know when. 3 months, 6 months, a year? I do not know how long you will have to do those small consistent acts before you see the results.
But I know beyond certainty that one day you will.
If you want to lose the weight for good and change the trajectory of your health you have to do small things every. single. day. You have to be consistent, not intense.
What is one small thing you could start doing consistently that will, over time, change your life?
Pick one. Start there. Commit to it and do it every damn day.
If you are feeling stuck then try my fav pro tip: leafy greens at every meal. Be it microgreens or a whole kale salad just get em in.