Human beings are pleasure-seeking creatures. Big time. Finding enjoyment in life is at the core of who we are. We choose our friends and our partners because we enjoy spending time with them. We pursue careers based on our interests and passions. We take up hobbies we find appealing and fun. We save up our money so we can go on vacation, and we stop at Starbucks for momentary reprieves from the stress of everyday life.
All in pursuit of what makes us happy.
And so conversely, no surprise here, unless you are second string for Mother Theresa, you won’t continue behaviors that are hard or no fun, if you don’t have to. Understanding the humanity of the gravitational pull to feel enjoyment is an important entity to lifelong weight loss and here’s why: When the pleasure-seeking part of your brain determines it’s about to do something it knows it won’t like, i.e. a diet, it relents…but only for a little while. Your desire to lose weight is strong enough to allow you to sustain your new diet, for a week, maybe even a month or two, but, eventually, you give up because it’s not doable, long-term. Translated: it’s way too hard to maintain.
After you quit the diet, you feel guilt and shame for what you think is a weakness on your part. But realize, no matter how committed you are eliminating the forbidden foods that your diet requires you to ditch, you’re wired to give it up. Your desire to enjoy life’s pleasures, which includes eating foods you like, trumps your desire for a new outcome. But take heart! This doesn’t mean you can’t be successful at your weight loss attempt!
Acknowledging your in-born desire to enjoy your life is important because it helps you figure out why you haven’t been successful with past diet attempt, and won’t be with the next, if you take a similar approach…same diet different no-no’s. Not staying on the diet has nothing to do with your character or willpower, so disconnect those dots. You aren’t wired to sustain deprivation. Restrictive diets are the antithesis of fun. The brain won’t tolerate them for long. And what the brain says goes! You can’t fight City Hall and you can’t fight Human Brain Principles.
Small, doable changes are the way to go when it comes to weight loss. The brain doesn’t interpret them as God awful, which means you are likely to actual stick to your altered eating plan. You can’t change your hardware, so work with it. Stop eliminating and overhauling, think tweek.
A Bigger Life in a Smaller Pair of Jeans! Human Brain Principle # 1)
If you don’t change something you don’t like to do into something you like to do, you won’t stick with it for long, no matter how good you think it is for you.