From failed weight-loss attempts to lean for life: 7 things you can’t overlook.

behavior change health identity mental strength new year resolutions psychology weight loss Dec 23, 2023

Losing weight has no value if you aren’t able to keep the weight off.

More people than not, lose hundreds of pounds in their life and are still overweight.

What many don’t realize is that sustainable weight loss requires sustainable behavior change.

In other words, you need to change certain lifestyle factors for the rest of your life.

We don’t like change, and that’s what makes it so damn hard.

The weight-loss industry understands the nature of people. They know that people want the easy way and the quick-fixes.

That’s what they give you. They give you what you want, instead of what you need.

No matter how you look at it, being overweight isn’t healthy. The endless cycle of weight-loss and regain is frustrating to say the least.

If you don’t take immediate action to sustainable weight loss, you’re damaging your body. The longer you wait, the heavier you’ll become, the more damage you cause, and the harder the process will be.

In this newsletter I’m going to teach you 7 things that the weight-loss industry doesn’t talk about. I’m going to give you some brutal honest truths and insights to help you create sustainable behavior change towards a lean and healthy body.

You don’t need food all the time.

In our modern world, food is everywhere and is always available. It’s the complete opposite as how our ancestors lived.

Eating and drinking opportunities are all around us; it almost seems as if we need to consume food constantly to survive.

Fact is, you don’t need so much food to survive. We’re built to function without food for days.

Our bodies are built to store excessive energy as fat and glycogen– so there’s an infinite supply of energy.

No need to restore every 2-3 hours.

Fact is, If you’re overweight, you store too much energy. It’s an important step to keep reminding yourself that your body doesn’t need food all the time.

3 meals a day is more than enough. Snacking is completely unnecessary, it just obsesses you with constant eating.

↳ Action: stop eating all the time if you want to be lean.

Control your desire for comfort.

By nature, our brains strive for comfort.

This deep-rooted instinct has helped us as a species to survive. Being comfortable means that there’s no immediate threat to your life.

The problem is that in the modern world, comfort is everywhere. It comes in many shapes, like:

  • Food
  • Drinks (alcohol)
  • Technology
  • Machines
  • Internet (online ordering)

Everything that we’ve invented to make our lives easier is comfort.

Too much of anything isn’t good for you. With comfort it’s no different. The more comfortable you get, the weaker you’ll become.

You need to become stronger to be lean, not weaker.

Comfort equals preserving energy or storing excess energy. The complete opposite of what you need to lose weight and stay lean.

↳ Action: Say ‘no’ to unnecessary comfort like using the car, ordering fast-food, and comfort-eating. Say ‘yes’ to walking, taking the bike, cooking healthy food and exercise to deal with emotions.

Deal with dopamine.

Our brains have a built-in reward system that gives us a sense of pleasure when we do something that we perceive as positive or pleasant.

Dopamine, a neurotransmitter, plays a key role here.

The release of dopamine results in that desired 'good feeling', which reinforces the behavior associated with this sensation.

For example, eating food that you find particularly delicious (often rich in sugar, fat, and/or salt) can trigger a strong release of dopamine in the brain.

This results in a feeling of reward and satisfaction.

Your brain starts associating this food with something positive, increasing the likelihood that you'll repeat the behavior in the future.

However, behavior that feels good short-term isn’t necessarily healthy.

The foods we usually crave are often not the healthiest choices.

We don't reach for cucumbers, snack tomatoes, or roasted chicken filets when we're not feeling well.

Instead, we opt for candy, chips, pastries, or fatty snacks.

While these foods give you a good feeling in the short term, they can cause a cycle of 'comfort eating' in the long term, which can lead to weight gain and other health problems.

↳ Action: Stop opting for ‘cheap’ dopamine like junk-food, Netflix marathons, endless social media scrolling. Go for quality dopamine like delicious nutritious meals, outdoor running or a great workout.

Stop searching for the ‘what to do’, focus on ‘who to be’.

People are obsessed with ‘how’ and ‘what’ questions.

They think that a lack of knowledge is the missing link their weight issues.

Many lose themselves in a never ending quest to understanding how to lose weight.

The problem is, it’s the wrong question.

You’ll never get the right answer by asking the wrong question.

What’s truly necessary to become lean for life, is lasting behavior change.

It’s called BE-havior for a reason, it isn’t called DO-havior.

What leads us right to the right question to ask:

Who do I need to be to become lasting lean?

What you do repeatedly leads to what you get in life. But what determines what you do?

It’s not what, it’s who. Who you are being (be-ing) determines what you do.

It works like this: Be ➞ Do ➞ Have.

If you’re being an ‘inactive person’ at your core, for how long can you exercise multiple times per week?

Not very long.

You need to shift to being someone different, like “I am an active person”.

What does an active person do? Being active off course, which means moving frequently during the day, exercises multiple times a week for instance.

↳ Action: Stop asking the ‘how’ question. Start looking at who you’re being and who you need to be. Then, BE it and live accordingly.

↳ Tip: Read my previous newsletter to get more insight about the difference between ‘doing’ and ‘being’.

Know where you are now.

If someone has to give you directions to a specific location, they need to know where you are currently.

If you’re in New York and you want to go to Paris, you need specific directions.

The directions from Sidney to Paris don’t have any value to you.

The same goes for achieving a certain weight goal. You need to know where you are now.

Not only your current weight, you need to write down your whole situation.

  • Your current physical state.
  • Your level of knowledge.
  • Your relevant skills.
  • Your current lifestyle (diet, exercise, activity).
  • Everything else that’s relevant.

You need to understand very clearly where you are now.

So you can determine what actions to take to achieve your goals.

↳ Action: Start with aswering the following questions:

  1. What’s my weight? What’s my waist circumference?
  2. What foods and drinks in your diet should you actually avoid?
  3. How many do I spend sitting per day?
  4. How many hours do I exercise weekly?
  5. What lifestyle factors do I know I need to change?

Create urgency.

"Without a sense of urgency, desire loses its value." Jim Rohn

Urgency is a crucial component of sustainable weight loss, that no one talks about.

People falsely think that wanting something really bad is enough to get results.

You can want many things, that doesn’t mean you’re actually going to do the things required to get it.

You can want really bad that you earn 1 million next year. If you don’t do the required work, your wants mean nothing.

Sustainable weight-loss is no different.

You need to take intentional and consistent action to achieve your goals.

To get yourself moving, you need urgency.

There are two ways to create urgency:

  1. External factors
  2. Self-created

Here’s an example of both.

External factor

Imagine an extremely hot summer. It has become so hot that there is a risk of forest fires. The mayor has warned everyone in your neighborhood and advised them to leave your house. There is no fire yet so you decide to take the risk by staying. A day later, such a serious forest fire broke out and has already reached the neighbors. Without a doubt, you pack your things and leave. It is so urgent that you leave right now.

Self-created

You've had a job you hate for years. One day you get fed up with it and decide to quit. You want to retrain for another profession because you are no longer satisfied in your current field of work. You're so fed up that you don't want to wait anymore. You quit your job immediately and start a new course. You create urgency yourself.

↳ Action: Create a sense of urgency to take action towards you goals immediately. Keep recreating this urgency every day to keep yourself from procrastinating.

Stop trying. Commit.

Trying to lose weight will keep you trying for the rest of your life.

You either do something or you don’t.

You don’t try to lose weight, you commit to being lean for life.

And then, do the required work, regardless of how you feel.

This might sound hard or harsh, but it’s the truth.

You need to really commit to the journey and don’t tolerate your own excuses.

↳ Action: Decide what your goals are, make a plan, get help if you need it, and truly commit to it. Don’t let anything or anyone withhold you from achieving your goals— not even yourself.

Holiday special.

The holidays are almost here. It’s that time of the year for the new year resolutions.

90% of people never achieve their resolutions.

I would argue that you don’t make resolutions for no reason. You have a very good reason for it.

By far the most common new year resolution is to lose weight. It’s also the most common health & fitness goal.

To help you go from losing weight to being lean for life, I’m making a holiday special.

Between Christmas and New Year, I’ll send multiple newsletters to my subscribers.

In those newsletters I share some essential insights to make losing weight an achievable goal.

If you didn’t subscribed for my newsletter, make sure to do that: https://www.bartjessen.com/blog

I hereby wish you a Merry Christmas and happy holidays!

Bart

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