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The #1 Weight Loss Tip That Health and Fitness Experts Will Not Tell You

The #1 Weight Loss Tip That Health and Fitness Experts Will Not Tell You

When you look at the numbers, such as in studies like those from Statistic Brain which tracks New Year’s Resolution successes, only about 8% of us ever achieve our New Year’s goals.

When you think about it, it’s a bit crazy because we have access to all of the information that has been on the planet, since the dawn of humanity.

We have more diet books written by more authors, with more gurus and experts than ever before. And we have more websites with tutorials, videos, and lots more… yet people are still more obese, unhealthy, and unhappy than ever before. How is that even possible? How can we have more information, more experts, and more books than ever, yet be just as far away from reaching our goals? There’s a little idea that experts and gurus don’t want you to know about.

Experts don’t want you to know this, because if you took just a few simple habits and applied them daily, they’d be out of business! Naturally, since no one can sell a “lifestyle” or “habits” – this is one of the best kept secrets to success on the planet.

One study, conducted by JAMA- The Journal of American Medical Association, even found that among a few popular diets, the only thing predicting success was whether or not the person actually adhered to the diet itself – not even the diet!

So let’s talk about how you can actually apply this to transform your own health, body, and mind. I’m going to share with you five tiny habits, that if you apply daily, will produce massive results in your life and health.

What about the 8% that succeed? They get this one principle: that your success depends solely upon whether you as a person change your choices, behaviors, and your habits.

The power of tiny daily disciplines is infinitely more powerful than any diet, guru, or 10 week shred out there.

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Habit #1: Write down your goal… and set the paper on fire.

This may sound contrary to every fundamental of goal setting you’ve ever received, but here it is: write down your goal on paper, and then toss it in your fireplace. Do you need to know what your goal, your objective, is?

Absolutely. But here’s why obsessing over the goal harms you in the long run. Picture this: the new year rolls around, and you’re ready to make it happen and take up that #1 resolution again: lose some weight.

So you set your goal, lose 20 pounds, on a piece of paper. The months come and go, you clock those hours at the gym, you eat fruits and vegetables, you drop the ice cream, and you see some progress.

But at some point, you get to the point where progress is so slow that it’s almost imperceptible. So maybe you were losing a pound a week at the start, but now you lose a pound a month or even a pound every two months. In the short run, it appears invisible so, not seeing any progress, you get discouraged and quit.

You repeat this cycle over and over once your weight increases yet again 6-12 months later. Rinse and repeat for a few decades and you have the average yoyo dieter. Here’s how to stop that from happening: Focus purely on habits you actually enjoy doing. It sounds crazy, but toss your goals aside, and instead measure your progress with this: how many times a week you actually engaged in your habit.

For now, it doesn’t matter if you walked 10 minutes a day or 60 minutes – if you walked at all today, just put a check down for the day. The only thing you’re tracking is whether or not you did the habit. And you know what naturally happens? When the habit is easy to achieve, you keep doing it.

And even though you may say you’re only doing five minutes of walking, you often end up walking more. We often get obsessed with the goal, and hate the process (which often leads to us failing and quitting).

This method of building “positive snowballs” produces just that: a positive state of mind that willingly wants to engage more in the habits that will get you closer to where you want to be.

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Habit #2: Watch Out For “Wedding Day Syndrome”

“I really want to lose 25 pounds for my wedding in three months, can you help?”

Questions along these lines are some of the most asked to coaches, trainers and experts. Here’s the thing: People with this mindset almost always fail to achieve their goals in the long run.

There’s a very important mindset difference here between most of us that fail, versus those of us that succeed. I call it “Wedding Day Syndrome.” In the west, we’re obsessed with big, luxurious weddings.

People spend years saving for the wedding day, tens of thousands of dollars are spent on the gown for the bride, the food, the venue, and more. It’s supposed to be that incredible, magical day you will always remember. But people spend more time thinking about the actual wedding day itself, and not the marriage.

The wedding day is one day! The marriage is (ideally) decades long. And one can’t help but think that maybe the fact that we think so much about the day (the event), rather than the marriage (the process) is possibly a reason why divorce is so high. The same is true of health.

We often give guidelines: “I want to do XYZ goal by XYZ date!” That’s great. That’s fine. But it can be toxic to long term success. This is called event-based thinking, whereas health, happiness, success and even life are actually processes.

Once a person shifts to process-based thinking, they set themselves up for massive success because they no longer make ridiculous lifestyle changes that aren’t sustainable like, “I’ll never eat sugar again!”

This is realistic for a week or a few weeks, but not for a lifetime. This is classic event-based thinking. When you think of health as a process, you’ll get yourself the right mindset for success.

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Habit #3: Master the Day (And Only The Day)

At the end of the day, to get the kind of health, happiness, and life you want, you need to go through a series of actions – thousands of tiny, daily actions – to get to where you want to be. Think about it: research on happiness has recently become popular, such as, the ‘Gratitude and Well Being, The Benefits of Appreciation’ study by Sansone and Sansone. Researchers consistently say a few things will make you happier, like:

  • Meditation
  • Gratitude
  • Journaling about positive experiences

And some of the happiest people we see around us on earth routinely do these things every day. So when you think about it, you could say happiness is like habit weight lifting: seven repetitions of meditation per week, five repetitions of gratitude per week, five repetitions of journaling per week.

But the real power comes in the compounding of these habits day after day, week after week. Meditating three times a year doesn’t do anything for you. But meditating three times a week produces real, physiological changes in your brain: but it’s also 156 repetitions of meditation.

156 times you repeated that daily habit. Back to “mastering the day.” The only way you can do those 156 repetitions of whatever habit will change your life, is if you do them today. It sounds obvious and not-at-all earth shattering, but you’d be surprised how often we think success requires massive effort.

It doesn’t – it just requires different choices on a daily basis. So when you master the day, here’s what you do: just pick whatever habit you want to cultivate (e.g. cooking one meal at home a day), and then you track that habit each day. That’s it. Here’s why it’s life changing: If you focus on just today, and you follow through 100% with your habits, then you’ll have 100% perfect attendance for the week. And the month. And the year.

And you’ll be a totally different person very quickly if you just focus on mastering the day no matter what. How? Personally I use the Strides app, or I use a calendar on my wall where I put an “X” for every day that I did the habit, and leave it blank on the days when I didn’t.

Habit #4: Forget Motivation… Show Up

How often do we think “ugh, I just had a lousy, long, grumpy, stressful day, and now I have to force myself to exercise? Not happening.” We often think we’re lazy or unmotivated, and that’s why we’ve failed to achieve our health goals, but I want to offer an alternative. Olympians and bestselling authors.

What do they have in common? They practice their craft every day, even when they don’t want to. It’s not a matter of forcing themselves; it’s just a matter of their “something every day” philosophy. A writer doesn’t write enough books to feed himself if he doesn’t write even when he doesn’t want to.

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And an Olympian needs to clock those 3-6+ hours a day in order to become the best in the world. On the days when you feel like motivation is seriously lacking, just tell yourself, “Okay, I don’t have to go to the gym for an hour, but I DO have to do something.” All you have to do is show up every day, guilt-free, whether it’s five minutes or fifty minutes. Rainy?

Just go for a short walk or do some pushups at home. Bad day? Just do five minutes a yoga instead of an hour long class. And give yourself full permission to check it off your list. Remember: you’re cultivating the habit of showing up. It’s infinitely more powerful than willpower or discipline.

Habit #5: Conquer The Narrative In Your Head

“I’m tired of even bothering to try. I’ve failed so many times that what’s the point? If I’m going to fail anyway, I might as well do what I want, eat what I want and enjoy my life.”

The narrative, meaning the story in your head, is often the most powerful, unnoticed force leading us to success or failure. Sages and success coaches along the ages have always said, “You become what you think about” and it makes sense. If you tell yourself you’re just going to fail, why would you even continue to try?

You won’t. The narrative often goes unnoticed, so we say, “I always do this” or “I’m so lazy” – and then these become fulfilling prophecies. The most important thing that you do with the narrative is understand two things. First, know that the narrative isn’t you. It’s just the thoughts going on in your mind.

It’s just beliefs loaded in your subconscious based on your previous life experience and how you’ve interpreted it. Second, imagine that the narrative is something else, like a demon. Imagine that it’s a negative voice trying to derail you and prevent you from reaching your goals.

So every time you hear yourself say something that limits you again, tell yourself “It’s that voice acting up again,” and most importantly, don’t ever believe what it says. When we really understand that long-term health and weight loss is about us: our behaviors, our habits, and our inner narrative, we’re already on the track to become that small 8% that truly succeeds.

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Last Updated on February 18, 2019

13 Tips to Face Your Fears, Grow with It and Enjoy the Ride

13 Tips to Face Your Fears, Grow with It and Enjoy the Ride

Fear. I spend my life talking about fear — fighting fears, fixing fears and understanding fears. And yet I doubt I get 10 calls a year from people saying “Mandie can you help me fix my fear?”

Why is this so critically important to you?

The realization for me is that fear is not the fundamental driving force in your life it’s what regardless of whether I’m talking to a doctor, a teacher, a CEO’s, a senior citizens or teenager – every single one of those conversations has a direct correlation with your world.

Fear can range from the overwhelming desire to look away or stop in your tracks to literally fleeing your country and the life you knew. In this article, I will share you with 13 tips to face your fears and enjoy the ride.

1. Know That Fear Is Real, but Can Be Overcome

Right now around the world people are facing fear — real fear. Fear that I pray my children and I will never experience. Does that lessen my fears or your fears in your relativity safe 21st century life?

When I look at the world we all live in, I find that fear like so many other emotions can mean so many different things to so many different people:

  • The child who has to be physically dragged to their first day of school.
  • The man facing the judge.
  • The woman with her hand poised over the buttons over her phone because she has to walk down a dark corridor late at night alone.
  • The man as the surgeon says “count backwards from 10 Mr Smith.”
  • The woman that’s told “We are sorry, we can’t help you.”
  • The man that faces the empty circle of a gun and prays for his very existence.

These and a million more (Portrayed in every kind of movie, book or song you could imagine) are what make us human. We face fear and somehow move forward or are stopped in our tracks.

Like the rabbit in the headlights of the car that veers off through the field away from the tyres of the car or stays still praying for salvation. Like someone will save them. Sound familiar?

Fear is huge. Fear is everywhere and yet fear can be overcome, controlled and can even be a power for good.

2. Accept Your Fear

Firstly if you aren’t facing the barrel of the gun, atrocities that make the news or impeding death, that’s a good start. However it doesn’t mean your fear is any less real.

We are quick to say “I can’t moan, my life is not as bad as X.” While in theory, that’s honorable your appreciation of Mr. or Mrs. X’s horrific life won’t change anything directly. So accept your fear is relative to you.

And here’s what can be done.

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3. Get Some Perspective

I found myself asking anyone that would answer “what is your worst fear”. The answer that intrigued me the most came from my daughter (15 years old and she usually has a copy of Fight the Fear – my book – in her school bag so she can help someone else be as positive and confident as her. No matter what life throws up.)

And her fear, surprised me — heights. I pointed out that we live in a sprawling bungalow (one storey) and the highest she goes is two storeys’ at school! She laughed but added, fear isn’t like that Mum. I know it’s not a real fear, but it’s like when you stand on a chair and feel unsafe.

That girl will go far. Because she truly gets fear.

We know something is scary and yet we still do it. Why? Because we have a perspective to the fear. When you lose perspective, it can feel too big, and too scary.

So look around you to get some perspective on your fear:

  • Are you really at risk?
  • Will this kill you?
  • Which leads us on to..
  • If the worse was to happen what would it be?

4. Hold a Hand

As a coach, it is my job to holds someone’s metaphorical hand and help them face a fear.

Like the child petrified of the thunder storm or the teen that can’t get back in a car again after failing their test, your job as a parent is to reassure, encourage, enable and motivate someone to face something that ideally they never would choose to again.

We know many of our fears aren’t real. However, it is only when someone guides us with love, respect, lack of judgement and safety are we able to get through fear. And trust me, you can get through your fears. I’ve seen it so many times.

Ask yourself:

  • If the worse were to happen, what would that be?
  • Could that really happen?
  • If the worse did happen, how would you recover?
  • If the worse were to happen, what would you need to do next?

By seeing fear as not the end destination but part of being human, you can see through it’s wily evil ways and move forward.

5. Know Whose Hand You Hold Either Physically or Emotionally

This helps with fears for the rest of your life.

Think of someone you can always rely on (and ideally you won’t just answer yourself because that adds a lot of pressure to your existence!) And you will find that you’ve already found a way to get through fear.

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The beauty of this is that it means that fear becomes part of life not something to be feared and shied away from.

It means you know you can turn to your friend, partner, colleague, parent, sibling and say “Right I need to deal with this, and I’m going to need you to help me.”

For one moment, think about it from the other person’s view point. When we get to help other people we feel valued, loved, respected and lots of other positive emotions and we get a good dose of positive chemicals setting off in our bodies too.

Your fear, and your determination to fight it, helped someone else too. Now that’s cool right?

6. Understand That There Are Some Things Fear Will Never Touch

I like to find role models in life — people who have faced heroism, history changing moments, war, atrocities, miracles, life saving inventions.

Not everyone was looking for greatness, however they all found it. And one of my favourite books to date is written about Alistair Urquhart, the forgotten highlander. If this doesn’t get turned into a film in the future, then no man’s story is likely to.

Alistair went through the most horrific experiences in the 2nd world war. If you think of one of the awful things that happened back then in our world, Alistair went through at least 3 of them! Asked afterwards how did you cope? He talked about how whatever they did to his body, no matter how they starved, tortured, threatened or mocked him, they couldn’t have his mind. In his mind he was free.

Of all the people’s voices I’ve heard in my head over the years, this is one of those statements that reminds me anything is possible if you have faith and hope.

Look for the things in life that fear can’t touch. They will create confidence and faith for the future, whatever you face. And they will give you a sense of why being you is awesome.

Of all the billions of people on this planet, no one will have an answer identical to yours!

7. Process Your Fears to Carry on with Life

Being brave is not about sticking your chest out and smiling regardless of what hell you endure. It is about finding a way to emotionally process your fears to be able to keep going.

I have a tool kit of things I can rely on – tools, strategies, techniques. They include people to hug or talk to, music. hobbies, walks on the beach and even my favourite food. It sounds mad but at the times where I have questioned “how will I get through this?” I’ve found immense joy in doing the most unlikely of thing that makes me smile.

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It may be a short lived moment of happiness. However, it reminded that nothing stays the same and I can find away.

One client told me that it was crazy when it felt like their world was falling around their ears to run a bath to the brim (you don’t waste water) get the best bath oils, light too many candles, lock the door and drink a glass of bubbly (champagne is only for special occasions.)

Did that moment fix the disaster that my clients life felt? No, however it gave them a moment of calm and the brain is far quicker to find solutions, resolve and motivation to keep going when you do that.

It may feel like madness to do something you love, however it can be a powerful way to help you find solutions to the fears you face in life.

8. Assume the Worse

If you read the statement from the client above. Notice how they assumed it was wrong to fill the bath up to the top? How bubbly is only for special occasions?

Think how naughty they felt to be doing something that was not allowed?

  • Think about what age it may have made them feel?
  • Think about how they feel about champagne?
  • What special moments it’s been a part of in their lives?

And you can see how the assumptions they made about their “right” to have these things was not healthy.

When I drag the assumptions out of people’s words for them to see, they are often struck by how negative the words make them feel.

Don’t assume your words aren’t impacting on you. You can go through fear and actually enjoy the ride when you take the time to understand how you are letting words get to you.

9. Take a Fear That Feels Insurmountable Right Now.

If you were to repeat it to me out loud, what would you say?

Would you have blame on yourself in there? Would you assume others can do it and it’s just you? Would you feel small, unsuccessful, useless, unworthy?

Usually, when you do this exercise, you are able to spot the untruths that run wild in your head convincing you that you are doomed. And rarely when we are faced with our assumptions is there is a lot of evidence to them.

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10. You Are Not Defined by Your Fear

One fear does not define your life – be mindful of that. It is likely to lead you to thinking of all the times you’ve succeeded and bring a moment of calm, confidence and faith back to you.

11. Go with Fear

When you learn to go with fear, you could find yourself actually having fun, no seriously – having fun.

I have a few amazing clients I’m working with right now who would describe themselves as life long worriers, or pessimists. In the past that has served them well, enabling them to keep safe, steer clear of risks and even develop strategies in the event of disasters. However, now they find it’s becoming hard to break the cycle and they really want to because it’s holding them back.

Notice how they’ve found their hidden fears and want to face them?

One client said “I knew this was going to be tough, and I knew I couldn’t fight it alone and I knew you would be the one to help me.” Before I sat an incredibly successful, confident, capable business owner with a family and a social life to die for.

However, I’ve learned that the most successful looking lives can hide things that impact on life, success, love, happiness and business.

We didn’t start with the fear that they felt was holding them back, we broke the fear down, and found lots of little obstacles that had been deemed as “life” and “unchangeable” and “that’s just the way it is” by developing awareness to the little steps on the road to their obstacles to happiness and success they were able to tackle them in a different way.

12. Discover Great Skills in Your Scary Moments

And in that clients words “I came here to work with you to grow my company, and my own personal skills. I didn’t expect to get the children to be cleaning up after themselves and my partner being more attentive! It all feels a little magic.”

The moral is that out of the scariest of moments, we can find great skills we didn’t know we had. Find better, healthier, happier ways to live and find ways to enjoy life more. (And have a bit of magic!)

What a great place to be in ready for the next fear that thinks it’s going to get in the way of you, right?

13. Own Your Fear

Think back over these tips and come up with at least one example for each one. Write them down. Put them on your phone. Turn them into a piece of art. Turn them into a poem. Frame them. Go for a fast walk across the fields, beach, down town and repeat these things in your head to the sound of your feet on the ground.

We rarely take the time to appreciate how far we have come, how much we can achieve or what we are capable of – by really owning the tips in this article you will have given your brain a big fat dose of “Damn right I can do this!” and the motivation and accountability to say “Let’s find a way” through any fear.

You can’t help but feel good when you see that can you? And fear doesn’t stand a chance, does it?

More Resources About Fighting Fear

Featured photo credit: Ben White via unsplash.com

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