There are a few simple truths about all of us. I will put the bottom line here at the top for those that just want the summary. Real lasting change isn’t influenced by some little aspect of the change like working out on an empty stomach. If the only way you can pull off some weight loss is to workout in a fasting state, then you are very likely to not stick with it. Read on if you feel up to it.
First, genetics. Our genetics have a very big impact on our health and fitness. While that may sound like a bad thing for some and a good thing for others, there is the fact that we can optimize our genetics by living a healthy lifestyle. There is ever growing evidence that the expression of our genetics is influenced by our diet and exercise level. Eating better and exercising more turns on our “good” genes. Eating poorly and being sedentary turns on the “bad” genes. TAKE AWAY: WORK ON A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE!
Second, we are bound by the same rules of life as all living things on earth. We want to find the path of least resistance by nature. While most creatures have a fairly challenging path, we do not. So, it is our nature to want an easy solution to things. But for weight loss, easy inevitably has drawbacks in the long run. Diet pills and fads come and go. If there was a truly good and safe way to easily lose weight/fat, the person who figured it out would be the richest person on earth. TAKE AWAY: STOP INVESTING IN QUICK AND EASY. INVEST IN YOURSELF!
Third, while some change is fun and exciting, we hate change beyond the short term. The down side of this part of human nature is that lasting change requires lasting effort. The upside is that once the effort is made over a long enough period, sticking to the change becomes easier. This is why making small adjustments to toward the change we seek works better than the “all in” mentality. And this approach is actually the safest for any type of change. A fair number of people decide to go to the gym and get fit. One common mistake that the unsuccessful attempts at this share is doing too much too soon. TAKE AWAY: MAKE SMALL CHANGES IN LIFE. OVER TIME SMALL CHANGES STACK UP TO BECOME BIG BIG CHANGES.
Fouth, once you get good at a new change in your lifestyle you might get bored with it. If you start eating broccoli as a change in your diet, eventually some people are going to find it less appealing if that is the only change they make to their diet. Or if you start taking a fitness class as part of your change, in six months the class might start to be less fun for you. Diet and exercise are similar in that variety is ok and even good from time to time. But instructors are providing a class to more than one individual. While a few might crave some change, the bulk of the class is still not ready for change. So, if you get bored, don’t expect the instructor to provide you with the change you seek all the time. I tell all of my class participants to try other classes or exercise programs from time to time, especially if they feel like they need a little change to keep them interested in exercise. When I have participants approach me looking for me to change the class more frequently, I suggest that we start a different class for their interests or for some change for them. And sometimes they are actually seeking change because they have outgrown the class. For them it is time to move on to a more challenging class format.
And last but not least. Continue looking for change you not only can live with, but actually enjoy. You can stick with what you find that you really enjoy for as long as you want. But even the good things we really enjoy need a break from time to time. Having a variety of potential options is better than just one or two. Take a break from your favorite options and explore others. Drop the broccoli and try some carrots. Didn’t really care for the the carrots, go back to broccoli for a bit and/or pick something like asparagus for few meals. If you are cycling 50 miles a day as your passion, take a week off and do some water exercise or dance or whatever. It is better to have four or five enjoyable things to do than just one. And the only way to find out if you like kobacha squash or kickbox cardio is to try it. And sometimes you think you don’t like something, but the problem is the recipe or format. I hated brussel sprouts as a kid. And did until a few years ago when someone challenged me to try their recipe. It turns out that brussel sprouts taste differently just by cooking them differently.