With Christmas and the holidays behind us, a lot of people have now turned their focus toward the new year and what they want to accomplish. For a lot of folks, that means getting into shape. Making better food choices, losing a few pounds, and kicking up your activity level tends to become a priority when January rolls around. Does that sound like you?
|Why Do You Want to Lose Weight With Low Carb?|
- Are you dissatisfied with the way you are?
- Are you thinking about going on a low-carb diet?
- Do you feel that weight loss will improve your life?
- Do you believe weight loss will help you fit into some ideal?
- Why do you really want to lose weight?
The answers to all of those questions, and more, will determine your ability to succeed on a low-carb diet. Or any diet at all.
Most New Year's Resolutions Fail
Have you ever noticed that very few people are able to stick with their New Year's resolutions for more than a few weeks? It's true. Almost 90-percent of all those who set one or more New Year's resolutions in December or January go on to fail to meet their goals. Lots of people have theories about why that is, but most of those theories encourage us to blame ourselves.
- We don't have enough willpower.
- We didn't make the right goals.
- We aren't being specific enough.
- We are creatures of habit.
- We're taking too large of a first step.
And on and on it goes. We are always to blame for our failures. So what's the answer? If we listen to the experts, then we didn't do it correctly. If we just did it right, if we just did it "their" way, we'd be successful.
But just how true is that?
People have been writing "how to succeed at making New Year's resolutions" articles for decades. They have been offering us all kinds of advice and encouraging their readers to do it in a certain way, and yet, we still fail to reach the ideal of what we believe we should be. If all of those methods really worked, we wouldn't need any more New Year's resolutions articles.
The Nitty-Gritty Truth Behind Our Motivations
It's easy to tell someone that all they need is more willpower, that strength of will is the answer to all of their problems, and that they can trick the brain or reprogram it by taking little tiny baby steps, so the brain won't figure out what they're doing. That may or may not be true, I don't know. I've never tried to do it that way because the nitty-gritty down-and-dirty truth that sits at the heart of our motivations is that most of us just don't have the ability to make up our minds to the point where we can actually accomplish something major.
We have strength when it comes to the little things in life, but making major changes to our bodies and lifestyle is often beyond our reach. We can see that each and every time life interferes with our dietary goals and we cave into old habits and ways of being. If we really believed that a standard American diet was destructive, we wouldn't do it. And that's part of the reason why so many of us fail to make permanent changes.
I understand that now.
We are doing what we think we ought to be doing, what we feel we should be doing, what other people have told us we must do if we want to be healthy -- instead of doing what we want to do.
|We Have to WANT To Live a Low-Carb Lifestyle|
If we really wanted to lose weight the low-carb way, if we really wanted to live a low-carb lifestyle for the rest of our lives, we would do so. The fact that most of us find low-carb unsustainable or difficult to stick with, difficult to maintain, and find excuses for not doing it, is because we aren't doing what we WANT to do. We're chasing after someone else's desires, dreams, and goals. Not our own.
But that's the same for everything we do. It's not peculiar to a low-carb diet. Or any diet for that matter. Success in anything we do depends on our ability to clearly see what we want to do and whether we have the ability to act on what we see.
Examine Your Motivations for Wanting to Lose Weight
Before you start your low-carb diet, get a sheet of paper and write down the reasons why you want to lose weight.
- What do you expect a low-carb diet to do for you?
- Do you think it will solve all of your current health problems?
- Will it will make you happy to drop those excess pounds?
- Will life be more comfortable and pleasant if you're thin?
- Are you looking for acceptance or a feeling of importance?
- Do you think losing weight will get rid of your feelings of inferiority?
Whatever it is you think that losing weight is going to do for you write it down. Writing it down makes it easier to re-evaluate those reasons by enabling you to take a serious look at your word choices. The words you use will reveal some of your hidden motivations. Look for words, such as "should," "ought," "must," "victim," or "need." Those are signals that you are not doing this for yourself.
If you're expecting a low-carb diet to bring future happiness, pleasure, attention, a sense of importance, approval, or some other ideal, your motivation might not be strong enough to pull it off. For example, if you do manage to lose the weight and you don't receive the attention, pleasure, and happiness you're seeking after -- then what? Are you just going to chuck it all and go back to eating carbohydrates?
A low-carb diet isn't magic. It's designed to correct metabolic imbalances. It isn't designed to solve the issues you have with your self.
What is the True Power Behind Motivation?
Willpower isn't enough. That's the cold, hard truth. While it can ignite your interest and spark a little initial enthusiasm, that interest and excitement will fizzle the first time the number gets stuck on the scale or when things don't move as quickly as you expect them to. You'll feel like throwing in the towel because you aren't getting your way. Willpower is based on ideals. It's expecting a certain outcome from putting out a certain amount of effort. The problem with that is that being responsible for our food choices and attempting to create new patterns of behavior doesn't come by way of willpower. Why?
Because willpower is trying to do something you don't want to do.
That rarely works. In fact, willpower is the number one reason for our New Year's resolutions not working out. It's not that you don't have any willpower. The truth is that you have too much!
So dump the willpower and take a closer look at what you're interested in. Interest is what really motivates us to make up our mind about what we want to do. Interest is the driving force that gets the job done. Doing what we have to do or what we think we ought to do doesn't motivate us. Think about that for just a minute. If you're really interested in something, vitally interested, you can hardly wait to get up in the morning and get to work on what you want to do. Right?
Dieting is no different.
|Low-Carb Diets Work Best When You Can't See Yourself Eating Any Other Way|
If you're truly interested in moving to a low-carb lifestyle, a little thing like only losing a couple of pounds the first week, running into your first real stall, or beginning to miss some of your favorite foods you used to eat won't stop you from continuing to restrict your carb intake. Why? Because you cannot not do low carb. You are so interested in living that lifestyle, so satisfied with what you can eat, so convinced it is the healthiest way to go, that giving up and moving on to something else isn't an option. You can't see yourself eating or living any other way.
The power of motivation comes from doing things we are interested in doing. There is no real power in willpower. Willpower is an illusion. It's a fantasy. It's falling back on our desire to please other people.
A Low-Carb Diet is for Life
When we try to use willpower to lose weight, it will always fail us because a strong desire to do something is essential for success. That strong desire is a by-product of being vitally interested in what you're doing. If there's no interest, your desire to do low carb is going to fade within a few short weeks. Once desire fades, you'll start to crave carbohydrates or begin to make excuses to cheat on your diet. From there, it's just a slippery slope down the hill to where you were before you started.
So if you're interested in trying a low-carb diet -- really interested -- and not just doing it because you think you should lose a few pounds, or because you think that a low-carb diet is going to magically solve some of your inner conflicts or emotional issues, then it can be a very rewarding, pleasant experience. Just make sure that you take the time to search your heart to make sure this is what you really want to do because a low-carb diet isn't a bandaid. A low-carb diet is for life.