Diets don't work. Clients may lose weight initially, but diets don't get to the root of the issue. The main issue concerns your habits.
Focusing on changing habits is much less painful than starvation diets where you have to rely on pure discipline and willpower.
40-45% of your decisions actually come from your habits. A problem emerges here because most of our habits are autopilot. Habits are more powerful than conscious thought and willpower.
We can use habits for positive or negative ends. We have "bad" habits (we can break those with skillful strategies); however, we can use this autopilot habit feature to create "good" habits too.
Many of our current habits help us feel safe and secure. When we feel stressed a certain part of the brain is activated which then gives us a powerful urge to do something to relieve that stressful feeling. When the distress is relieved, our brain relaxes and it remembers that habit for next time.
Most of you don't know that my older brother is a really cool guy and we have the most interesting conversations (some of you know my older sister as she comes to my classes and she is awesome too). My brother Ron is a Mindful Habit coach. If you are interested he wrote 100+ Habits of Great Leaders.
Habit change is super important for exercise and nutrition. If we can master our habits, then we have the ability to get the body and health we desire. But as we all know, incorporating and sustaining healthy habits can be very challenging.
I enjoy the way James Clear of Atomic Habits describes habit change. I have summarized his main takeaways below:
Clear says "your entire day is a summary of your life's habits." Powerful stuff to ponder!
He says "what you repeatedly do ultimately forms the person you are, the things you believe, and the personality you portray."
Clear has broken the process of building a habit into 4 steps: cue, craving, response, and reward.