The way you approach a weight loss program can affect not only the success you’ll have while you’re on the program, but more importantly, the success you’ll have keeping the weight off.  In fact, you can lose weight with an attitude of deprivation, but that attitude will make it very difficult to keep the weight off long term.  Successful long term weight loss requires a change in the familiar that will facilitate a permanent lifestyle change.

Let’s talk a bit about what it means to change the familiar.  You’ve had a lifetime of programming.  You probably started habits as a young child that created likes and dislikes that carry on now. Maybe though, your hatred of Brussel sprouts as a 7 year old, has now changed and you really enjoy them.  That proves that the familiar can be changed.  It might mean maturing taste buds, but it also might mean a mature attitude about your food choices.    So, when I have a client in the office strongly declare that they hate vegetables, and they’re unwilling to approach that necessary nutrient with a desire to change their attitude about it, I’m not sure that they will be willing to make permanent changes to affect long term weight loss.

How can you change your attitude about your likes and dislikes, or the familiar vs. the unfamiliar? Sometimes it might mean saying it until you believe it.  I know that when I originally started my change to a healthy lifestyle, my thought was that I could do anything for 6 weeks.  I could deprive myself of everything I liked for those 6 weeks, because after 6 weeks I would be thin, and I would be able to go back to the food that I loved so much.  That was not an attitude to facilitate a permanent weight loss.

If you begin a weight loss program with the thought in mind that as soon as you lose weight, you’ll reward yourself with the familiar foods that have made you gain weight in the first place, you’re setting yourself up for failure.  So, what if you can change the familiar?  What if you can learn to enjoy making healthy choices?  I’d like to challenge you to try something.  When you sit down to your next meal that feels somehow unsatisfying emotionally, tell yourself OUT LOUD, how happy it makes you to eat this great, healthy food.  Tell yourself that you are ELATED to be eating healthy protein and high nutrient vegetables.  You’ll find that your body will learn to believe what you say.  You’ll find that the healthy choices become familiar to you, and after you’ve lost the weight, and you’re faced with the option for unhealthy food vs. the newly familiar healthy food, that healthy choice will satisfy you.  You will then be empowered with tools for permanent weight loss.

For more information on how to make positive changes become familiar, please watch this YouTube video of Marisa Peer that inspired this article.


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