I recently read an excellent article from habit guru James Clear. The article discussed how systems, not necessarily goals lead to the results we want in life. He gave many excellent examples related to exercise. The article made me think about how nutritional systems can influence weight loss.
Imagine you start with a worthy and challenging goal of losing 15 pounds. Setting this specific goal helps you create a plan to reach the goal. I call this process goal-tending.
To reach your goal you must develop plans, implemented over the desired timeline. Your ACTIONS become the desired behavior. One meal may not affect the ultimate goal. But two or three weeks of consistent focused dietary effort may achieve the desired result. The SYSTEM of dietary habits leads to the result.
Occasional backslides or shortcomings do not dash your efforts, the system prevails if applied.
Don’t stress about the occasional lapse…work the system.
SYSTEM = HABITS
HABITS trump GOALS.
The goal provides a target, goal-tending creates a plan, living the habit or working the system required of the plan is actually the desired behavior. The Goal takes care of itself.
Nutritional Habits For Weight Loss
Applying the principle of goal-tending but more importantly Habit development to nutrition will help you stay on track with improving health, losing weight, improving performance, or maintaining vitality. I introduced the idea of Family Nutrition as a habit worthy of development earlier this month.
The following nutritional habits routinely lead to successful weight loss?
- Never drink soda, fruit juice, or sweetened beverages
- Habitually avoiding or severely limiting alcohol consumption
- Avoiding pies, cakes, pastries, pasta, rice, and bread
- Developing the habit of consuming 30 gms of protein within 30 minutes of waking (Like two eggs)
- Consider intermittent fasting
- Prepare healthy fat/protein snacks (i.e. Jerky, cheese, nuts) to eat when hungry
- Try to home cook 70% of meals
These habits lead to behaviors that induce healthy weight loss.
Though more exercise can play a huge role, nutrition/fueling the body properly always comes first.
The habits illustrated above boost ENERGY which usually triggers a natural tendency to increase physical activity.
Don’t get hung up stressing over how many reps you did at the gym. Don’t blow up over an dietary lapse!
Focus on the process, the habits necessary to ultimately achieve. If you do the work, working the correct system, purposefully developing successful habits, the results take care of themselves.
Habits achieve results. Goals help us build the road map. Ultimately the work must be done.