- Statistics show that more than 90 % of all dieters that successfully reach their fat loss goals return to their initial weight within a few months after they finished the diet. In this article, I’ll go through why this number is so high.
- I’ll give you guidelines on how to successfully stay lean for good by using something called autosuggestion!
- Finally, I’ll go through why I think that Intermittent fasting is a great method for long-term fat loss.
Your Body and Mind Both Matter!
When it comes to fat loss (or changing anything with the body), the main reason I’ve seen people fail to stay lean is because they focus solely on the physiological part of losing the fat and not the psychological part as well.
Focusing only on the body and not giving a “F” about the mind is a bad idea.
But why is that?
Because the mind and body are inseparable from each other! Where one affects the other and vice versa.
Let me explain what I mean when it comes to fat loss;
Your Body in Relation to Fat Loss
When you’re in a calorie deficit looking to lose fat, you will experience more true hunger and lower energy than usual (this is actually a good thing because it shows that you are doing something right).
However, when the calorie deficit continues and you’re getting leaner and slimmer, your body starts fighting the fat loss, both by regulating different hormones such as Leptin and Ghrelin and by causing you to move less.
This is a strong survival mechanism that humans have developed so that we always have energy available if it’s needed during troublesome times.
This is when things start to get tough and it affects not only your physical body but more so your mind as well.
Your Mind in Relation to Fat Loss
Because you’re experiencing increased hunger and lowered energy during your fat loss, what happens when you’ve completed your goal is that your mind comes up with million excuses to start eating more, excuses like:
- I’ve been so good, I’m worth having a large pizza or a whole tub of Ben n. Jerry’s.
- I weigh below 155 lbs. now, I’ve never done that before, it’s time to start eating more food.”
I think Tony Robbins said it the best, or no, he shouted it, the way only Tony can do;
– There is always an excuse, ALWAYS!
I remember that those words really resonated with me, not only for staying lean but for doing better in other aspects of life as well.
Anyways, what ends up happening when your diet is over is that you relax, you’re done with your fat loss, and you can finally indulge again.
This thinking quickly becomes a habit and all the fat you’ve lost will come back.
So, what to do?
Change Your Self Image and Mindset and You’ll Stay Lean for Good
If you want to stay lean for good, there’s only one thing to do, that’s to start changing your self-image.
In fact, your self-image is what decides how successful you will be at anything in life.
When it comes to fat loss, if your self-image doesn’t change over time, your body won’t change long-term either.
Don’t believe me?
Think about this question for a while;
-How do you see yourself on the beach this summer, or the next summer or the summer 5 years from now?
Really, picture yourself on that beach.
Got an image in your head?
Now, what does it look like?
If you imagine yourself just like you are today, it’s very likely that you’ll be exactly the same when that time comes.
On the other hand, if you imagine yourself as being lean, muscular and healthy, it’s more likely you will do what it takes to achieve that very thought.
So, if you didn’t imagine yourself as more successful than you are today, take some time and do so now, I’ll wait for you.
Got an image? Great!
Now, remember this image, you will use it a lot as it will be one of the strategies to slowly change your self-image through something called autosuggestion.
Here’s how you stay lean for good with the help of autosuggestion:
1. See Yourself as the Person You Want to Become Daily
Your subconsciousness can’t differentiate whether something is real or a fantasy, this means that the things you think about, no matter if the thoughts are good or bad will affect how you feel and also influence your results.
When you start to repeatedly visualize yourself as who you want to become. Eventually, you’ll become the person that you’ve thought about in your mind by subconsciously starting to do the things required to get there.
How to repeatedly visualize yourself as who you want to become
Create some sort of habit that always exposes yourself to this image you’ve created in your mind.
It can be done through rituals, meditation or posters on the wall etc.
But, I’ve found a way that’s easy, and very effective.
Having a goal card displaying the image of who you want to become!
This is an extremely powerful strategy. That I got from Radu Antoniu over at thinkeatlift.com
It helped me so much that it’s worth sharing his work over and over again.
Let me tell you how.
Two years back I created a goal card of who I wanted to become, I carried this card with me everywhere in my wallet and looked at it once, sometimes twice daily.
One year later I reached the goal I put on the card, which was also the image I had in my mind.
Now, that’s powerful!
Obviously, I’m not carrying the same card with me, because I don’t need it anymore, but I use another one with a bigger goal.
I’m not a fan of showing my deepest goals and visions because I like to keep some parts private, but since I’m not using the old goal card anymore, here’s a pre-print image of it:
Creating a goal card and forcing yourself to look at it every day is extremely powerful.
Now, the goal card can look just how you want it to, there’s no right or wrong here. Just use your imagination of what you want to achieve, put it down on a piece of paper and read it every day, it’ll pay of I promise.
Changing your self-image is also a skill and a process that you will get better at the more you practice it. Especially with the help of the next step.
2. Be Pro-Actively Conscious
This is so powerful!
By shifting your mindset into a proactive instead of a reactive one, it allows you to be very conscious every time your mind starts feeding you a story or excuse of how “good” you’ve been or that you’re “worth” eating this or that.
Instead of just “f-it” I’ll eat everything, think about how good you’ve been and that you can actually enjoy some of the things you like to eat. But instead of eating these things now, you purposely postpone it and tell yourself that you can eat it later if you so choose.
Thinking like this is so powerful because the thoughts and stories we tell ourselves don’t actually live on for more than a couple of minutes if we just allow them to pass by.
Own your thoughts instead of them owning you!
Now, let’s make this process even more convenient for you, by taking a look at a method that can make all of this a whole lot easier!
The Power of Intermittent Fasting
Even though meal frequency and nutrient timing doesn’t matter that much physiologically. I’ve found over the last few years that Intermittent fasting is an extremely powerful method when it comes to making everything regarding fat loss easier psychologically.
When you purposely skip meals and create a shorter eating window during the day, you no longer have to depend as much on willpower and being pro-activene, it sort of takes care of itself.
Intermittent fasting helps you better adhere to a calorie restricted diet, not only by the fact that it indirectly puts you in a calorie deficit, but also because there are just too few hours left in the day to overeat on.
How to Stay Lean for Good with Intermittent Fasting
One huge benefit of intermittent fasting compared to other methods are the following;
When you’ve been fasting for a while, both your mind and body will adapt to the specific eating window that you’ve been using.
What this does is making it very hard for your mind to successfully overcome your reasoning with internal excuses and stories. For you to gain the fat back you would actively have to start eating breakfast again, or whatever meal you’re skipping.
Starting to eat a whole meal again is a huge decision you have to go through.
This gives you a much higher chance of actually keeping your fat off for a long time to come, if not for the rest of your life!
Unfortunately, the rate of successful long-term fat loss post diet is statistically shown to be below 10%.
To avoid being one of the 90+% and actually succeed with your long-term fat loss, make sure you work as much on your mindset as you do on losing the fat, if not more!
Be proactive and willing to change the image you have of yourself.
Finally, make all of this as easy as possible by trying Intermittent fasting.
If you’re looking for awesome, fat loss meals to cook. I’ve got a short yet powerful cookbook for that! You can download it for free by also subscribing to the Iron Built Fitness newsletter below and be the first to receive new content.