In part 1 we introduced challenges 1-3. Let’s hit on a few more common challenges and then get to the solution.
Challenge #4 – “Dieting” is uncomfortable and maintaining motivation is hard.
Weight loss diets essentially set you up to succeed in the short term, but fail in the long run. You’re asked to do something that most people can’t keep up the rest of their life. And if you don’t change your food choices and activity habits for life, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten. Humans aren’t meant to be deprived – so if you drastically cut food/calories, you’re likely to give in, even if you’re really motivated at first. And by the way, hunger trumps motivation and willpower the majority of the time. For more on motivation, read Neal’s blog “Who Needs Motivation to Lose Weight?” posted on August 4, 2010.
Challenge #5 – Emotional Eating
Emotional eating is just about any time you eat for reasons other than actual hunger (other than preparing for an athletic event). Most people do it at some point, and for a lot of people it is probably the primary reason why they’re overweight. Women generally feel even more susceptible to emotional eating at different points in the menstrual cycle, but overall, anyone can be an emotional eater. If you find yourself staring into your cabinets or fridge because you’re bored (either in the moment or with your life in general), you’re engaged in emotional eating. If sitting down (alone) with a tub of ice cream on Friday night is an activity you plan for, you are an emotional eater. If you think of food as your friend, especially at times when you feel you’ve been smitten by society, family or friends, you’re an emotional eater. If something happens that makes you anxious or otherwise uncomfortable and those feelings make you want to eat, you guessed it.
We may not be able to control our emotions, but we can control how we react to them, and with the right tools, we can create a plan to help us compensate for those times when we break down and give in to the impulse to eat. More on emotional eating in the upcoming weeks – this topic deserves a blog or two of its own.
The Solution – A Modern Approach to Weight Control
So what’s the solution? First, a change in philosophy about weight loss is required. You do NOT, I repeat, do NOT need to go on a “diet.” I’m not saying you can’t, I’m saying you don’t need to. What’s required for long-term success is long-term change, and acknowledging the facts about weight control is critical. Otherwise you’ll blame other factors, remain a victim and never achieve your goals. I realize there are other reasons we have difficulty controlling our weight – hormones, stress, appetite, loneliness, boredom, emotions, medication, genetics, etc., but the facts remain unchanged and are as follows:
- Burn more calories than you take in and you’ll lose weight.
- Burn the same number of calories as you burn and you’ll maintain your weight.
- Burn fewer calories than you take in and you’ll gain weight.
Second, get in touch with your body’s calorie requirements. If you don’t know what your body burns, how do you know how much to eat? The answer is most people don’t. Modern technology allows you to see your calorie burn any time of day – putting you in total control even when you have the crappiest day of all time and all you want is chocolate cake. So why not take advantage of it? Tools like the exerspy and the dotFIT program help you understand what you have to do to keep from gaining weight when you do give in and eat that chocolate cake.
Here’s how it works. The exerspy is a wearable body sensing device that accurately tracks your calorie burn, minutes of physical activity, number of steps, sleeps duration and sleep efficiency. Then you use the dotFIT Fitness Intelligence Technology to track your numbers, set a safe and realistic goal, and even track your food intake online to boost your calorie IQ. Wear the exerspy and as you see your calorie burn, you’ll KNOW how much to eat. No diets required, just you following your numbers with total flexibility. Want to lose weight? Keep your calorie intake below your burn and do it your way. Maybe you decide to trim a couple hundred calories by replacing regular soda with diet or water. Or perhaps you choose fruit instead of chips at lunch. You might even decide to have a 100 calorie fudgsicle (my fav) instead of ice cream or cheesecake. Or maybe you slash a few hundred calories by switching the frappuccino for regular coffee. By making simple and doable changes like this, you’ll get results that last.
Another part of the solution is moving more. That’s what so is cool about the exerspy – it actually motivates you to move more. When you see your calorie burn and steps throughout the day, you can’t help but want to boost your numbers. It’s instant gratification that’s actually good for you. You’ll find yourself burning a couple hundred extra calories a day by taking a short walk here and there or doing your house chores yourself or kicking your regular workout up a notch or two. And any calorie you consume is cancelled by a calorie burned – no matter how you do it – so if you do have the occasional it’s-Friday-night-and-this-ice-cream-is-my-new-best-friend binge (which you know is not good for you, by the way) at least you also know what you have to do to burn it off.
And in case you’re curious, research shows people who use a device like exerspy lose 2-3 times more weight than those who don’t. Don’t get me wrong, you still have to make changes and do the work, but having this technology makes you aware of the numbers you need to know to change your food and activity habits and finally reach your goals for good. You then become the master of your weight because YOU created the path to get there. The “mystery” of weight loss is not so mysterious after all when you have visibility to the facts and modern solutions to address today’s challenges. We hope you join us and connect, detect and succeed.