Day 46: How it Really is Easy to Lose Weight
The day before yesterday, I woke up and weighed myself. Weight is: 82.7Kg. The day before I consumed 684 calories below my BMR and did 0 calories of exercise above my BMR. Total deficit is 684 calories.
Yesterday, I woke up and weighed myself. Weight is: 82.8Kg. The day before I consumed 216 calories below my BMR and did 206 calories of exercise above my BMR. Total deficit is 422 calories.
Today, I woke up and weighed myself. Weight is: 82.8Kg. Yesterday I consumed 85 calories above my BMR and did 0 calories of exercise above my BMR. Total extra consumed is 85 calories.
Another oops. I went a few days without posting or tracking. It was a case of “well, it’s a habit now, it will just happen,” then as the day goes by, I delay, and then delay more. Then I go to bed and still haven’t done the work. Just because I have habits surrounding exercise and tracking in place, it doesn’t mean I can employ magic to make it happen. I still have to create the environment where I get stuff done. The other thing about an oops: I admit it and try understand what happened, then I move on. I do not castigate myself or apply shame. Accept, understand, adjust, move on.
Many people start off with the belief that weight loss is hard. It’s not. If you burn more calories than you consume, you lose weight. Easy. This is a universal truth about animals. Any reason any person will give for why they can’t lose weight is really an excuse.
“I have a condition”, “I have a slow metabolism”, “I really don’t eat that much”, blah, blah, blah. All those excuses are hiding one of two things. 1) The person is not exercising enough, and 2) That person is eating more than they need to.
So, the hard parts of losing weight are more about the process and less about the theory. In reality, if you were to drop 125 calories from your diet and add 125 calories to your exercise routine, you would see a very steady drop in weight. It would be minute, so you would not really notice major changes except on a month by month basis.
One can of Coke, one can of apple juice, one granola bar, and one chocolate bar are all about 125 calories. All you have to do is cut one of those out of your daily food intake, and you are halfway there.
30 minutes of easy walking is 125 calories. It does not need to be done all at once. You can do 10 three minute sessions, or three 10 minute sessions.
3500 calories is the equivalent to a pound of body fat. 250 calories a day, 7 days a week, for one month is 7000 calories, is two pounds of fat gone in one month. Slow, steady, and easy.
The hard part is adding exercise into your day and masking sure you really do cut out that one extra bit of food. These are things I will talk about in this article.
How to Make Weight Loss Part of Your Daily Routine
The mechanics of losing weight are easy. Count calories. Count the calories you burn and count the calories you consume. But, counting calories needs to be a habit. Choosing the salmon over the burger with fries needs to be a habit. Going into the fridge and coming out with an apple instead of a Coke needs to be a habit. Exercising instead of watching TV needs to be a habit.
Research has shown that after you have done something for about 28 days, that action will become a habit. Calorie tracking, snack selection, and exercising will become a habit after you have been able to work them into your daily habit for about 28 days. The problem is, how do you make yourself do something for 28 days so that it becomes a habit? The trick, and I will describe it here, is psychological manipulation. I will use some of the ideas presented in the book “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion“ by Robert Cialdini and the essay “24 Causes of Human Mis-Judgment” by Charlie Munger.
Psychological manipulation is traditionally used by salesmen to separate you from as much of your money as they can. We will use the same tools as them, but to actually do something useful for you. That something is to get you to do something everyday that eventually becomes a positive habit that help you lose weight.
The first concept is that of the Lollapalooza Effect. You will utilize the compound effect of multiple influencers. When you combine multiple influencers, you create the Lollapalooza Effect. Tupperware sales parties do this. Timeshare salesmen do this. Car salesmen do this. We will do this.
Cialdini lists six methods of influence and Munger talks about 24 causes. Cialdini’s six map to Munger’s 24 so they overlap. Munger just goes into more detail about the sub-types Cialdini discusses. The ones that worked best for me are:
Reward and Punishment
Reward and Punishment: Reward yourself for doing the right things and punish yourself for doing the wrong things. Suppose you have a goal of exercising every day. A reward could be a treat the day after you exercise. A punishment could be you have taken into account the calories for a treat in your meal plan, and if you did not exercise the day before, you go without those calories, and in effect go to bed a little hungry or missing out on your treat.
Doubt Avoidance: Once we make a decision, we do not want to entertain the idea that we have made the wrong decision. In the case of losing weight, exercising, and getting healthy, we know we have made the correct decision, but we need to reinforce that decision. Utilize this method by reading and collecting inspiring stories of people who have had successful weight loss journeys and live happy lives. You can also post in forums about how happy you are to be on your own journey.
Inconsistency Avoidance: Most people like to believe they are reliable, once they make a decision, they stick to that decision, that they are truthful and honest. To utilize this influencer, we will make a bold and direct statement describing the things we will do to make our weight loss journey a success. Essentially, you state your goals and state the daily actions you need to accomplish those goals. Write everything down by hand. Sign it, date it, get a few other people, whom you really trust and support you, to sign it and date it. Look at that every day. Now you’re accountable for something you said you would do. Doing anything different would be inconsistent with what we said we would do.
Social Proof: This one may involve the need to seek out different friends, or to distance yourself from negative influencers. The skinny, beautiful,and popular people who look the best, get the best, and are the best are your social proof. See them, observe them, and desire to be them.
Lollapalooza: Implement all four of the above influencers in your life and these will help you do the daily things that will eventually become habits.