Maybe some diets have some hidden psychological tactic behind them. Perhaps those single food type diets, the pineapple diet for example, trick you into liking food less.
Also exercise programmes: perhaps some of those have hidden agendas to awake your inner sports beast. I don't know. I want to be open about why the sporty fatty regime works psychologically.
We are probably born all of us, to be amateur psychologists, working out what other people do and why they behave like they or we as a group do. Some of this sub consciously, we just get to know what is normal and accepted for us personnally, what is different and what is maybe some behaviour we dont like.
However we as individuals assert that we have much more free-will than we actually exercise in our lives. In truth people have two horrid psychological flaws which hinder free will and change in lifestyle.
Beer Bellied Creatures of Habit
Firstly the vast majority of people are creatures-of-habit. We get used to our own routines in life. Worse than that some of our routines are completely counter productive- presenteeism at work is one of the worst. Hopping around in a self imposed super hectic lifestyle is another. Sitting eating crisps on friday night is another bad habit.
The body collaborates by having systems of homeostasis> this means that any sudden shock to the body like a crash diet is likely to be fought back by the body wanting to return to its status quo, which may have taken years to establish. In our case, it is simply that we have learned to eat too much and habituated our lifestyles to short exercise bursts rather than the very beneficial long moderate intensity sessions.
So when a crash or starvation diet comes along, we just dont like it. We want to return to our habits. I resented the Atkins diet despite it varying in fact what I eat for breakfast. I just found it a hassle and something I didnt want to do. Also the last time I had a strict regime of long duration exercise and self denial, I felt depressed despite losing a lot of weight. i felt I was denying myself and forcing myself.
The first thing about the sporty-fatty diet is that it does not give you wholly new patterns in which to behave. Rather it modifies patterns you already have. You already exercise. You can continue to eat some treats. You do not alter your main meals at all if they are healthy and balanced.
Of less importance perhaps depending on your social life, people are also terrible for behaving by following the flock behaviour. So in the UK we buy rounds of drinks and end up drinking what everyone else is instead of abstaining or taking a water. This means that many of your weekends, or even mid week post sports "quick wee bevvy" with the lads /lassies become calorie cramming sessions where after your overloaded blood sugar is deposited as fat while we sleep the alcohol off.
So we don't break all old habits and end up miserable and we dont stress the body out, we rather modify our exercise and moderate our eating.
Having said all this remember that this train and control your treats diet is aimed at sporty fatties, who have already forged the good habit of going training rather than sitting on the couch or doing more work, or reading the paper, or staying in bed at the weekend. So I doubt that this will be a very succesful regime for the sedentary person, unless they find that they enjoy long leisurely walks, jogs, cycles, swims, canoeing or extended gymn sessions etc etc and are able to form the new habit quickly. For example though as for myself, it was a period of unemployment which I decided to stretch my sessions out to over two hours, and now I find it easier to do this each week as if it was no real time at all, just like doing my time sheet at work or running the kids to school. More on that in the next blog.
Keeping it Real : Be Real Simple
Another fact of life when learning new ways of doing things as an adult is KISS: keep it simple, stupid! Many diets including the Atkins diet, have differing phases where you alter things or even titrate in new foods or more carbos. Others have all sorts of recipies to keep you interested in eating basically watery salad leaves and cucumber, with tiny amounts of what we actually like and what makes us feel satisfied (which is where the Atkins and low carbo diets score high, you get satisfied by high protein, fat filled food)
Also many exercise training programmes include at least three different types of exercise and at least three different strict durations, and then they alter this week by week towards some presumed event or 'goal'. Basically for anyone who is non training for competition or very focused on a better body, it is complete overkill.
What I say here is keep it all simple and easy to relate to, while also admitting to yourself that you must make some changes. So for the duration of the entire weight loss you will build up to and complete 5 - 7 hours per week of moderate level exercise. You will eat normal meals but you will have normal single portions. You will have some treats and snacks to enjoy or self reward, but these will be very limited with simple arithmetic per week.
Goals Goals Goals
Simple. It is a game of two halves and it is all about scoring goals, as the cliche of the pretentiously philosophical football commentator goes. One half is exercise, the other half is cutting out extras. The goals are very simple
A goal for 7 hours training per week in three sessions.
A goal to keep control of extras
Individual goals for each type of extra control. You win, but you also have had a nice lilttle treat.
Goals for keeping your intensity and duration of exercise up. This gets a little harder actually as you get better trained
A Goal / Reward for each month that goes, a declining waist line and kg on the scales
A Goal to make your new weight your long term light, fighting weight
A Goal to Get Fit and Use Your Base to Use your lighter body.