Had a bad relationship with dieting? Fix it right now

Do you have a bad relationship with dieting? Have you had a bad break-up with food? Ever cheated on a diet, or had a diet cheat you of a result you were expecting? Perhaps you’ve even flirted with an eating disorder.

For these reasons and more, I have just one question – would you like to start fresh with slow carb, leaving behind any old ‘ghosts in the closet’ that could come along and sabotage your otherwise great progress? If the answer is yes, I have a change you can make for free, in less than a minute that could revolutionize how you see losing fat and getting healthier.

This is something both Kat and I have dealt with personally – the fact that the old past of weigh-ins and measurements, of calorie counting and cutting, can really hold a strong place in your mind, even when you have decided to take a fresh approach. It can be disruptive, and derailing, and even if it’s not that bad, its a challenge I’m sure you, and I know I, would prefer to live without.

So how can we change it?

A lot of my past with food was around food energy cutting, and energy expenditure, but it wasn’t calories. But how could this be?

Simple. Growing up in Australia, calories aren’t used for these measurements. Likewise neither are inches, or pounds.

For you, if you’ve grown up with calories, inches and pounds, these numbers will be so familiar you might be able to recite them off the top of your head- your ideal weight (in pounds), your ideal food consumption for a day (in calories), your goal waist measurement (in inches), how many calories there are in a yogurt cup, a banana, a McDonalds Large French Fries.. and on it goes.

So, this presents a problem – there are some significant numbers that have some very strong associations for you. Most likely at other times you may have reached a certain weight, only to plateau or stop. Now, you think of that when you approach it again. Or, you feel like you need to count calories, even though the Four Hour Body book says you don’t need to (remember I recommend it’s a good idea to make sure you’re eating enough). And what about those measurements? I’m sure you can remember what the smallest number, in inches, was when you wrapped a tape measure around your hips.

All of these associations, with past events, when your goals weren’t met, or when there was significant difficulty or pain involved, will not help you achieve your goals now. They will merely bring back memories of failure, or of struggle. Neither of these will help you forward today. You need to be focused on achieving your goals, and of how effortless it can be.

If you’ve ever travelled to a place where you weren’t sure of the language, or the currency, you’ll know that it can be quite confusing, and at the very least, you can feel like there might as well be no signs, and no prices on anything. Imagine for a second you’re sitting in a cafe in India. You have ordered by pointing to a picture, and you don’t have a quick and easy way of doing a currency conversion at the table with the waiter observing you. You start to use other cues, like the quality of service, the furnishings and the food for example, to get a feel for how much things will cost, relative to the currency you’re dealing in.If you get full table service, with complimentary appetizers, and the main course looks like something from a magazine, there’s a good chance that the meal you’re enjoying will be of higher cost – but whether that’s ’300′ or ’12,500′ depends a lot on where you are in the world.

Rather than using a number as a way to understand or measure, you have relied on other indicators, because the number that was available to you – the cost in local currency – really didn’t mean anything at all to you.

But how is curry in India related to losing fat on slow carb?

The answer lies in how you measured your meal – by paying for your curry in Mumbai in an unfamiliar currency, you couldn’t compare it directly in value to meals you regularly purchase at home. This meant that you wouldn’t be judging it against memories of other meals, and their cost. As it turns out, when doing the exchange conversion, you might have just paid twice what you normally pay for a meal, or you might have paid half. Regardless, you’re free to enjoy the meal on its merits – like flavor, presentation, atmosphere of the cafe, and service.

So now how do we do the same for losing fat on slow carb (Tip: This works for gaining weight with Occam’s Protocol or Geek to Freak too)?

We switch ‘currencies’ – in this case, we change what units of measurement we’re using.

Earlier, I mentioned that in Australia, calories, inches and pounds are not the common measurements. Instead, kilojoules, centimeters and kilograms are what’s common. There are direct conversions for each, so the numbers can be used interchangeably, however, I’m willing to bet that using unfamiliar numbers could free you from some of the old mindsets and judgements that could be an unwanted challenge.

Instead of eating 2000 calories, losing 2 inches and now weighing in at 175 lbs, how about eating 8,360 kilojoules, losing 5 cms and weighing in at 79.4kg?

The numbers represent the same things in the physical world, they are just very different on paper.

The result is that you are freed from those old memories of plateauing at ’150′, or of trying to eat ’1500′ a day.

Change measurements – pounds to kilos, or vice-versa, and inches to cm or vice versa.

How do you make this change?

In the case of scales, many digital models offer a switch between lbs and kg. If it’s there, great! On some analog scales, both will be shown – the trick is to start ignoring the lbs numbers entirely. If you don’t have a kg option, I strongly suggest buying a pair of scales that do have this option, and preferably digital, so you never see a lbs measurement. If buying new scales isn’t an option, I recommend taking the measurement in lbs down on paper (so you don’t have to mentally store it) and using Google to do the conversion, then store the number you get in kgs. (Try Googling “165 lbs in kg”).

For calories, it might be a setting in your online food log, it might not be. In general, of course, counting calories isn’t recommend, as cutting calories is not how the slow carb diet works. That said, for anyone who feels they need to log their food, and need numbers, I strongly recommend finding an online food logging system that offers counting in kilojoules (does anyone have one to suggest?).

For measurements, consider a tape measure that only has cm on it, or alternatively get someone else to measure you, and only tell you the results in centimeters.

Of course, this all works the best if you hold back on doing any conversion calculations – the less you do the better. Being in the dark on these numbers can actually work in your favor.

By being in the dark with the numbers, you will start looking at other factors to determine success – just like our example of sitting in a cafe in India. You will consider how you’re feeling, how much energy you have, and of course over time, visual changes too that you will notice. Eventually you’ll probably want to check in with the numbers you understand, and then you will be blown away that those plateaus, or old memories of numbers that were stuck in your head, just seem irrelevant to the new numbers you’re looking at.

You might be interested in reading these too:

  1. Can slow carb get you below 10% bodyfat? This is a controversial question, for a few reasons. But that's not going to stop me writing this article. I am taking a very hard look at the slow carb diet, for one...
  2. Slow carb warning – stalled fat loss We work with many people each week who have challenges with stalled fat loss, and many of them have a common problem with the slow carb diet that is the cause of their...
  3. 4HB Video chat to discuss with friends Picture this: you are thinking about the slow carb diet. Maybe you've started it, maybe you're 2 months in, or maybe you're looking at the beans at the grocery store. You start chatting...

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