As a good friend likes to say about most things in life…”It’s simple, but it’s not easy.” There is no secret to maintaining a healthy bodyweight. Unless there is an underlying metabolic issue (rare), or an addiction that requires mental health treatment, we generally just have to become more conscious about our daily habits. I often hear people approaching this subject as if there is an ancient magical formula that can only be found by searching the farthest reaches of some tropical jungle.
Here’s the straight talk: All of us can do this, but most of us don’t want to. In a culture that prides itself on abundance and indulgence, we expect our struggles to be overcome in a passive manner that is seriously lacking accountability. “The Cheesecake Factory should have known that I couldn’t resist a second helping of dessert. I’ll sue them.”
What do you really want? Do you want to look and feel good? Or do you want to binge watch Netflix while polishing off a king sized bag of M&Ms every night? The choice is yours, and so is the result. Healthy people do healthy things. Now…before you fall into the “Easy for you to say personal trainer and colossal douche” mind-trap, it is important to re-state where I came from: Pack of Marlboro reds, 3 pints of vodka, Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese meal (super-sized) — every day for years. After watching my life crumble from the inside out, I decided I wanted something different, and then I did something different.
Here’s an anecdote that one of my former clients shared with me a few years back. She and her husband went on a spring trip to Boston with another couple. My client couldn’t wait to walk around the city and take in its rich history. The other couple wouldn’t have it. Their legs were in too much pain as a result of diabetes and obesity. So the couple offered an alternative: During lunch, they would spend all of their time discussing options for dinner.
Nothing will ever happen if you “start tomorrow,” and you will never have time if you don’t make time. Incidentally, you do have time. You just don’t want to give up resentful Facebook rabbit-holes in which you conclude that everyone else’s life is better than yours (it’s not). Just stop it.
Without further ado, here are the keys to a healthy bodyweight (and a healthier mind for that matter).
— Drink a gallon of water per day.
— Use My Fitness Pal.
— Keep your net carbs at 100 grams or less (total carbs minus fiber).
— Get at least 7 hours of sleep. (Turn off the screens 8 hours before your alarm is set to go off, and get into bed).
— Meditate 10 minutes every day. (Headspace is a great way to start learning).
— Get your 10,000 steps. (There are plenty of wearable fitness devices that can help you track).
That’s it. 6 things. Here’s the Stephen Hawking scientific explanation: It works if you do it. It does not work if you do not do it.