This post is about how I broke down the barriers to adopting new behaviours to dieting and exercise. These are probably the most important weight loss tips in this series of blog posts.
But if you are just landing on this post now and have not read the previous posts in the series, I strongly suggest you do so now. Here they are, Part 1 (http://www NULL.beyondattitude NULL.com/2017/05/10/how-i-lost-25-pounds-by-fostering-my-own-behaviour-change-part-1/) and Part 2 (http://www NULL.beyondattitude NULL.com/2017/05/18/losing-25-lbs-behaviour-change-part-2/).
Identifying Barriers and Smashing Them
Remember, the 2 behaviours I chose: Follow a specific diet (low-carb, high fat (https://www NULL.dietdoctor NULL.com/low-carb/keto)), and a specific exercise plan. Also, remember that an important part of changing behaviour is identifying barriers to change and removing them. That is what I did.
Let’s deal with the diet first. The fitness program will be in the next post.
Barriers to Following the Diet
I identified the following barriers that might prevent me from skipping carbs and from eating more fat. Keep in mind I had already done a lot of research before choosing that particular diet. I had a good idea of what to eat and what to avoid. (If you want guidance on what to eat for this diet, you can check out this calculator. (https://www NULL.ruled NULL.me/keto-calculator/))
My potential barriers:
- Wrong foods available in my house.
- Making the wrong decisions.
- No strategy for when I am eating on the run, away from home.
- Not keeping track of what I was eating.
These barriers were easy to dispense with, actually. The following are the Community-Based Social Marketing techniques and weight loss tips I used.
To make sure I was not tripped up by the wrong foods, I got rid of all of the high carb food I could. No chips, potatoes, rice, bread, pasta, sweets, milk etc. In fact nothing white is the rule, with cauliflower an exception. If I was alone I would have thrown them all out. But my kids would still be eating some of those things. I decided to limit what was in the house to a minimum and resolve not to touch it. I also ensured my kitchen pantry had the food I needed to comply with the diet. Such as cheese, oils, butter, eggs, fish, meat and creamy salad dressings.
To reduce the chance of making wrong decisions, I try to avoid the need for decisions at all. I eat eggs every morning, in particular a delicious omelette made with cheese and avocado (with minor variations). By resolving to eat the same breakfast every day I have no decision to make. I just pull 2 eggs, half an avocado and a bit of cheese out of the fridge and fry it up in coconut oil. If you aren’t making a decision, it will never be a wrong decision.
Eating Well On the Run
When eating on the run, particularly in restaurants, I decided I would either eat a salad (Caesar if available) with chicken, or a meat entree with more vegetables rather than potato or rice. There have been very few occasions when I have strayed from that strategy. To ensure I’m not tempted by the menu, before we enter the restaurant I tell whoever I am with that I am going to have a chicken Caesar salad. It makes it a little harder to choose something else because I have made a public commitment beforehand. (More about commitments in an upcoming post.)
Finally, I knew I needed to keep track of what I was eating , and I didn’t know what foods contained what and how much. I use an app (https://www NULL.myfitnesspal NULL.com/)that allows me to easily record what I have eaten for each meal. It also tells me how much carbs, protein and fat is in every food item I consider eating, and how much I have eaten so far on that day. When I hit my max carbs for the day (20 net grams (https://ketodietapp NULL.com/Blog/post/2014/11/30/Total-Carbs-or-Net-Carbs-What-Really-Counts) in my case), I make sure I don’t eat anymore. Easy-peasy.
In the next post about Behaviour Change weight loss tips I will talk about the considerable barriers I identified to becoming fit, and the innovative approach I took to smashing them down.