Small steps – Peter’s trouble


“PEEEETER, GET DOWN,” I find myself yelling from the kitchen into the living room as I discovered that Peter, my black cat, is on my white couch again.

How many times did I train him not to go on the couch? Once, twice or at least one-hundred times? He still acts as if he thinks that I can’t see him. And if I am not there, I know that he has been on the couch as I can see the evidence: Long black hair from Peter the cat. And I clean it off yet again.

This behavior reminds me of some adult humans who are trying to lose weight.

Take this story: I provide detailed eating programs for clients of mine. How many meals per day, what to eat after workouts, what to have for snacks, lunches and dinners. This is based on the client’s food log to work with foods that are beneficial for that individual and which follow the Mental Detox program.

In the beginning, implementation of the program goes well. Pounds are lost and results are seen. It is common for individuals to see fantastic results because they follow the program in detail. Yet, then comfort sets back in.

“I can relax now as I achieved my weight loss goal and can eat again,” is the common train of thought. But “eating again” refers to eating (and over-eating) the foods that have gotten the individual into the situation in the first place.

No, it is not okay to eat all foods—even when eaten in moderation. Some foods are just slippery slopes: Eating salt gives you a taste for more salt and sugar, for more sugar. Or have you been able to stop eating after two or three potato chips or one bite or two bites of chocolate cake?

Deprivation doesn’t work, but planning does. One strategy to implement is simply to plan on having one meal once a week where you can eat what you want. When you have 35 meals per week, (5 per day times 7 are 35), and you have 1 meal that is not on your eating plan, that makes 34 meals conducive to your weight loss and 1 that isn’t. Problems arise when that ratio starts to shift.

Check in with yourself. What is your ratio of good meals vs. bad meals? What are good meals and what are bad meals? Take a common sense approach for now. “Good” is anything that is fresh and unprocessed. “Bad” is processed with sugar, corn syrup and saturated fats. These are the foods that wreak havoc with your insulin levels, turning them into a roller coaster that make you gain fat because you eat more to maintain your energy.

Another easy strategy: Change your reward system. Your reward should not be to go back to eating the way you were, pre-weight loss. Why? Because you shouldn’t get the reward for losing weight. Reward yourself because you managed to alter your behavior. Behavior changes are what lead to weight loss, which must happen before you see the results on the scale.

To this day, Peter sometimes needs reminding what not do. Sometimes he has slips and sleeps on the couch. But after training him for months, these occasions are less frequent. Also, I provided him with another soft sleeping area. The alternative was a success to changing in behavior as well.

Behavior changes can be easily implemented. Training yourself to continue those changes will be the true success and proof of your results. If Peter can adapt to his new behavior, so can you.

Make your body your business.


Categories : Motivation, Nutrition



Hi, very nice post. I have been wonder’n bout this issue,so thanks for posting


I really like your post. Does it copyright protected?

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