Lose Weight By Minimising Your Decisions

'Keep it as simple as possible' should be the motto plastered across your bathroom mirror.

The only way to lose weight is to do something about it.

You'll only do something about it if the pain of staying the same is more than the pain of changing.

As it happens, if we make the pain of changing as small as possible, you're much more likely to take action. Weight loss soon follows.

The simplest way to make things simple is to minimise the number of decisions you have to make each day.

Know that willpower is not unlimited.

You start each day with a cup full of willpower.

It is limited. Every single decision you make takes a small sip from your cup.

  • You wake up and choose what to eat for breakfast. A sip is taken.

  • You then choose what to wear to work. Another sip taken.

  • You decide whether to drive or take the bus. Another sip.

By the time the afternoon hunger hits, you have nothing left in the cup. It's empty. You've run out of willpower. It's no surprise that most of our unhealthy choices are made after work.

This little factor is known as decision fatigue.

It can be your greatest downfall in the quest to lose weight.

To fight decision fatigue, commit to lifestyle choices.

Committed lifestyle choices, not day-to-day fruitless tasks, makes losing weight simple. You want to make changes which will have the greatest impact and require no decisions to be made.

Although helpful in some instances, things like:

  • Taking the stairs.

  • Snacking less.

  • Walking around the office every half hour.

  • Eating more fruit.

...aren't overly helpful in many contexts.

They require thought, intention, decision and action - all of which will eat away at your willpower and incur fatigue.

Instead, make bold lifestyle choices.

  • I will ride my bike to work every day, no matter the weather.

  • I will eat the same healthy breakfast every morning.

  • I will go to the gym on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday every week and follow a preset program.

These things require no thought. You simply must 'do'. There is no momentary decision to be made.

In essence, they are the building blocks of routine.

And, to further the power of your routine, you can implement concrete if-then rules. Sometimes life prevents you from doing what you want to do. It happens.

"If it is raining, I will drive to work. Otherwise, I cycle."

Spending your days making trivial decisions is a good way to spin your tyres and go nowhere.

Yes, the little things do add up in the long-term. Cutting your calorie intake whilst increasing your energy expenditure is how you lose weight.

If you get too caught up in small decisions, you can't see the forest for the trees. You lose track of the bigger picture. There are much bigger aspects of fitness which will have a massive impact in relation to eating an apple or an orange.

Keep things as simple as humanly possible.

Know that willpower is not unlimited.

Minimise the decisions you have to make. Save them for the things that matter.

Commit to the choice.

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