So I read the new Scott Adams book.
Of particular interest was his idea of having a system, against having goals.
Basically he says goals are for losers as they are short term and when the goal is reached (such as losing 5lbs), a person will go back to their old habits and put the weight back on.
With a system, this is part of a habit of self-improvement to reach aspirations and stay there.
So for the person who wants to lose weight they would overhaul their diet so that it is sustainable, so when they get to their desired weight they stay that way.
I realised that I have adapted the idea of having a system to parts of my life without realising it.
One system I developed is my good diet, which has been developed to help support my fitness needs, but also ensure that I do not balloon in weight.
My first approaching to turning my diet into the system was when I started going to the gym 12 years ago where I decided to help my weight loss needs I would stop drinking Coca-cola.
I’ll be honest my diet system did not change much until the last three years as I was of the false belief that if I trained hard enough I could eat what I wanted to. Although this got me to a healthy weight I was not perfect.
The only major change to my dietary lifestyle at the beginning was going vegetarian, therefore I had to ensure that I was getting the right nutrients to fuel my gym life-style.
In the last three years I improved my diet system as I realised if I wanted to reach my fitness aims I needed to change my attitude.
I continued my method of elimanting bad foods gradually – such as changing sugary snacks for nuts and a cereal bar for carrot sticks.
But although I have never followed a diet plan, I worked in a library and got access to books about nutrition and diets such as Gi, dukan and paleo – the stuff that I liked and suited my lifestyle I encorporated into my diet system.
The most recent change has been to stop drinking alcohol, which has helped as I feel happier and healthier.
The advantage of developing your own diet system is that you are finding what works for you, I choose to improve my diet gradually because I felt if I made a massive change all at once I would have to rely on will power and would ultimatley fail in my diet.
Having a system is better than fad diets as you are empowered to understand your nutrition.
Atkins is not a system – as it is not practical to sustain in the long term due to it having an impact on people’s health.
Slimfast is not a system as when people stop taking it they put weight back on.
Both Atkins and Slimfast fail as systems as they are primarliy fad diets focused on achieving the users short-term goals.
They may help the user loose weight, but when they eventually stop they put all their weight back on because they do not understand healthy nutrition.
Therefore isn’t having a diet system better?
My recommendations to developing your own diet system:
- Reflect on what you are eating.
- Start substituing the things you know are bad with better options.
- Start reading on nutrition and look at good diet books for foods and receipes you can sustain on a permeant basis.
- Train your mind to reject temptations and crave good food.
- Research supplements that can assist in a good diet system.
Therefore when you want to look at weight loss, look at developing a diet system that will be part of how you live your life.