Researching for a recent podcast I came across an interesting study from the 1980’s.
Apparently one of the popular methods for weight loss was to wire people’s jaw shut.
Which at first glance sounds kind of crazy, until you compare that to invasive surgery in which we band or staple the stomach together today.
In this study a researcher by the name of John Garrow (known as the dean of obesity studies in England) wanted to know why people regained most of their weight once the jaw wiring was removed. FIND STUDY HERE.
In his study after the patients had their jaws wired for 6-12 months. During this period the obese patients lost an average of 31.8KG or 70ish lbs.
Afterwards the jaw wires were removed and half of the people were fitted with a small nylon cord that sat under the clothes around the waist. The other half were given nothing.
The group that received nothing gained around 5.6kg or 12ish lbs in the first 2months then continued to regain weight at a pretty constant rate of somewhere between 1-8kg per month ongoing.
Interestingly the nylon cord group gained the same in the first 2 months (most likely from being able to eat again) then slowed significantly compared to the nothing group, with each passing month the gap grew larger.
The study also talks about the participants that bought new fitting clothes to fit their new body were also more successful at keeping the weight off.
Although I am definitely not advocating jaw wiring surgery, or that everyone go out and buy themselves a nylon cord to tie around their waist, I do think there is some wisdom to glean from this study.
The new tight clothes or nylon cord acted as a physical CONSISTENT CUE. As soon as they started putting back on some weight or even if they ate something that caused bloating they would get an instant sign they are starting to slip or a sign that something they ate does not agree with their bodies.
Our bodies are extremely smart, they will tell you when you’re full, when you’re hungry, when you’re eating something that does not agree, we’ve just become very good at ignoring signs.
So taking the time to place our new signs up will help us take control back.
If you want to be successful at ingraining a new positive habit. You have to find yourself a cue or REMINDER for that new habit.
Something that can draw you out of automatic mind, that state when you are just moving and going through the motions.
If you want to start working out first thing in the morning place your workout gear in a place you will have to see it as soon as you wake up.
If you know you typically overeat “bad” food in loose comfortable clothing, put on some fitted clothing before you sit down to eat so you get an instant reminder of when you’ve had too much or something your body doesn’t digest well.
If you hide from knowing what your body composition is, take the power out of it by measuring it daily and teaching yourself what works and doesn’t work with your body.
Being fit and healthy is not complex or hard, it is PLANNING and HABIT forming.
That’s the best thing about habits, once you’ve created one you can rely on it.
– Successful people measure often and learn to use daily cues.
– Find those negative cues for a bad habit and don’t avoid them, confront them and replace them with positive ones.
– The weekend is not special. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are nothing more than just other days of the week.