The Secret to Long Term Low Carb Success

I’m fortunate to know a number of people that I would consider very successful. I study them. I ask questions.  I can generally make a nuisance of myself, but it’s because I want to know their secrets.  Today I’m going share with you the best low carb diet and lifestyle change secret I’ve come across.

I know that for people like me, a low carb lifestyle is the best way to achieve a healthy weight, reduce food cravings, stabilize energy, lose weight, and generally live a better life.  Getting started with low carb can be a little daunting for some people.  First there is dealing with the loss of comfort foods, explaining to your friends and family what you are doing, and basically reordering your whole life.  It’s a little overwhelming.  Then add in trying to figure out how exactly you are going to do it.  Low carb / high fat?  Traditional Atkins?  Paleo?  Primal? Protein Power?  In the midst of all of these options and questions, there is one thing that separates successful people from people that throw in the towel.   What is this one thing?  I am glad you asked.

If you want to be successful, there’s something you must do, even before you throw out the Ritz Crackers and Oreos.  Before you can concentrate on your level of ketosis, the amount of fat your consume, or even the grams of carbs you will be limiting yourself to, you MUST make up your mind that you are already a different person. You must draw a line in the sand and say “This day I am different”.  Mark your calendar and plant a flag.  I know this is counterintuitive to conventional thinking, but it was crucial in my journey and it’s the one thing that has kept me throughout the ups and downs. When I started on October 15, 2010, I decided that evening that I was a new person.  I knew from that day forward that I would never be the same. No matter what the scale said, or what the ketostix read, or how my pants fit – I would not be that person again.  I knew in my heart of hearts that this time I would succeed.  I had failed so many times in the past, because even though my head was in it, I didn’t believe in my heart that I could change.  Once I did, there was no going back. This is the one thing that I kept reminding myself as I went through my dark night of the soul a few months back.  I knew that I had gained some weight, and I couldn’t run or do the things that I wanted to do, but I was sure that I was still New Hank, even though I didn’t feel like it.

I have interviewed a lot of people on my podcast about their successes. We talked about a wide range of topics, and I got to hear many, varied stories about how they reached their goals, but one truth was consistent throughout the stories they told.  Every one of those people had a moment when they were fed up with themselves. They all had to face up to the fact that if they were ever going to be different, they would have to draw that line in the sand and not look back.  We all know people, heck even ourselves at one time or another, that have started a diet with good intentions, just to go right back in a short amount of time.  I would pride myself on the fact that I could drop 20 pounds any time I wanted to.  I knew the mechanics of weight loss.  I’d read the books and blogs, and I knew what needed to be done.  What I did not do was change my mind.

Even though we all arrive at these decisions with our own baggage, and because of different circumstances, there is a moment when we have to take responsibility for our own lives. That was a very hard thing for me to do.  It  was a lot easier to dodge and hide things with food, than face up to my responsibilities. The hardest things in life can also be the most freeing. Once you make up your mind, your waist line will eventually follow.  There will even come a day when that stupid scale doesn’t hold as much power over you that it used to.  I love the fact that my waist is over a foot smaller than it was a couple of years ago. I love the fact that I can look at old pictures and barely recognize myself.  I love the fact that people compliment me on how I look. But the thing I love the most is that I can look back at that line I drew in the sand, decided to man up, and knew I would never go back.


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One comment

  1. Hank, thank you for the great article. I drew the line in the sand Oct. 21, 2010 and with a name and date change could have written this article. The only thing I might have added is my determination to remove the word “diet” from my vocabulary when talking about my “nutrition plan.” Seeing that I have lost and kept off my weight for 2 years, people still ask me if I am on my “low carb diet.” I always respond, “No I have not been on a diet in years, I just eat right for my body.”
    Keep up the good work Hank!

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