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7 Weight Loss Hacks You are Not Doing. Part 3: Be Emotional(ly Intelligent)
Written by Paul Conzemius on Sept. 4th 2018
With the launch of our new weight loss program we are running a blog series featuring the 7 weight loss hacks you aren’t using. Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date and find the weight loss hacks that you are not using to lose weight!
So, without further ado, here is the third weight loss hack you aren’t using:  

Emotional Intelligence! 

Alright, this one is gonna be a longer walk but I promise it is for an equally long drink of water. Most people setting out on the path to further their health know that they need to work on there body. We know what we need to do, (eat less crap, move more often, get to bed… how novel!) but we constantly struggle with how to get it done. 
Enter Emotional Intelligence, or EQ.  

Chances are, if you have dabbled in any social science you are familiar with Daniel Goleman who popularized the idea that being successful in life was not entirely the result of your IQ as had been thought before, but rather of your emotional intelligence (which I will refer to as EQ for expedience sake). 
Basically, Goleman states EQ is your ability to identify and manage your own emotions as well as those of another. He also breaks it down in to five main components: Self-awareness, Self-regulation, Internal Motivation, Empathy, and Social Skill. 

Because this is only a jumping off point we are only going to focus on the first three components and how they directly affect your health, particularly in dealing with eating and exercise.  

Internal Motivation. This is categorized by a desire for genuine self-improvement and a desire to persevere in the face of adversity. Since there is no such thing as a path without resistance you need to understand what your motivations are in order to persevere. This includes weight loss and living a healthy lifestyle. If you have not stopped to identify why you are eating a certain diet or sticking to a certain exercise routine then no amount of knowledge will help you. Sooner or later it will get hard and without internal motivation you will fail.  

Let me be clear. Failing does not mean missing a workout or grabbing a cookie from the dessert table. It means you miss a workout and grab a cookie and then give up. Dealing with adversity and overcoming challenges is what internal motivation is all about.  

Self-awareness. People who have self-awareness can identify their own moods and emotions and the effect they have on others. For our purposes these are people who have an accurate assessment of how they live, what they eat, how much they exercise, and the effect this all has on them. 
Self-regulation. If self-awareness is knowing these things then self-regulation is the ability to act on this knowledge. You can reign in your emotions and act rationally. If you are strong in this area then you can control your impulses and change your behavior. 
Interestingly, there was a study done a while back in which children were given a marshmallow told that they could eat the marshmallow now but if the marshmallow was still there when the researcher returned they would be given two marshmallows. Years later the children were followed up with and those that could delay gratification and wait to get the second marshmallow before eating the first were more successful in terms of health, relationships, and school. Self-regulation at work! 

Now for the really good news. Goleman says emotional intelligence can be actively improved. It is not a gift that the lucky ones have but something we can actively work on and grow like a muscle.  

How you ask? The same way you get better at any thing else. You have to practice. Sit down and put together a plan to improve these skills. 
Start with motivation. Ask yourself, do I really care? If so, why? I find that writing down my goals helps with intrinsic motivation. There is nothing more powerful than a person who knows why they are doing something.  

Next, tackle Self-awareness. See if you can identify the negative behaviors you do not like. If you think you know them then ask someone close to you if they agree. If you feel the same as others about these behaviors then chances are you are on the right track.  

Finally, Self-regulation. You know what behaviors you do not like. Now identify what you’d like to do instead. For me it is much better to say, “I want to get up a bit earlier and workout” rather than, “I don’t want to sleep in so late”. Framing in the positive is a powerful thing.  

Now that you know what you want to do, start to do it. Remember this is a new practice so it will not be perfect and do not beat yourself up. You will most likely backslide and have slipups but that is expected. Practice until you improve and then practice some more.  

Work on strengthening your emotional intelligence like you work on strengthening a muscle and you will see incredible results, not just in weight loss but in life in general.  

If you enjoyed  this weight loss tip then subscribe to our newsletter to get our other 4 weight loss hacks as they come out! 

If tackling weight loss from all aspects of your life and learning how to manage a healthy weight is something you want then checkout our new weight loss program, Weight Loss Evolved!  


About Author: Paul Conzemius

Paul Conzemius is the Director of Evolvyst. He has traveled the world to over 30 countries and has trained professionals in many of these destinations. With a degree in leadership and intercultural communication and a passion for health and lifestyle he dedicates his time and energy to improving the human condition in whatever capacity he finds himself in. 
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