The human brain is fascinating in many ways. One of these human brain tendencies is to sometimes “overestimate” certain things while “underestimating” others.
Here are some things that the brain will tend to overestimate:
- Our height
- How much time we spend exercising
- How many protein exchanges we eat per day
Here are some things that the brain will tend to underestimate:
- Our weight
- How much screen time we devote per day to “not very important” activities
- How much water we drank
- How many carbohydrates we consume
- How much alcohol we drink
To some extent, our brains try to “protect” us from distressing/not very happy things. When a new patient tells me he/she is 5 feet 10 inches and I bring them to the measuring device in our office and this shows 5 feet 8 inches, the person did not intentionally “lie” or try to deceive us. Similarly, when I ask a new patient what he/she weighs before we place the patient on the scale, frequently we will hear a number far less than the actual scale number. Once again, this is not some intentional deceit. In both examples, the patients’ brains are telling them one thing that is far less hurtful than the actual reality.
Long-term weight control success requires lots of cognizance of “reality” and not allowing our brains to either “overestimate” or “underestimate” the actions/activities/eating/drinking behaviors that will produce great results. This is where journaling comes in as this will provide a very clear look at reality and not estimates.
Here is something not to underestimate: How much better your will feel, how much younger you will look and how much more energy you will have when you are able to successfully shed that weight.