Why Can't We Change Faster? The Law of Balance

Stephen Guise
A free video tutorial from Stephen Guise
International Bestselling Author, Habit Formation Expert
4.2 instructor rating • 2 courses • 17,694 students

Lecture description

The human body has a remarkable preference and skill for balance. When we do something extreme, the body takes countermeasures to bring us back into balance. Watch this video to see several examples and you'll wonder why the typical dieting strategy is so... stupid.


Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Photos by JeepersMedia, Chris Parker2012 (flicker.com)

Learn more from the full course

Weight Loss for Life with Mini Habits

Stop Dieting, Make Healthy Living Easy, and Form New Habits

05:54:07 of on-demand video • Updated February 2019

  • Discover the surprising scientific link between dieting and long-term weight gain
  • Learn to create daily mini habits—the easiest and most reliable way to change your behavior and lose weight
  • Win the temptation war, even if you lose some battles
  • Completely eradicate feelings of guilt and shame in regards to your diet and weight
  • Learn clever strategies to make smarter choices in grocery shopping, snacking, home eating, and more
  • See the perils of calorie restriction, low-carb diets, cheat days, and other dieting mainstays
  • Learn to succeed every day, and leverage that into more success (Success Cycling)
  • Prioritize consistency over individual wins, and reap the rewards!
  • SUMMARY: You'll learn the ins and outs of the world's best behavior change strategy, see its key advantages over other strategies, and approach weight loss in a smarter way than you ever have before!
English Remember the Minnesota starvation experiment we covered? Well the Vermont prison study in 1964 was basically the opposite. Prisoners were forced to eat too much and gain weight as expected. But after a certain point they stopped gaining weight. Their metabolism increased by 50 percent... To compensate for the amount of food they were eating. After the experiment was over their weight shot back down to pre study levels. Ironically these people would be in a better position for weight loss than those in the starvation experiment because they didn't have a fear of food scarcity which drives consumption. And their over eating caused metabolic increase rather than decrease. A very good thing if you're trying to lose weight. That said neither example is ideal as both changes were so extreme that the body took drastic measures in attempt to normalize. Let's zoom out and take notice of a larger concept at work here. Balance. Here are just some of the ways the body fights for balance. Internalize the concept behind these facts and think about some of your previous extreme weight loss attempts in this context. When you don't consume enough sugar or carbohydrates it drops your blood sugar down. So what does your body do? Well, it converts fat into glucose to maintain proper energy and bodily functioning. It is called ketosis. Let's say that you don't eat enough cholesterol. In that case your liver will make more of it to compensate. And if you eat too much cholesterol your liver will make less of it. After you've had blood drawn... Your body will produce a greater number of red and white blood cells and platelets until levels are back to normal. When you exercise more and expend energy... You will get hungrier to intake more energy. When you Semi-starve yourself and lose fat quickly, your body burns fewer calories at rest. This is called food efficiency. Our bodies are machines of balance. Everything we know about the body shows a clear biological pattern of homeostasis or the tendency to self stabilize. This makes weight loss an interesting proposition because the goal is to radically change something that doesn't want to change radically. If you have excess fat, your body is fighting to keep it. Knowing this, is the smart approach to shock the body into a new way of living? Must we stop eating food completely for awhile for the body to get the message? Of course not. This is like cornering a dangerous animal! If you do this to your body, you're going to provoke It's very best counterattack. It's going to do whatever it can to get you back to your starting weight and may overcompensate to make you gain even more weight... as we've seen in these studies. it's like when the bank incorrectly shuts down your accounts for your protection. It's frustrating but the body is just doing its job. Now comes a question of how: how do we change in a way that doesn't set off the body's many countermeasures? slow, consistent, small changes are the way. How exactly do we execute these changes? There are two approaches for taking action. Motivation and willpower. Let's find out which one is best.