What is the most productive way to lose weight?

Keep life simple. Establish a routine that works for you, and stick to it. I’ve had the same routine for years now: my meals, exercise routine, sleep schedule etc are all regularized. This is the key to obtaining a healthy and steady weight loss trajectory. Knowing what to eat, when to exercise etc. guarantees that you stay on track; avoid the stresses of daily life; and allows you to focus on other important things.

Keeping it simple with routine is something President Obama and I have in common. A recent Harvard Business Review article goes into detail about the importance of routine on decision making, and highlights the President’s “routinizing the routine” philosophy. So what gives President Obama the energy to keep making tough decisions daily? Here’s what he says:

You’ll see I wear only gray or blue suits. I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.

It is wise to make constant what you can. Healthy habits are generally very easy to keep constant. A routine is assurance that your health is being maintained, and gives you the ability to focus on the other important aspects of life. It’s the most efficient way to increase productivity, and reduce weight and stress!

Making too many decisions about mundane details is a waste of a limited resource: your mental energy…a tired brain makes us more likely to eat junk food, lie, or otherwise exhibit poor self-control.

The president also stressed the importance of daily exercise. I always highlight the benefits of exercise on physical and mental health. Try to incorporate this into your routine, and reap the benefits.

The point is that you should decide what you don’t care about and that you should learn how to run those parts of your life “on autopilot.” Instead of wasting your mental energy on things that you consider unimportant, save it for those decisions, activities, and people that matter most to you.

Let’s be productive, and reach our year end weight loss goals! Check out my detailed plan here.

Dr John Ellis MD

Board-certified anesthesiologist, with expertise in cardiovascular anesthesia and the implications of obesity and sleep apnea in anesthesia. See vascularanesthesia.com for professional information. Dr. Ellis has used the strategies in here to: (1) lose 120 lbs over 18 months, (2) stop all antihypertensive medicines, and (3) no longer need CPAP treatment for sleep apnea.

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