The Hot Pizza Problem- Sustainable Goal Setting - Goal Setting Part 2

Our bodies are miraculous; they are incredibly adaptable and capable of massive changes, but they are not built to change at the speed of social media posts. It's not that change at this speed isn’t possible, but if we slip right back into old habits immediately after accomplishing a goal, were we really successful?


What I described above is commonly called the ‘yo-yo effect’ and is used to describe a process also known as weight cycling, or the cyclical loss and subsequent gain of weight. But it can be used to represent any goal where, once achieved, we see an unmistakable slip back to where we started. I call this the ‘Hot Pizza Problem.” Avoiding this slide back into old habits and loss of everything that we worked so hard to gain is what we are after.


Picture it:You haven’t eaten all day, when a friend says “wanna go get pizza” the answer is emphatic, “Yes, Yes, I always want pizza” You order your favorite pie and swoon when you see your large pie arrive piled high with sausage, onion, and peppers. In your extreme hunger and excitement to FINALLY eat the delicious pizza you grab a slice and shove that first delicious bite in your mouth (this is New Jersey we DO NOT use silverware for our pizza). For a moment you are overjoyed, then you feel the unmistakable feeling of molten mozzarella and boiling tomato sauce on your tongue. Now, you have one option: spit that bite back out and end up right back where you began, hungry but now disappointed at your failure while staring enviously across the table at your friends patiently blowing on each bite before they enjoy their pizza as you contemplate what are most definitely 3rd degree burns on your tongue.

(The above is a first hand account of far too many personal experiences)


There’s good news and bad news, which do you want first? I’ll plan to leave you on a high note. The bad news it is, sustainable goal setting does not result in the astonishing, overnight transformations we see on TV and in social media these days. These crash diets and overnight transformations we see are often too much for our body to handle all at one time. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and bite off more than we can chew, both mentally and physically.


In 2016 researches from NIH completed a study on contestants from the the TV show The Biggest Loser. Though all the contestants lost a substan