Forbes: Tinker, Adapt—The Secret To Being Unstoppable

January 16, 2024

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In her insightful Forbes article, Fresh Tri’s founder and CEO, Dr. Kyra Bobinet unravels the mystery behind why some individuals effortlessly take charge of their lives and achieve lasting change while others grapple with constant setbacks. Drawing from her extensive research and experiences, she unveils the transformative power of iteration—a little-known wisdom that can guide anyone toward becoming unstoppable in their pursuit of health and well-being.

Seeking the Secret Sauce: Long-Term Health Improvements

A decade ago, Dr. Bobinet conducted research on frontline workers for a Fortune 5 retailer who had achieved remarkable long-term weight loss and health improvements. Intrigued by their success, she set out to uncover the secrets that set them apart from the majority struggling with health goals and facing high relapse rates in conventional weight loss programs.

The Unexpected Champions: Everyday Iterators

Contrary to popular belief, the champions of healthy change were not the hyper-quantifiers obsessed with tracking every detail of their lives. Instead, they were everyday men and women who embraced iteration—the art of adjusting and tweaking their healthy habits. Whether it was adding spices to their food, using smaller plates, or incrementally increasing daily walking minutes, they creatively modified every aspect of their behaviors until they seamlessly fit into their lifestyles.

The Know-Do Gap: A Wake-Up Call

Dr. Bobinet, as a clinician and scientist, had explored various approaches to help people achieve their health and weight goals. Yet, time and again, she observed a common pattern of initial success followed by a relapse into old habits. The “know-do gap,” the psychological struggle of knowing what to do but not acting on it, became a significant roadblock. Participants, like Lisa, expressed frustration, saying, “I know what I should do—I just don’t know why I don’t do it.”

Unveiling the Power of Iteration

The groundbreaking discovery in her research was the role of iteration in overcoming the know-do gap. The frontline workers embraced a “let’s see if this works” mindset, treating the practice of new habits as one would a sport or learning a musical instrument. Crucially, they didn’t view setbacks as failures; instead, they smoothly pivoted to alternative approaches, continuously iterating to find what worked best for them.

The Habenula and Motivation Kill Switch

Dr. Bobinet introduces the concept of the habenula, the brain’s failure detector and motivation kill switch. Traditional approaches triggered the habenula, leading to motivation loss, relapse, and reversal of healthy changes. However, the iterator group of frontline workers, by embracing iteration, sidestepped failure, leaving their habenula dormant, and became unstoppable in their pursuit of lasting change.

Embracing Your Unstoppable Self

In conclusion, Dr. Kyra Bobinet encourages everyone to adopt the powerful strategy of iteration. By viewing health habits as an ongoing experiment, tinkering, tweaking, and adapting, individuals can overcome setbacks, avoid triggering the habenula, and become unstoppable in their journey toward health and well-being. The secret lies in the continuous pursuit of what works best for you, creating a personalized and sustainable path to lasting change.

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