Knowledge Of vs Knowledge How

I read a few blogs on a regular basis.

One I touch on from time to time is the technology and design blog, Signal vs Noise.

They often have great gems of business articles like this one.

They also have a very large, loyal following of readers, which of course, I respect too.

One of the things I admire about 37signals is their willingness to share their unique perspective on a multitude of topics.

They’ve had a blog for many years as a cornerstone of their business, and they hire insightful people to contribute to both their business and their blog too.

In their original post, this obviously had nothing to do with fitness but this quote in particular is for all you fitness enthusiasts and others looking for insights into weight loss.

“People function through their use of two kinds of knowledge: knowledge of and knowledge how.” ~ Donald Norman

Brilliant idea, definitely not mine, but showcases why most people have knowledge of losing weight; they fundamentally know they need to eat less and move more.

Yet, the reality is that most people typically don’t really have the knowledge how.

It also showcases quite simply that some people may have knowledge of keeping the weight off, but perhaps the fewest people of all seem to have knowledge how to keep the weight off.

There are two processes you must take to lose weight and keep it off.

One is obviously the weight loss itself; first you must gain knowledge of, then you gain knowledge how, or both simultaneously if possible.

The second process is learning how to live a self-fulfilling lifestyle via good nutrition and movement practices; again you probably should gain knowledge of first, then knowledge how — by actually practicing it — or simultaneously both if possible.

This loosely based, ‘4-step-kind-of-process’ may actually be really important in your weight loss or fitness journey.

It is absolutely true, and yet far too many people who struggle with weight are focused in the knowledge of, instead of experiencing the actual process of how.

We’ve read the fitness magazines, the newspapers, the blogs, we know exactly how to do it right?

Not exactly… that’s knowledge of…

We have knowledge of knowing we need to reduce calories in and increase our calories out — the most simplistic way to view it — but we fail to see the behavioral, mindset, social, environmental, occupational, emotional or physical things that are really holding us back because we never fully experience them or address them.

Don’t wait for the opportune time to gain an understanding of how to lose weight, go out and start.

You need to experience weight loss to fully understand it, sometimes it is actually a bit of a trial and error experience.

Take action, go through a process, get a mentor or a coach to obtain knowledge how.

But…

Once you’ve done that, don’t stop there!

Start gaining knowledge of healthy living, then go through the process of experiencing healthy living.

Just because you know of weight loss and you know how to lose the weight, doesn’t mean you know of living at a healthy weight, or how to keep it off just yet, so don’t stop.

There is a stark contrast between the process of losing weight, and maintaining your weight loss.

This is a key distinction that a lot of people overlook and struggle with after they’ve lost the initial weight, it’s also a big reason many people regain the weight.

No one can just tell you how to do it, but they can guide you.

Learning is a big part of your weight loss journey.

This is a unique process for everyone, there are some guidelines we can utilize but ultimately you must experience it for yourself.