Since commencing work as a weight loss coach a few years back I have learned A LOT about weight loss. Throughout these years I have spent spent hundreds of hours reading and learning, had thousands of conversations with clients and patients and spent a whole lot of time analyzing and reflecting on my own weight loss challenges.
Pardon the pun, but it seems that the word on weight loss is a never ending, moveable feast. One day we are told that to lose weight, we need to do/eat X the next we are told to avoid X all together. The messages are often confusing and conflicting, even for me and I specialize in the field! Whilst over the years my opinions on some things may have changed, I’ve stayed solid on my belief of others, here are the 5 things I believe (right now) about weight loss.
1. Fad and restrictive diets may work, but not in the long term
Yes, fad and restrictive diets can work – it makes sense that if you drastically restrict your calorie intake you are going to lose weight….but I have never seen them work in the long-term. It is my belief that this kind of dieting is never a good and rarely a healthy option. To lose the weight for good, you need a long term, sustainable safe plan, not a short term, restrictive and unsafe option.
2. It’s way more than food and movement
For years we’ve been told that to lose weight you need to eat less and move more. I call bullshit on this. We are much more complex beings than this simple theory gives us credit for. In my experience (both personally and working with hundreds of clients and patients) there are several other ducks that you need to line up first. For some people these may be dealing with mental blocks or long-held beliefs that are preventing them from losing weight. For others there may be external toxins that are holding them back. Failing to deal with all of the other “stuff” you have going on will influence your weight loss efforts dramatically. That I why I always delve deep with my clients on these issues before even talking about food and movement.
3. It needs to be a gentle process
You did not wake up one morning suddenly overweight or obese so why are you so insistent on losing the weight NOW? I get that once you’ve made the commitment to yourself you want, actually you need, that instant gratification. But see point 1, rapid weight loss is not a safe or sustainable option.
4. No one solution will work for everyone
We’ve all heard how the XYZ Diet worked for our mums best friends neighbor, but it won’t necessarily work for you. We are all individual and what works for one will not always work for another. Every person has varying tastes, physical abilities, habits and structures. That’s why it is essential to find the program that works for you.
5. Not everyone who says they want to help you actually does
In 2016-2017 Australians are expected to spend $635.0 million on weight-loss related services and products. This is big money, and unfortunately where there’s a dollar (or several million) to be made there is often a vermin or two willing to take advantage of the people who need it.
Over the past few months I have been looking into the work of a handful of shonky operators in Australia and it makes my blood boil. These people are preying on others with the promise to lose excessive amounts of weight in short periods of time. Their programs are downright unhealthy and exist simply for them to make the big bucks.
What are your beliefs on weight loss? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.