Well these beliefs and thoughts may actually be getting in your way of getting you taking the right steps to achieving an optimal weight and feeling of wellness.
Let’s discuss the main two briefly…
Belief 1 – We all know what we should be doing – eating less and exercising more.
There is little evidence that restricting your calories and exercising more works for many people or is sustainable. This belief leads to feelings of worthlessness when we try it and fail. And many who are fortunate to not be overweight often look at overweight people and kids with judgement that all they need to do is eat less and exercise more.
The old science of weight loss only focused on the external inputs – how much you eat and how much you exercise (or move). The new science of weight loss looks at internal processes – why some peoples’ fat cells seem to demand fuel (like a cancer or foetus) and deny fuel (energy to move) to the host. Then they look at the effect that different diet choices affect different people in different ways – even within families. Hence our slogan ‘one diet doesn’t fit all’. We’ve learned that you need to apply a process over a period (at least 12 weeks) to discover and fine tune the diet that works for you. By the way, when we refer to the “diet” word, we mean “sustained way of eating” and not “deprivation”.
Belief 2 – I just need to do some more exercise
We’ll debunk this long-standing myth in other posts, but let’s get to the bottom line (excuse the pun). There is little, if any, evidence suggesting that people who are overweight can exercise themselves slim. As a 30 year fitness veteran I used to believe in my heart of hearts that starting or increasing exercise was a crucial step for weight loss, and that exercise was crucial for sustained good health. My view is very much modified. I now believe that if, through a personalised dietary intervention, I can help a person carrying excess weight lose weight, then that person is much more likely to start exercising. They’ll have more energy for it, their joints will feel better and they’ll be less embarrassed by their size. I still believe that, like flossing your teeth, exercise is crucial for sustained good health, but for those who are weight challenged, the path to becoming an exerciser is by discovering the diet that helps them get control of their weight.
Belief 3 – Just do it! I should be able to just do it.
Doing it involves some steps and processes – if you want to succeed in both the short term and long term. The sad reality is that, for many, the motivation to start comes from a negative event – a wake up call. We attend a wedding and see the photos and think “That can’t be me!” Someone says something or gives you that look and it really hurts, especially as it reflects some truth about your weight. Whatever the motivation to start, either negative (to avoid negative feelings and poor health) or positive (to achieve a worthy physical or health goal), use it to fuel you to take action.
But imagine your teenage son or daughter said, “Mum, this year I’d like to start XYZ class at school.” Would you say, “There’s no need for you to attend that class as I’ll buy all the text books for that subject for you. You can learn it by yourself”? I doubt it as you know that having to attend structured classes and have the input of the books, the teacher, the lessons, the tests, the projects etc help you really learn the subject.
That’s why having a coach who has a process to help you discover the eating plan that works for you and your body’s individual responses, that you feel you can stick with, makes so much sense. Even professional sports people and athletes, who really know their stuff, have coaches. Top business people have coaches, sometimes different coaches for different skills.
Can you lose weight alone? Well, it’s like gambling and stock market players; we mainly hear about those times when they make money but we don’t hear too much about all the times they lose it. It’s the same for those losing weight: the media regularly run stories about the latest fad diet or amazing success story, but there’s no ‘news’ in the lady in the next suburb quietly starting yet another diet only to fail again. Unfortunately, the main problems for dieting failure are that people try for the ‘miracle’ diet, or they try to do it all alone. Neither strategy works for most people, and what they really need is a program that’s sustainable for the long term and that has an expert to help you along the way.
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