You may feel like you have tried everything. You may feel like it’s hopeless. You may feel like your genes are to blame, and that there is nothing you can do.
You are not alone.
There are many diets out there, and unfortunately, as so many people know from personal experience, diets often don’t really work. Or if they do work temporarily, the weight often comes right back.
Is this because people are lazy and have no willpower? No! In our diet crazed culture, that is what we are led to believe. The truth is that most diets don’t target both the biological and emotional root causes of weight gain.
Here are 5 reasons why you can’t lose weight, no matter how hard you try:
The diet mentality is not sustainable! Typically, dieting equals deprivation. And for most people, feeling deprived leads to cravings and hunger. It may be possible to fight against these feelings in the short term, but in the long term, for most people, the end result is weight regain.
A better approach is to ditch dieting and deprivation and focus on sustainable lifestyle changes.
Food is more than just nourishment. For many of us, it is a source of pleasure, comfort, and entertainment. If we don’t recognize this, it will be almost impossible to lose weight and keep it off.
In order to lose weight, we must recognize the difference between hunger and emotional eating. We must figure out strategies to find pleasure and comfort from sources other than food. And we must adjust our mindset, so that we have more control over our actions and results. It is only when we address all of these emotional drivers of weight gain, that we can achieve long term weight loss.
If you have ever tried to lose weight, I’m sure you have heard about the importance of counting calories. Make sure your calories out total more than your calories in.
Actually, no! Counting calories often sets us up to fail! Looking only at calories ignores the metabolic effects of each calorie. The source of the calorie changes how you digest it, how you retrieve energy from it, and what hormones our body produces.
Our body weight is regulated by a complex balance of hormones, and it is when this system is not working correctly, that we gain weight. Rather than counting calories, we should be targeting the root biological and hormonal causes of weight gain. It is only then that we can lose weight and keep it off.
For decades we were told that fat was bad! “Eating fat makes you fat!” “Don’t eat fat—it is the cause of all of our problems!” Subsequently, for years, many of us desperately tried to avoid fat, by eating fat free everything.
Now the focus has shifted to carbohydrates. “Carbs are the enemy.” “Carbs make you fat.” “You better cut out carbs if you want to lose weight!” Similarly, many are now demonizing and avoiding carbs.
But is cutting out an entire food group really necessary to lose weight? And is it healthy? No.
There is so much confusion and misinformation out there about what we should and should not be eating. And despite their popularity, many of the diets out there are not healthy, and may be increasing our risk of heart attacks, strokes, and even cancer.
Not only is cutting out an entire macronutrient food group unhealthy, but it is not sustainable for the long term, and it is not necessary.
Losing weight is a priority for many. But when we dig deeper, losing weight is not just about numbers on a scale.
In reality, numbers on a scale are meaningless.
If we dig a little deeper, we find what matters more: increasing our energy, improving our quality of life, optimizing our physical health, boosting our emotional health, increasing our self esteem, practicing self compassion, preventing disease and living our best life. These are the goals that we should be focused on.
Not only is this motivation more sustainable, but if we focus on making lifestyle changes with these goals in mind, we can actually lose weight permanently while living our best life!
Achieve permanent weight loss and add healthier and happier years to your life.