8 Things You Need To Know About Those Weight Loss ResolutionsDec 17, 2020
About those weight loss resolutions...
Since it's almost the New Year and just about time for all the weight-loss ads and resolutions to start, I wanted to offer a few really important points to consider before you start your next New Year's weight loss resolution.
According to the National Institute of Health, 98% of people who lose weight on a diet regain all the weight they lose and a large majority gain even more than they lost.
And up to 90% of people who start a new fitness program, quit within 3 months.
Close to 90% of people who set New Year's resolutions give up before ever achieving them.
If you've been dieting and/or setting resolutions for years and you're still not happy with your body, yourself or your life... it's the definition of insanity to do the same thing again in 2021.
If you actually want a different result this time, you have to do something different.
And no, trying a new diet isn't doing something different - it's just doing a different version of the same basic thing that's already failed you a million times.
EIGHT IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT LOSING WEIGHT
Healthy diets do not eliminate entire food groups and weight loss doesn't require eliminating anything. Dramatically reducing or eliminating entire food groups is disordered eating. And diets that eliminate entire food groups are not sustainable long term so they WILL cause you to regain everything you lose (and probably more).
If your diet is eliminating entire food groups or labeling certain foods as good vs bad, you're seriously at risk of creating a ridiculously messed up relationship with food... and yourself. ESPECIALLY long term. Please don't risk your mental health in pursuit of weight loss or a healthy body. It's not worth it. And it's not healthy. Wanting to live healthier and happier shouldn't destroy your mental health and if you're living at war with yourself every day over what you think you should be eating, versus what you think you actually want to eat, you're destroying your mental health.
ANY diet that you can to will result in weight loss if you are at a caloric deficit. Weight loss is not a difficult or complicated process. You could eat nothing but twinkies and lose weight if you're eating less than you burn. Seriously. (not that I recommend that, you'll feel like garbage ;) ) The point is, the commonality behind ALL "successful" diets are a caloric deficit coupled with consistency and compliance. There is no miracle, just a consistent caloric deficit. Also, just because a diet claims to work faster, or have science behind it, doesn't mean it's healthy or that the "science" behind it is even true or valid. AND just because you're eating "healthy" doesn't mean you're eating for weight loss. Studies on the LONG TERM success rates of diets prove that 1) no one diet works any better than another and 2) none of them work long term. PLUS, no diet can tell you what's best for YOUR body, better than your own body and no one is more invested in your health and well-being than your own body.
Weight loss is actually pretty simple. It's not a complicated process. Losing weight is not the hard part. Like I said, ALL it requires is a consistent caloric deficit. Eat less than your body needs and you'll lose weight. That's it. The reason you struggle to keep it off or stay consistent has nothing to do with your willpower or motivation or ability to be successful and everything to do with the things going on in your brain that are driving why you eat the way you eat - changing those things is where your focus should be. When you do, the way you eat organically begins to change all on its own. You'll naturally start eating less because you won't be eating to soothe emotions, self-punish or because food restriction keeps causing you to "cave". And you'll naturally start wanting to eat things that make you feel good because you'll actually start believing you deserve to feel good.
Here's the biggest secret of all... you need to stop focusing on weight loss. Continuing to focus on weight loss is going to keep resulting in the same outcome - no sustained weight loss. Focusing on weight loss keeps you trapped in that cycle of trying to force yourself to eat something you think you're supposed to in the hope that maybe some time at a later date the scale will reflect a different number or you can buy a smaller size in jeans. It's TERRIBLE "motivation" that almost never works because there's no immediate gratification. Rather than trying to force and willpower your way to disordered eating in order to make the scale go down, listen to your body. Learn to make choices for it from a place of love, rather than fear over your size or what the scale says. Learn to stop letting your brain make all the choices by running its autopilot programs of mindlessly eating in front of the TV or to numb emotions, or just because the food is there because as long as those habits persist weight loss will never last anyway. Your time and energy is far more productively spent working on the reasons weight went on in the first place, than on what the scale says. And if you focus on how the things you're eating are making you feel, you CAN get instant gratification. The things you choose to eat today cannot affect your weight today, but they can and will affect how you feel today. And don't you want to FEEL GOOD?
Learn to trust and listen to your body. It's really friggen smart and knows how to eat. It knows what makes it feel good and what doesn't and it wants to eat things that make it feel good. It doesn't want to overeat until it's ready to hurl - overeating, emotional eating, mindlessly eating, those are all behaviors being driven by your brain - not your body. Switch it so your body is making the choices for itself, rather than your brain. To do that start by eliminating all the food rules and diet mindsets. They're just making it harder to hear your body. Then pay attention to how the things you're eating make you feel. Start asking yourself before you eat, how is that going to make me feel? Do I want to feel that way? Do I need it? Why do I want it? Am I physically hungry? Be aware that anytime you're eating when you're not physically hungry, or when you know it's going to make you feel like crap, that's an action being driven subconsciously by your brain. Be mindful and knowledgeable about what goes in your mouth AND how much of it is going in. You can lose weight and be healthy without being deprived or scared of slipping and having a "bad" food. You can learn to be lean, healthy and sane without even spending a dime... if you just take the time to learn how to break away from the diet roller coaster. I swear it'll be the best thing you ever do for yourself.
If you've been struggling with weight and food and a brain that drives those types of behaviors, focusing on weight loss is the single least effective thing you can do - in fact it's doing more harm than good. I feel like this doesn't even need any explanation. Just look at your own history. How many times have you tried? Have you kept it off yet? Obviously not or you wouldn't be here. As long as your brain is stuck in those self-sabotaging habits, there's close to zero chance you're ever going to keep it off because you just keep looping back into the same old patterns of behaviors that your brain is stuck in AND as long as you're obsessing over weight & what you think you should be eating, you're going to be busy doing that (and beating on yourself) to actually work on changing the things that are driving those behaviors. Imagine how much time and energy you'd have available to devote to changing destructive patterns if you stopped focusing on the scale and started focusing on changing why you're stuck in these patterns?
Don't put a time frame on yourself... do it until. Do it until you're where you want to be. Do it until it's second nature. Do it until it's your new normal. I don't care how many times you "screw up" or "fall off the wagon" just keep starting again and do it until.... accept that all of those things are a NORMAL part of the process and use them as learning opportunities rather than excuses to beat on yourself and quit. Picture the life you want and never, ever stop working on creating it. No matter what. (pro-tip: it's 1000 times easier to do this when the changes you're trying to make are focused on helping you feel better, and live happier than if you're still trying to diet, restrict and suffer your way through weight loss.)
If you already know what you need to do to "eat right" or lose weight and consistently don't do it, there are deeper issues going on that you need to address INSTEAD of continuing to set yourself up for failure by jumping on more ineffective diets.
Years of dieting wires habits, mindsets and behaviors into your brain that keep you stuck repeating the same habit loops of "falling off track" or "failing" over and over again. No new diet can change those. They only make them worse.
It's almost 2021... haven't you been struggling long enough? Isn't it time to start doing something different?
If you ready to start healing your relationship with yourself, your body and food and learn how to change the destructive patterns of thoughts and behaviors that have been keeping you stuck in the weight and food war, join the CEA waitlist. Registration reopens in January.