Want to lose weight? It’s not complex. You’ll have to eat less calories than you burn. That can be done many different ways by adjusting your nutrition and exercise, and there isn’t one cookie cutter way that works for everyone. That’s why I never say that weight loss is easy. Weight loss can be achieved through a number of different diets–ketogenic, low-fat, low-calorie, DASH diet, to name a few–but keeping weight off requires a completely individualized approach.
Nutrition & Religion?
Nutrition advice these days sounds an awful lot like religion: “Don’t eat this,” and “Do eat this.” It’s nothing more than a complicated list of dos and don’ts that keeps people switching from one diet to the next. Paleo is going out of style like the bell bottoms of the 70’s. Veganism is the new skinny jean, but few people can pull it off. What it comes down to is that people are medicating themselves with food and that has to change. Humans most likely have always had a preference for sweet and savory, but never before have they had so many options and opportunities to fulfill their every craving. Where I work (where I counsel people on positive nutrition and healthy habits) there are literally dozens of options for fast food, dozens of options for sit-down restaurants, dozens of options for convenience junk food and at least 6 different grocery chains within a 2 mile-radius. If ever there was a need for a visual representation of an obesogenic environment, Woodruff Road would come to mind. People no longer have to plan meals, so they don’t. People no longer have to say “no” to a craving, and they don’t. People can literally fulfill any craving they have by pulling up to a drive through, or a quick stop at the convenience store.
Eat to Live
Ultimately, what we want for our clients (and society as a whole) is to be people that eat to live, rather than people that live to eat. It’s not a bad thing to enjoy your food, but the problem is that our food is used in ways our bodies never intended. Food should be nourishing and enjoyable, but should not be used as a quick fix to deal with unpleasant emotions. Slow food is good and nourishing. Junk food provides instant gratification. Eating to live is not normal in our culture so when a person commits to a healthy lifestyle, often they find they are going it alone. Sure, it’s easy to find people to diet with, but the actual weight loss journey is a rather lonely one. You’re still working at it 5 years later, while everyone else you know has been on a dozen different diets, and yet still haven’t tackled the beast. If you’re lucky, they’ll admire you for your hard work. More likely, they’ll try to bring you back into that vicious cycle of dieting. Dieting is like running on the hamster wheel. You jump off the red one so you can jump on the new fancy blue one. At the end of the day, it’s still just a hamster wheel that leaves you tired. A diet by any name is still just a diet. Unless you break the whole thing apart and redesign to fit you, it won’t work. That’s why we are always clear in our message: it’s not weight loss–it’s a lifestyle change. We can help you lose weight fast, but keeping it off requires a lot of time, energy and dedication. We believe that support and the right tools, combined with your motivation to work hard will do the trick. If you’re tired of yo-yo dieting, get in touch with us. We’d love to work with you.