With this kind of title you are hoping that I am going to tell you about the holy grail of weight loss.
Take this supplement, eat this type of diet, exercise in this way, meditate, sleep well, get the right type of bacteria in your gut, stress less or optimize your thyroid function.
If you struggle with sticking to a plan, feeling like your weight fluctuates or feel hopeless in ever achieving success you are not alone.
While it would be much easier for me to tell you that the secret to weight loss was an easy fix, the truth we need to strive for long term consistency.
In most people all of the factors listed above are important considerations to achieving long term weight loss success. It is not about simply reducing calories, but about creating the balance in why the weight went on in the first place. Weight loss needs to be thought of as a by product of achieving a healthy and balanced life. When your nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress and hormones are balanced weight loss will be much easier.
A recent study done in the journal of obesity in Sept 2017 looked at 183 overweight and obese individuals who participated in a weight loss program. These individuals had dietary and exercise counseling over the course of a year. The researchers tracked their weight and offered meetings to track their progress. The results showed that those who had early elevated weight variability in the weight loss program predicted poor long term results. Meaning...those that had rapid weight loss in the first few weeks or months of a weight loss program were less likely to keep those pounds off for a long period of time.
The body is most well equipped to lose about one pound per week. This is also the speed of weight loss in which weight maintenance is most likely achieved. Anything faster than that is usually a results of severe caloric restriction or macronutrient restriction. While this approach may seem great for weeks, or even months it is unsustainable in the long term. Don’t get me wrong, I will use some of these tools to temporarily initiate stubborn weight loss, but once initiated the most important thing is to find a sustainable long term plan.
2 Top Reasons Why the Shot Gun Weight Loss Approach Doesn’t Work
1) Physiological - the only reason from an evolutionary perspective that the body would lose weight this quickly is if it was in starvation mode. Often times rapid weight loss is achieved through severe caloric restriction, once the body sense that it is in trouble it will send out signals like hunger, fatigue, and cravings to trigger people to eat. Once they start eating again their bodies thermostat is set to burn less calories, and the excess in caloric intake causes them to gain back all of that weight they lost and in some cases even more.
2) Emotional - Life is about balance, not all or nothing. People that are consistently on restrictive eating plans will tend to isolate themselves, or avoid social functions to avoid the temptation. They mentally struggle through cravings and hunger to be able to fit into that wedding dress in a couple of months. Then once this short term project is over, they fall off the wagon so to speak and the thought of getting back on to this restrictive plan is too much to bear.
3 Tips to Establish a Lifestyle Approach to Weight Loss
Find the eating plan that is right for you
Weight loss is individual, and although intermittent fasting and keto are great, they are not for everyone. It is important for you to find a plan that you feel great on and could do for a lifetime and as a byproduct are able to lose weight
Assess your Health Holistically
Since a lot of my practice surrounds weight loss, I often have a lot of clients that are referred to me for that purpose. Sometimes people come in and are completely stressed out and not sleeping and instead of jumping into a weight loss plan we have to step back and assess their holistic health. Even though sleep is not the primary reason why they came in, once we can get them sleeping their weight loss is much easier.
Surround yourself with support
This could be a like minded friend, an exercise class or even a practitioner to help you with your journey. Having someone to be accountable to can make all of the difference in the world on those hard days.
“Never give up. Today is hard, tomorrow will be worse, but the day after tomorrow will be sunshine.” - Jack Ma