Losing weight is easy, right? All you have to do is:
- Not be a lazy piece of shit
- Not be a pig
- Eat good food
- Avoid crap food
Sounds pretty easy to me……. until you are two cartons of Ben & Jerry’s deep and asleep on the couch as Netflix flips from one show to the next.
It’s simple, but not easy
Losing weight is simple, but it’s not easy. If you have a basic understanding of protein, carbs, and fats (macronutrients), your activity level, and lifestyle, you can easily create a weight loss program that scientifically works. The problem is not the science, the problem is the way you interact with food.
As children, we start to develop certain associations with certain food(s):
If your parents took you out for ice cream after baseball games or doing well on a test, you tend to associate ice cream with achievement.
If every time you were sad, your parents ordered a pizza to cheer you up, you tend to associate pizza with stress or sadness.
If every Sunday you had a family dinner and pasta was a staple of that dinner, you will associate pasta with love, warmth, and family.
If these patterns are reinforced enough, you will carry them into adulthood. As a child, they were masked by sports, school, and physical activity. But as an adult, the patterns start to rear their ugly heads.
For me, it’s Pizza
When my father died, my world was flipped upside down. My entire family (my mom and 2 older sisters) were in complete and utter shock. To say my house was a little stressful growing up is a huge understatement. But on Friday nights, we would order ….. you guessed it, PIZZA!
So as an adult, when I am stressed, I am drawn to pizza. It’s not just a slice of pizza, it’s a shot of stress relief.
For years, I would go through periods of eating pizza all the time, and then not eating it at all. I’m sure you have a food that you battle with as well.
The Weight Loss Industry Response
The weight loss industry took an interesting approach to solving this problem. The solution was a do and don’t list. If you don’t eat the foods you have problems controlling, then you won’t over eat them. Bada bing, bada boom, problem solved. You’ve probably seen something that looks like this:
Although all of these lists provide seemingly sound advice, they have eliminated one of the most key elements to weight loss: we are HUMANS.
We are emotional, have stress, have long days, have bad days, have cars that break down, and have children that are sometimes impossible. We are not robots who can follow a list of do’s and don’ts. A “do” and “don’t” list leaves no margin for error. Without a margin for error, if you break your rules: what do you do? Keep going? Stop? Feel like something's wrong with you?
The Big 4
Diets don’t work. It has nothing to do with the science they are based on, but because they are designed without flexibility, sustainability, variation, or individuality. Conversely, the four fundamental and essential concepts for weight loss to work for longer periods of time:
- Flexibility: A suitable eating plan must be flexible enough to handle a good day, bad day, long day, or vacation day.
- Personal & Custom: A suitable eating plan must include the foods that you enjoy eating most.
- Sustainability: A suitable plan must be fluid enough to last 30 years, not 30, 60, or 90 days
- Constant Variety: A suitable plan must encourage eating different food every single day.
When an eating plan is built on these concepts, you will not only get great results, but you will also be in control of the food.
You will no longer have to:
- Finish a bag of chips once you open it.
- Feel guilty when you don’t eat breakfast.
- Feel anxious if you don’t order a salad when you are out to eat.
To learn more about my anti-diet approach to weight loss, start with the workshop below.