“I’ve Tried Everything- I Just Can’t Lose Weight!”

How many times have I heard this since first entering the health and wellness field 16 years ago? Thousands? Tens of thousands? I can honestly say that of all the thousands of times I have heard this, literally, it was maybe true 3 or 4 times. And, these three or four people actually COULD lose weight- it was just excrutiatingly slow. As many times as I have heard this- I admit that, I , myself, have said something similar. It’s the last thing people say before they have major weight loss surgery or liposuction. “I just could’nt lose weight- so I had to have this surgery”. I’ll admit, losing weight is VERY HARD WORK. I tell all my clients right up front that they will have to work hard and work long to be successful. I’m not trying to be negative- it’s just that I don’t want to continue the myth that it’s easy. It isn’t. So , why is this such a common mantra nowadays? Am I wrong? It is true? Aside from people with serious thyroid disease, this is often just a symptom of denial. My experience has shown that there are several fundamental reasons that people don’t have success with weight loss and thus THINK they can’t lose weight- and it’s not that exercise and healthy nutrition don’t work ( I have actually had clients who claim exercise and healthy eating made them fatter).
Here are my main observations:
-You do not know HOW much of a food you are eating- portion sizes are way too big. So simple- but unless you know and estimate portions sizes- you’ll invariably overeat.
– You eat well during the week but overeat on weekends. You can undo all the headway you’ve made during the week by eating out of control during the weekend.
– You underestimate how much exercise you need to do to lose excess weight. Many clients who contact me are doing 15-20 minutes of walking a day and expect this to create weight loss. You’d need to do 3 times this to really make a difference.
-You fail to keep a food log. Out of sight- out of mind. You WILL forget things you’ve eaten if you don’t write them down. A food log is 100% necessaary for success.
-You go on overly restrictive diets and then can’t stick with them. Overly restrictive diets set us up for failure. No one is perfect. Once we feel badly that we’ve cheated- the mantra begins.
– You expect to lose 2-3 pounds a week or more because that’s what the contestants on “The Biggest Loser” did. This expectation also sets us up for failure. Count on losing 1 pound week- that’s it- have patience and DON’T weigh yourself more than once every two weeks.
-You expect the changes to happen immediately. I have found that it can take up to 6 weeks before your body figures things out. Wait it out- it took you a long time to get there- why should the reverse happen overnight?
– You undereat during the day and overeat at night. A MAJOR one. You come to the evening so hunrgy, you overeat by 300-400 calories- but, because you were so hungry, it doesn’t even register.

So- check-in with yourself. Do any of these hit home?