So, what is the key to weight-loss? Which diet is the best? Which supplement or magic pill will make it all happen?
The lifestyle and fitness industries are currently worth billions of dollars. It is predicated on selling you the lie that you are not worthy if you are overweight, obese, and unhealthy. That you don’t deserve to have the job you want, the car you want, or live the life you want to live until you lose 20 pounds or have the body of a magazine model.
If you look on social media, you can find tons of groups and individuals of varying varieties promoting the keto diet, intermittent fasting, diet/detox teas, body wraps, and the list goes on and on. What develops in these groups is almost a cult-like mentality often started and organized by the loudest cheerleaders who claim how the ‘keto diet’ worked for them. It was the breakthrough that finally let them lose weight and gave them the life they wanted! So, since it worked for them – well, it must mean that this is the ONLY method that works, and it is therefore going to work for you… as well as for the other 7 billion people on the planet!
I mean, there has to be one golden ticket that can work for everyone? Right?
The truth is, there is NO BEST DIET…For every single diet or craze that has hit the market, I can find you at least one individual for whom this particular diet or method worked and allowed them to finally lose weight. However, it wasn’t their special diet or supplement that made it possible for them to lose weight.
Fundamentally, in each situation, here is what happened:
Calories IN < Calories OUT
That is it. FULL STOP. It is the simple law of thermodynamics. When we take in less fuel than we burn, we create a calorie deficit which forces our body to start burning our excess fuel stores – our FAT. Weight-loss did NOT occur because of a reduced carb intake or that you went 18 hours without eating. You fundamentally reduced your calorie intake to < the calories you were burning…that is it! Our bodies – as complex and as fascinating as they can be don’t just ignore the laws of thermodynamics.
Now stay with me here. I know some of you are probably saying obesity is a complex disease, and the process of weight-loss isn’t as simple as a physics law a scientist developed a couple hundred years ago. And you are RIGHT!
Obesity IS VERY complex, and intentional weight-loss can be challenging. While weight-loss can be defined by the law above, it does not consider all of the other factors that have a role in the amount of weight that each of us carries. There is a multitude of factors, many of which we have ZERO control over, that make managing our weight so difficult. Everything from genetics to the environment to the way we were raised all play a role in how much excess weight we carry.
YES, most of these trends and crazes can certainly help you overcome the complexities of weight management. However, they involve suffering, restriction, and sometimes just ridiculous endeavours in order to achieve it.
Most importantly, they are NOT SUSTAINABLE!!
So then, what do we do? Is intentional and sustainable weight-loss something that can be done safely and effectively? Absolutely.
Focus on making small changes to your nutrition that work for YOU and are SUSTAINABLE. Can you increase your protein intake? Maybe start eating breakfast consistently? Or maybe you need an afternoon snack in order to prevent you from overeating while making and eating dinner? Start small and go slow. The key is not to make a number of dramatic changes all at once and become overwhelmed.
Then in terms of your weight-loss journey, the numbers on the scale need to stop being your benchmark.
Focus on the healthy changes you are making in your life and the positive outcomes you are experiencing because of those changes – such as:
- being able to walk farther,
- keeping up with your children,
- eating until you’re satisfied rather than stuffed,
- feeling good in your clothes,
- carrying laundry without getting winded,
- reducing medications,
- lowering blood pressure,
- the list goes on and on!
So, the next time you hear about a new trend or see a friend who has lost a significant amount of weight by doing X, and you’re considering the same:
Ask yourself, will this work for me?
Are the changes that I would have to make something I could do for the rest of my life?
If you said ‘NO’ to either of those questions, then that diet, supplement, or what have you might not be the right choice for you! Instead, make lifestyle changes that you ENJOY, can SUSTAIN, and that work for YOU, not your friends, not your co-worker, JUST YOU!