If you want to lose weight successfully you HAVE TO do certain things, and UNDERSTAND certain things about how your body and brain work.
Here are 5 ‘secrets’ to making WEIGHT LOSS easier and more successful than it has ever been before.
1. Your body does what your brain tells it to do
Ever wondered how a pregnant woman starts gaining weight before she even (consciously) knows she’s pregnant?
Without changing her eating patterns or quantities, her brain is able to flick a ‘switch’ and tell her body to start storing energy in the fat cells because it knows that it has to keep her and her baby safe and supply them both with energy.
Conversely, ever wonder why people who eat tiny little amounts of food can stay fat? If their brain doesn’t flick the ‘thin switch’ then they will remain as they are.
Your brain is in charge of doing what it believes is best to protect you from harm. If it feels that for some reason being fat is protecting you, you will stay overweight.
For effective weight loss, you need to convince your brain that being thin = being safe.
2. You are a unique little snowflake – sort of…
Dieting and eating healthy is different for everyone. Why? Because our bodies, eating routines, lifestyles, schedules and stress levels all differ significantly.
Certain foods may or may not agree with you – this is not to say that you can get away with ‘I don’t like vegetables so I only eat meat’ – but if wheat, gluten or dairy makes you sick or gives you an allergic reaction then any diet that includes these foods wouldn’t work for you.
BUT… there are certain pillars of weight loss and health in general that MUST be followed, because no-one is so unique that eating cake will make them thinner.
You have to figure out what works for you, but if you’re searching for an ‘eat chocolate muffins and lose weight plan’ I’m going to tell you, you’re wasting your time.
3. 84 days is the bare minimum
People tell me all the time “Oh, I tried that diet, it didn’t work”.
My question? “How long did you try for?” The usual answer? “I didn’t see any results after a week, so I tried something else.”
Here’s the thing… Weight loss is like hair growth. If you look for progress every day you’ll be convinced that your hair isn’t growing. But look today, and then in three months’ time and WOW! it’s time for a haircut.
If you want to know if a diet plan works or not, you HAVE TO give it 84 days of total commitment.
That’s 12 weeks, or 3 months. The reason most people don’t ever see progress is that they keep flip-flopping from one plan to the next, and because they have no commitment to anything they end up committed to nothing – which is how they got overweight in the first place.
4. Exercise should NOT be counted as part of your WEIGHT LOSS plan
This is going to upset some people, but hear me out before you get angry… People who think exercise helps them lose weight eat more BECAUSE THEY EXERCISE, because the sports science community has convinced people that exercising means you need more calories.
That’s all good and well, however there are a few problems here.
- Number 1: An hour of yoga/treadmill walking/sitting on weights machines texting your friends/taking gym selfies does not burn 1000 extra calories… you’re lucky if you burn 200.
- Number 2: Isn’t burning extra calories what you’re TRYING TO DO ANYWAY by exercising? Why would you want to replace the calories you burned by eating more?
- Number 3: The fat you are trying to shed by exercising IS EXTRA CALORIES stored away by your body.
All of these issues put together has led me to tell people to forget about exercise as a weight loss tool. Exercise is good for body-shaping, strength, longevity, vitality and will help you lose a little bit of weight as a bonus (if you train hard enough). It is NEVER an excuse to eat more food if your goal is to lose weight.
5. Support is your ONLY hope
If you’re trying to lose weight but have no-one to support you in your efforts you might as well quit now. It is VERY rare for someone to be self-motivated enough to actually change their body dramatically in the long-term.
This is why buying a diet book is not enough.
You must find a person who has done it before, and who knows how to do it again for you. You need more than an eating plan. You need constant support, monitoring, evaluation, answers to your questions and motivation when it gets tough.
If you want to lose weight, you NEED a nutrition coach.