When Weight Loss Strategies Don’t Work
Have you ever found yourself searching the internet for weight loss strategies?
You’re looking for more information on how to easily lose those extra five pounds, or the “10 quickest steps to fat loss,” but now you’ve read so many articles you don’t know what to do and nothing seems to sit with you.
You haven’t bought into the solution or the best weight loss strategies that you can use for your own unique needs.
One of my friends posted on Facebook that he has been smoke-free for two years. That’s fantastic, because we all know smoking isn’t good, but that’s not what this post is about. While being smoke-free is wonderful for him, in his words he’s fatter and more sedentary.
After seeing his Facebook post I wrote him a private message to suggest he read my article, Healthier Eating Strategies For Busy Professionals. I told him that post offered a some suggestions that could help people lose weight, whether you’re an entrepreneur, a busy professional, or a stay at home mom.
We’re all busy and my eating strategies address the challenges that show up in different areas of your life, which can help you control how much to eat, or to simply make a better food choice.
Here’s a good example. When you’re eating out to a restaurant it’s easy to order something that you love, or that you wouldn’t normally cook at home. It’s also easy to overeat, because someone else brings the food to you and you’re relaxed. Maybe you’re enjoying a drink and all these factors make it easier to indulge. Or you’re at a restaurant and you think, “Why the hell not? I might as well enjoy myself?”
My favourite weight-loss strategy in this case is to order a broth-based soup and to drink one to two large glasses of water before the main meal.
Now, I suggest a broth-based soup because you don’t want something that’s high in calories like a cream soup. You definitely don’t want the French onion soup, layered with delicious cheese on top. Instead, chose a miso soup or a gazpacho made only with vegetables.
The idea is you’re taking in a lot of liquid that will start to expand your stomach and begin to create a sense of fullness. All of this happens before your entrée arrives. The satiety hormone leptin will recognize that the stomach is expanding, and that maybe you’re getting to 20 or 30% full. This is an effective strategy for weight loss while eating out at restaurants.
Coming back to my friend. He wrote back to say, “I’ve read the list of strategies a couple of times. I see the wisdom in a lot of it, but I’m not sure if I’m really buying in yet.”
When we’re looking for solutions, if we don’t have a clear “why” for why we want to change, or why we want to do something like losing weight, then it doesn’t matter how many solutions or strategies are presented to us. We’re simply not going to buy into any of them.
I suggested that he do what’s called, “The Five Whys Exercise,” to get clear on why he wants to lose weight.
You start the exercise by asking why you want to do something. In my friend’s case, ask, “Why do I want to lose weight?” followed by, “I want to lose weight because…”
Let’s say that looks like, “I want to lose weight because I am going to a wedding in July and I want to look good.”
Now ask the next, or second “why,” e.g. “Why do I want to lose weight to look good at the wedding?” Then your answer, “Because…”
Keep going until you have asked “why” a total of five times, answering why to each subsequent answer.
You’re going to get down to the deeper layers, the emotional reasons, perhaps those things that really resonate with you.
Maybe your last “why” comes out to something like, “I want to lose weight so that I will feel confident about my appearance for my partner.”
That’s a really deep, honest reason. If you’re in a relationship, but you don’t feel sexy because of your body then you don’t feel attractive to yourself or anyone else. Now hopefully your partner hasn’t said anything to you and they love you for who you are. Maybe they’ve nudged you a little in a kind way and you know in your mind that they still love you, but this makes you feel insecure.
When we get deep into those kinds of feelings, whether it be something that makes us feel weak and not very powerful, or the complete opposite, something that really empowers and drives us, that becomes the reason to buy in. These deepest feelings are what motivate us to change.
In last week’s article I suggested you review all the strategies and pick only one, maybe two. When you want to change a bad habit or start a new one, it’s best to focus only one habit to maximize successful habit formation. Work on one healthy eating strategy at a time. Practice it every day and make sure it works easily for you. Once it becomes second nature (and thus a habit) try another one.
I’m sure there’s a healthy eating strategy that will jive with you. When you review the article, if you still feel unsure about what strategy to use, I suggest you try the “five whys exercise” above. Apply it to whatever it is you want to accomplish with your body. Be open, honest and really get deep into your “why” for change and improvement.
Eat well to be well.