If you have opened this article hoping for a miracle one-step solution to long term weight loss which involves eating no carbs after 6pm, fasting twice a week or drinking a particular brand of shake, then I am afraid you will be very disappointed.
I don’t intend to offer you a clear answer to why you may be failing to lose weight, but I do hope to spark the flame of a journey to long-term health that every person achieving lasting results must travel.
This article is meant to be a starting point, not a manual. By looking at the top five reasons why I see people fail at losing weight, maybe you’ll see yourself, which can help you break the endless cycle of weight loss resistance:
1. Hating yourself
You can’t heal a body you hate. I often see patients who aren’t able to get healthy and lose weight because of years of self-loathing. Unconscious assumptions about yourself, that you are not worthy of love or good things, is a lie. When these false beliefs go unaddressed, even if you had the body you always wanted, it would never be enough.
2. Searching endlessly for quick fixes
I see many people with piles of exercise DVDs, weight loss products and fad diet books that promise “4 minute abs” or “1 pill a day to melt the fat away.” The washboard abs and sculpted muscles on the covers feed the desperation to be fit. The minute you stop these unsustainable programs you gain all your weight back and then some.
There are no quick fixes or magic pills to buy online. There is no replacement to finding out what works for you and sticking with it.
3. Making weight loss the ultimate goal
Losing weight is not equivalent with getting healthy. Cancer and arsenic will make you lose weight, but you won’t be healthier. I consult many skinny people with high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease. You have to stop seeing weight gain as a cause and start seeing it as a symptom of something else going on in the body and the mind. You have to get healthy to lose weight, not lose weight to get healthy. Sustainable weight loss will be a natural byproduct of regaining health. If you get healthy, you will look great on accident.
4. Failing to nourish your body
This goes hand in hand with self-loathing. Do your body a favor and end starvation diets and fad diets. Your body’s weight is a result of myriad different physiological factors that need to be nourished with good, healthy food. Your body needs those nutrients to function the way it was intended to.
Shift your perspective on food. Instead of looking at how you can withhold your body from food as punishment for weight gain, start to ask yourself how you can heal your body with delicious, nourishing food as medicine. By chronically restricting food, you tell your body that it’s in starvation survival mode. Quit making your body so great at storing fat!
5. Underlying physiological issues
Many times people have done everything right and still can’t lose weight. That’s where functional medicine steps in. Underlying hormonal imbalances, adrenal fatigue, gut conditions, thyroid dysfunctions or toxicity issues can prevent the most dedicated person from ever losing weight.
When you are struggling with these issues you could look at food and gain weight. This is not your fault. Clinically investigating these underlying causes of stubborn weight loss resistance gives people answers to their years of struggle. When you finally find out these root issues they can then be addressed.
Compare the marketing virtues of the above with those of strategy as the solution to weight loss.
“Losing weight successfully is an integrative process that requires extensive consideration of a number of tactical factors including sleeping patterns, hormonal profile, lifestyle, previous behavior patterns, cravings, digestion, work schedule, goals, motivations, recovery, mindset, nutrition, exercise and any number of other relevant factors. “