Weight Loss is a Consequence
Weight loss is a HIGHLY charged topic. EVERYONE and their dog has an opinion on what you need to do to lose weight, what works, what doesn’t, and every ridiculous gimmick out there.
I’m going to talk about a perspective that you may not have heard before, and potentially throw a wrench in the multi-billion dollar weight loss industry.
As a side note…ever wonder why the weight loss industry is worth over 7 BILLION dollars (source: market research.com), yet the average obesity rates in Canada, the U.S., and Europe keep increasing? Hmmm…
Okay here it is:
The key factor in successfully losing weight, and especially KEEPING IT OFF in the long term (which is very difficult according to most studies) is to STOP FOCUSING ON THE WEIGHT!
What? Yes, you heard it right. Please hear me out.
I have had dozens of clients who before coming to me had been compulsively weighing themselves. Every. Single. Day.
They were not making progress, save for a pound or two here or there which would inevitably come back after their few weeks of “dieting” were over. The lack of movement on the scale was a continual source of vexation, frustration and any other adjective you can think of.
I have also experienced folks who are so terrified to even look at a scale they won’t keep one in the house.
The problem lies in this: The change is weight that is reflected on a measuring device such as a digital scale is a CONSEQUENCE of something else. Actually, multiple somethings.
You see, weight loss is actually a very predictable outcome of doing certain things repeatedly, engaging in certain behaviors, and acquiring certain habits. So instead of tracking the outcome, another strategy (and one which I employ with clients) is to track the behaviors which essentially LEAD to the ideal outcome (weight loss as measured by a scale).
You may be thinking at this point: Well if I never weigh myself how will I know if what I am doing is even working??
Notice I didn’t recommend never weighing yourself, only not FOCUSING so much on the weight, and focusing more on what leads to weight loss.
Therefore, when I work with clients I always try and shift the focus AWAY from weight loss, and towards GAINING health!
Ask yourself…If I want to become healthy, and that includes having a healthy body weight, what do healthy people do?
When you shift the focus to health you start to think about things like…
“If I want to be healthy maybe I should go for a walk each evening after dinner instead of watching TV”
“Maybe I can make a healthy grocery list before I go grocery shopping each week”
“Maybe I can cut out snacking completely or at least replace snacks with only fruit or vegetables”
“Healthy people probably don’t drink every night or consume sweetened beverages every day”
“If I’m going to eat out, or go to a dinner party, I will make sure to have a healthy meal beforehand and keep my portion sizes reasonable”
You may be skeptical whether such small changes will actually result in weight loss, but even if they don’t right away (which they probably will) by practicing them daily, you will be much healthier than if you were to not do them, and your remaining weight loss equation will be much simpler to figure out.
Having trouble implementing healthy habits? That’s where I can to help you. I offer weight loss coaching that involves helping folks implement 7-10 key healthy weight loss habits that (along with nutritional education to help you understand WHY they are so important) result in improving HEALTH, with consistent, sustainable weight loss as a happy side effect.
Dr. Sheldon Bjorgaard BSc., ND