Weight Loss Is Easy?
Does this sound familiar:
Weight loss is easy, just "eat less and move more"!
Is there a problem with this statement??
Well, we do know that a person’s weight is a reflection of caloric intake over time (the unfortunate reality of prison camps confirms this).
The problem isn’t that people don’t know what to do to lose weight – In fact, the vast majority of the folks I work with have lost weight in the past – often significant amounts.
If they “know what to do”, then what’s the problem?
If weight loss were EASY, there wouldn’t be so many people struggling with overweight and obesity. Duh...it’s obviously not that “easy”. Simple it may be – but definitely NOT easy.
So, if we “know what to do” then the bigger problem is not KNOWLEDGE, but IMPLEMENTATION of that knowledge.
This is the main focus of my work with clients to put overweight and obesity into long term (hopefully permanent) “remission”.
So what do we want to implement in order to lose weight and keep it off for good?
1) Regular meal times
– so that our body comes to expect feeding, and that we no longer have to spend time and energy thinking about food!
2) Intuitive and Mindful eating
– strengthening our mind-body connection by using an objective “hunger scale”.
3) Consuming protein, fibre, and micronutrients with each meal
– this targets 2 of the main biological mechanisms by which out body senses fullness and satiety.
4) Drinking 2-3L of water daily, with and in between meals.
5) Regular (daily) exercise.
There are a few others, but you get the idea. Each of these things are SIMPLE, but to implement them all at once is actually very difficult (that's why with my system we only focus on mastering one at a time).
To give a concrete example:
A hypothetical client Judy, who is struggling with her weight may not be eating regularly. Some days eating 3 meals with 2 snacks, other days having one ginormous meal at the end of the day after starving for the whole day. This is causing her hunger and satiety signals to be out of sync, as she fluctuates between under eating, causing strong hunger cravings, and this leads to overeating past the point of satiety.
We would first look at Judy’s daily schedule, work days and weekends to figure out how to fit 3-4 meals into her schedule, at approximately the same times every day. We would use her natural hunger cues to determine the time and size of each meal. We would need to work around any barriers to implementation of this habit, which could include her work schedule, sleep/wake times, and the presence of unintended caloric intake in the form of high sugar snacks present at her office or home.
While working on this for several weeks, Judy may not see any rapid weight loss, but that’s okay, because she is slowly re-training her body to respond appropriately to hunger and fed states, and is learning to recognize and overcome non-hunger triggers for food intake. Over the course of 12 months, Judy can expect to see a steady weight reduction of 0.5-1.5 lbs per week (30-50 lbs on average for the year). Her friend Stacey who goes on a restrictive fad diet may have lost 20 lbs in 6 weeks by radically restricting carbs, only to gain it all back after 6 months, and may actually end up 10 lbs heavier than where she started 12 months earlier.
Judy’s slow and steady approach not only allowed her to lose weight, but gain a whole new insight into her body and leaves her empowered to take control of her health for years to come.
If you think you would benefit from a more “Health Focused” approach to weight loss. Feel free to contact me and see if you would be a good fit for my twelve week 1 to 1 weight loss coaching process.
Dr. Sheldon, BSc., ND