So many people view losing weight and keeping it off a bit like riding a unicorn – a mythical, magical experience that they can only have in their dreams.
These well-intentioned people have spent years trying to lose weight and have often tried it all – diets, exercise regimens, pills, shakes, sometimes even surgery – but all to no avail.
It’s no wonder losing weight seems like magic!
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But guess what? It isn’t.
As a weight loss coach and one of the few people in the world who has lost over 50% of my total body weight and kept it off for 13 years and counting, I can tell you unequivocally that losing weight is easy and maintaining it is even simpler.
The problem that many people encounter is that they approach weight loss in the wrong way.
Things you should NOT do
Rather than view it as a gradual, permanent, whole lifestyle change they sign on to program after program and diet after diet. Instead of actually getting moving and actually losing weight, these people are doing the precise things not to do to lose weight and they pay the ultimate price.
I don’t want you to be one of “those people”, so today I am going to lift the veil that the weight loss industry has shrouded itself in and reveal the 5 most surprising things you should not do if you want to lose weight and keep it off forever.
1. Go on a Diet
Dieting doesn’t work. Not only does it not work, study after study has proven that a history of dieting is actually one of the most reliable predictors of future weight gain.
Think of it this way: you are actually dieting yourself fat!
You see while, logically, a simple eating plan with a balanced nutritional approach should help you lose weight, and will, these plans, by definition are temporary.
If you are “on” a diet, logically one day you will be “off” it, and that’s when you gain weight. Instead, change your approach to food and nutrition in a way that you can live with forever.
2. Set a weight loss goal
Goal setting is one of the cornerstones of most weight loss plans and programs.
However, a recent Galaxy study concluded that despite the fact that 89% of us are trying to “improve” our fitness, only 1 in 5 Australians who set fitness goals ever achieve them. While the study itself posits several “reasons” why people give up on these goals, the real answer is the same for everyone: goals don’t work.
Personally, when I chose to lose weight my only goal was to “get a life”.
I did this in order to relieve the pressure on myself and hone my focus on simply doing what made me feel good and worked.
However, I also learnt through this journey that goals are limiting. All told, I lost over 50kg from my starting weight, losing the first 45kg in only 33 weeks. Had I “set a goal” to lose 20kg, for example, I would have stopped long before I reached my true potential.
3. Start a 12-week challenge
True health and fitness needs to last a life time, not 12 weeks or 6 months or whatever timetable the latest fitness fad has set.
Furthermore, while 12-week challenges are popular, they are predominantly designed for those who are already relatively fit and healthy.
These are the people who see the fastest, most dramatic results.
Most people need to start slower and, in fact, are more likely to be turned off exercise by the intensity of the “go hard or go home” mindset these intense fitness programs promote.
4. Do what worked for your mother or sister or best friend or favourite celebrity
What works for one person does not always work for others.
Everybody and every body is different. This is why all pre-packaged weight loss plans fail most people. Instead, you need to consider what will work for you in your life, in your physical condition, and at your motivational level.
And, if you’re still unconvinced, consider that 95% of all people who do lose weight using a pre-packaged plan end up regaining it all – and more – within two years of completing it.
If you want to lose weight and keep it off, you need to do it in a way that fits your needs alone.
Weight loss is a three-pronged system involving diet, exercise, and mindset.
Do not ignore the importance of that last prong. No matter how good you eat or hard you workout, if you don’t want to be doing it you will ultimately fail.
I advise my clients to build a “motivational toolkit” of sorts to help them on their weight loss journey and beyond.
Design this toolkit at the start of your journey, when your enthusiasm is high. Think about those things that add to your weight loss motivation, consider why you need to start making life changes, and list the ways in which these changes will benefit you and those you love.
Just like a bank account, the more motivational deposits you make, the more you have to withdraw when you need it most.
Autonomy is the secret!
I strongly believe that autonomy is the secret to lasting weight loss success, which is why My Love Your Weight Loss community is dedicated to giving people the knowledge and tools they need to design a healthy lifestyle strategy that works.
Interested? Connect with Expert Sally Symonds and start your free 7-day trial today.