Learning how to lose weight and keep it off is a lot like a toddler learning to walk.
Think about the toddler. A tiny human who, before learning to walk, can only get around by crawling.
Crawling is so slow. Humans weren’t designed to move efficiently on all fours. But learning to walk involves a lot of effort. It requires a lot of practice. It means falling down on your butt a lot.
Despite all that, have you ever known a toddler to give up? They probably never think, “Wow, learning to walk is such a pain! It requires so much effort. Trial and error. Forget it. I’ll just crawl for the rest of my life.”
People who are trying to lose weight think that all the time though. It’s so much effort! Why bother? The heck with it!
I certainly understand why people who go on diets think that way. After all, according to the National Institutes of Health, at least 95% of dieters regain the weight within two years, and one- to two-thirds end up heavier than their pre-diet weight! That’s after the torturous experience of eating the way someone else tells them to eat. So why would anyone bother putting in all of that effort when the odds of failure are so high?
That’s why I can’t figure out why people keep looking for the latest diet to try, hoping that miraculously it will be different than all the other diets and actually work. In an effort to run away from the uncontroverted facts that diets don’t work, the diet industry itself is now telling everyone that their latest scheme to make billions off people desperate to lose weight isn’t a diet but a lifestyle change. But that BS is the topic for another blog post.
I teach people how to lose weight without dieting. I teach them how to change their habits so that they eat in tune with their body’s signals and needs. They learn how to stop eating for emotional reasons, and to even stop desiring to overeat. They enjoy their food more while eating less, and over time, the weight comes off effortlessly. And it stays off. And, they do not have to give up eating the food they love!
But like the toddler learning how to walk, this requires effort, priority and focus. And lots of practice. Changing a habit that you’ve had for years or even decades, like soothing or rewarding yourself with food when you aren’t hungry, takes persistence.
It requires you to prepare to fall down, but like the toddler, to get back up again and keep trying until you master it.
The path to losing weight and keeping it off is not a straight one. No one does it perfectly.
That means everyone messes up along the way. The difference between the people who succeed at losing weight and keeping it off and the ones who don’t is that the successful ones don’t give up. They don’t expect perfection. They try their best. I teach them how to manage those times when they overeat.
That way, when they fall down, they know it doesn’t mean they’ve failed. It isn’t a cue to toss in the towel. It means it is time to look at what went wrong and come up a strategy to avoid making the same mistake again. Like the toddler, it is simply time to get up on your feet again and take the next step.
Dieters actually look for excuses to quit when they mess up. Who can blame them? They’re trying to eat by following rigid rules that someone else set up for them, that have nothing to do with their body’s needs, and that deprive them of the foods they love. They can’t wait to have an excuse to quit!
Learning how to live and eat like a naturally thin person so that you can be that person for the rest of your life is not a quick fix. But it works. It really isn’t a diet. It is truly a way of life that you won't even be tempted to quit.
If you’d like to learn more about how you can stop emotional eating, end your desire to overeat, lose weight and keep it off without dieting, click here.