The Truth About Weight Loss

“Whats the goal here?” 

As an exercise specialist and holistic nutrition coach, my role at the beginning of a clients’ journey is to formulate a goal. This goal should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based (SMART). And having worked with hundreds of clients over the years, the most common goal by a mile is weight loss. Now, weight loss isn’t a cookie-cutter approach, just the same as weight accumulation isn’t. How someone accumulates their weight can differ wildly, it can be rapid or incremental, as a result, of ill health or disease, lifestyle factors or emotional trauma ….everyone has their unique trajectory. Similarly, the reversal of the weight accumulation is understanding the triggers that got us there and addressing them. If this piece of the puzzle is missing then the results (if any) are short-lived.   

In a nutshell, this is why the information we have been fed year in year out hasn’t helped because it hinges on one piece of the puzzle which is ‘energy balance’ and, as you’ll come to learn over the coming blogs, this is superficial at best and fundamentally floored. 

 “Why its not working?” 

Conventional wisdom dictates that weight loss is a combination of moving more and eating less. However, with the entire western world in the grip of obesity, type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer epidemic, this orthodoxy is not working.  

We are told time and time again by doctors, nutritionists, dieticians that weight loss is an energy balance. 

To lose weight we must consume fewer calories than we expend, or to dress it another way expend more calories than we consume. According to them, either pathway sets a course for a calorie deficit and eventual weight loss. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand this principle yet more and more people are finding it increasingly difficult to lose weight. A chasm exists between the process and results – things don’t add up and when we don’t see results the assumption is made that we are unmotivated, lazy, lack will power, have big bones, have inferior genetics…however, nothing could be further from the truth, you’re just not being told the whole truth.  

Our feelings of shame and guilt are compounded by images in the media and on social media of ‘genetically blessed men and woman. Some parading as fitness experts espousing their 10 min daily exercise regime guaranteed for 6-pack abs. All this lacks the holistic knowledge and compassion needed to fully understand the principles behind weight loss as well as the nuances and intricacies.

I’ve spoken about this a great deal over the last 2 years, in that, weight loss is a combination of understanding the principles or as I call it the ‘nuts and bolts and the ‘intangibles’. The ‘intangibles’ are the addictions, proclivities to foods, urges, cravings and patterns of behaviour that you and I have inherited over our lifetime and most of these intangibles are roadblocks to progression. It’s the stuff that controls all behaviour around food. And it’s the part of the weight loss journey that doesn’t get acknowledged yet is the key to success.  

Why are so many people struggling with weight loss? It’s not that they can’t comprehend a weight loss strategy or diet, it’s not rocket science after all (trust me….I’m not a rocket scientist!). It’s more to do with not contending with or managing the ‘intangibles’ that stand in the way or sabotage progress.

Weight loss is more a conversation about hormones and chemicals then it is about calories. If we only look at weight loss through the lens of calories (energy in V’s energy out) it’s superficial and will inhibit progress.

More to come…..

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