Why Your Diet Won’t Keep The Lost Weight Off
I help people change all kinds of habits, but many people ask me, “how can I lose and keep the lost weight off?”
Mark Twain famously said, “Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I’ve done it thousands of times.”
With minor editing, that same statement can sum up the experiences of many people whose lives seem to be a never-ending yo-yo of losing weight and gaining it back.
As humorous as the comment is, it is also a sad indictment of the difficulty millions face each day as they attempt to bring permanent change to their lives.
Not Just Losing Weight, Maintaining
If you recall, the data on the human capacity for long-term change are extremely disheartening; fewer than 3 out of 100 people who successfully lose 20 or more pounds are able to keep it off for more than two years.
Three. That’s it. Now that can be discouraging or encouraging news, depending on your perspective.
I spend a great deal of time working with clients specifically to develop the habits that will lead to sustainable weight loss.
In my work, I see irrefutable evidence that it is our habits that determine whether the next time we are shopping for pants, it is for a size 32 and not a size 42.
Over the past 22 years I have helped hundreds of people reach their goal weights, even after countless failed attempts, and never regain the weight.
Perhaps even more astounding, I help them do this without ever -even once- offering any form of nutritional guidance myself.
A friend who knows me well and has eaten many meals with me, once commented that only a truly desperate soul would ever seek nutritional guidance from me and, I must admit, he spoke the truth: I’m not an expert in what they should eat or how often they should work out, but I can help them stick to the plan they chose.
I’m a firm believer that while the food we eat – both frequency and quantity – does play a role in formulating that number on the scale, it is our habits, more than anything else, that determines not only where we are today, but more importantly, where we will be tomorrow.
Many years ago, when my book Life Sinks or Soars – the choice is yours was first published, I worked with a young man whose weight had increased to more than 500 pounds.
Our Habits, Our Future
When I first met this gentleman and listened to his story, I was reminded of the degree to which our habits are indeed the strongest predictors of our future.
For him to reach his weight, it had required determination and commitment, and a willingness to readily and repeatedly the same habits over and over again until he found himself weighing more than 500 pounds.
No weight-loss diet or program in the world will ever outlive the original habits that led us to our desire to lose weight. If yours was, for example, eating more than your body requires, overcoming that habit isn’t a step in a weight loss diet. It is a mind-set. It is set on a foundation based on what we believe to be true of ourselves, our present and our future.
And, what we believe to be true is the solid footing on which every habit we have rests.
Of course, what we eat and drink plays a role, but everything we choose to consume is merely the result of a culmination of choices.
So when someone asks me “how can I maintain my perfect weight?” I first ask them to examine their beliefs. Just as easily as you can decide to do something, you can easily decide on a different course of action.
Saying “Yes, but…” just means you are duping yourself into believing you are not in control of your choices, your actions, your habits, and ultimately, your destiny.
Suddenly the question is so much bigger than should I have a double cheeseburger.
So yes, is living your life at your perfect, desired weight is the easiest thing in the world. Or, it is the most difficult and challenging.
Which are you going to choose to believe?
Let’s make a habit of meeting like this.
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