These days we’re all familiar with ‘yo-yo dieting’, and everyone from Oprah Winfrey To Ellen Degeneris is hosting weight-loss episodes on their talk shows. So why is losing weight and keeping it off such a problem?
Why do so many people put weight on and then battle to get rid of it? Very few people are seemingly able to lose any weight permanently. Little wonder then that we love to see before and after photos of obese people who suddenly beat their demons and become slim. But you rarely see the stories about those who put it all back on again six months later. Why is it so difficult to lose weight?
Let’s Look At The Symptoms
To illustrate this point, let’s take a look at the symptoms of this ‘disease’.
Overweight people crave food. They get irritable if they cannot get it. They often eat if they are feeling low i.e. food gets used as a tool to bring a little joy and happiness, as fleeting as it may be. They may not care for being overweight but eventually they want to lose it because it affects their self-esteem and their health. Most people try to reduce weight by diet and exercise but it is really a battle of willpower, a monumental effort to resist the food cravings. Some people use hypnosis to help them resist the cravings but, ultimately, most people fail in their attempt to lose weight permanently.
Does this remind you of anything else?
The way that overweight people eat is reminiscent of cigarette, alcohol or any other type of addiction. Being overweight is the sign of an addiction. Not an addiction to food per se but to eating too much food.
Why Are Most Weight Loss Attempts So Unsuccessful?
Humans are habitual in their behaviour and find it hard to change their lifestyles. Once you become used to something, it is very hard to radically change your approach. When you do try to change but all you have is your willpower, you will most often fail. Willpower alone is well-known to be a poor method of overcoming addiction and has a very low success rate.
It comes as no surprise then that the typical attempt at weight loss is so unsuccessful. If you or anyone else wants to succeed with weight loss and to make it permanent then radical steps have to be taken.
Long-term Weight Loss Success
The first thing you need to do is to use every tool available. Hypnotherapy is actually one of the best tools available. Used only once and failure is just delayed but used regularly (for a few weeks at first and then every few months and every year) it can be highly successful. This is because it changes your immediate response to a lack of food and reduces or eliminates your cravings.
But why is it that so few people try hypnotherapy? Do most believe it does not work? Are they scared of it? Or are they just in denial due to their addiction and don’t actually want to use a method that has a high success rate? I tend to think it is for the third reason which is quite typical for an addiction.
The main thing to do is radically change your life. Willpower alone doesn’t cut it, as we have seen. Solo ventures down at the gym may not cut it as nobody will care if you fail – unless you hire a certified personal trainer or weight loss coach. Otherwise you should participate in team sports where you are expected to turn up and feel shame if you do not. Another, even more radical option is to change job or even more city – whatever it takes to make a better diet and more activity a necessary (or almost so) part of your life. For example, if you move somewhere where you must ride a bike daily then regular exercise will suddenly become a normal part of your life in a way that trying to force yourself to go down to the gym twice a week never did.
By now it should be getting clearer for you – successful weight loss for the long term doesn’t come from dieting – it comes from a lifestyle change that includes healthy eating and regular physical activity. Involve your doctor from the outset so you know what risk factors are present in your specific case, and if funds permit consult a personal trainer and a certified nutritionist. Each of these three professionals has training and advice that can make your transition easier & more effective as you head toward your successful long-term weight loss goals!