What stories do you tell yourself that keep you from losing weight?
We all have our little stories, like the things we believe about ourselves and our relationship with food and weight loss. There are stories that we have believed for so long that we don’t even question them.
But what if you did question them? I bet you’d find out that most of them aren’t true!
Do you tell yourself any of these?
Almost everyone loves food. Seriously. How many people do you know who don’t? Eating is, after all, one of the primal urges. In fact, there are some people who are so into food that they make it their career. We have all heard of famous chefs and cookbook authors.
Have you noticed though that a lot of them are trim? That’s because you can love food and enjoy eating the most delicious food around, and not overeat it. Loving food does not cause overweight – overeating does.
Eating everything in your plate is a habit you probably picked up in childhood. Do you still believe what your parents told you about hungry children in China or Appalachia or wherever?
When you overeat by cleaning your plate, how is that helping anyone? All you’re doing is substituting your body for the trash bin. It is much more of a waste to put food into your body that you don’t need and which will be stored as fat (increasing your risk of several deadly diseases) than throwing food in the trash.
Sometimes we don’t think that we eat too much. I used to believe that one, and so did every single one of my students. Then I started eating only when I was hungry and stopping before I was full. I also started writing down what I ate and realized that my body only needed about 60% of the food I was eating!
Studies have shown that overweight people underestimate the amount they eat by about 30%. So if you think you really don’t eat very much but are overweight, write down everything you eat for the next week. Just do it for yourself, be honest, and see if you are right.
Have you been diagnosed by a medical professional as a food/sugar addict? I’m not qualified to have an expert opinion on whether these conditions exist, but I used to wonder whether I was addicted to food.
In reality, I was an emotional eater, which is a habit, not an addiction. Once I learned to question why I was eating, and stopped eating to fix anything other than my physical hunger, I kicked that habit. Now I’m in control, not the food.
I’d also like to caution you against believing that you’re addicted. That kind of belief makes you give up all of your power and responsibility to change without going into a rehab program.
Even if you’re too busy to lose weight, you have to eat anyway, right? How can eating less take longer than eating more? Think about that one.
To lose weight and keep it off, you mostly have to pay attention so that you only eat when you’re hungry and notice when your body is lightly full so that you can stop eating. You can actually save time by changing your eating habits and losing weight comes as a bonus!
Willpower doesn’t matter. Willpower is a finite resource, and it decreases over the course of the day as your energy gets depleted by stress and self-control. That’s why it’s easier to stick with your eating plan early in the day, and it is also why diets fail. You can only white-knuckle it for so long.
When you change how and why you eat, and eat in tune with your body’s signals, you’ll lose the desire to overeat and won’t need to rely upon willpower to be of a healthy weight.
Anyone can lose weight without exercising. In fact, exercise isn’t even a good weight loss tool. It takes a lot more time to exercise than to eat less.
Exercise because it can make you feel good, give you more energy, help you age better and keep you healthy. Surely, you can find some form of movement that you like. But you don’t have to exercise to lose weight.
I lost almost 50 pounds while in my late 50s. Many of my students have lost a lot of weight in their 50s and 60s. And 70s. All without dieting. So while your metabolism does slow down as you age, when you eat in tune with your body’s needs, you will lose weight and keep it off, regardless of how old you are.
Before you say that your metabolism is slow, have you actually had it tested and know this for a fact? Slow metabolism is very rare, and it’s usually not the cause of overweight.
This is one of the most common excuses people use for not losing weight. It’s popular because it allows you to put the responsibility for overeating outside of your control.
The reason you see so many families in which everyone is heavy is much more likely due to the family’s eating habits and food culture than to any genetic reason. Approximately 1% of the population can blame their genes for their weight struggles.
Yet even for them, their genes are not their destiny. Researchers have concluded that many people who carry the so-called “obesity genes” are not overweight, and healthy lifestyles can counteract these genetic effects.
So, what story do you tell yourself?
Do you feel comfortable that you are at a healthy weight? If you are overweight, what do you think you should change in your lifestyle and eating habits? Do you think that eating less and only when physically hungry could help lose weight? Please share your comments below!