The majority of dietersdo not lose weight but instead regain and surpass their original weight within 2-5 years.
In this article, we will discuss why focusing solely on weight loss often doesn't work over the long run and 3 things you can do instead to improve your health right now.
Why Is it So Hard to Lose Weight?
When it comes to weight loss, your personal goals are likely at odds with the goals your body has for you.
In order to "save you" from what it thinks is starvation, your bodydoes all it can to get you to regain weight once you lose it.
One example? It releases hormones that make you hungrier and more likely to crave all those foods you’ve been avoiding.
And due to physiological changes that are not entirely understood, significant weight loss can severely decrease yourmetabolic rate over time.
In other words, your body responds to your weight loss by becoming very efficient at hanging on to every calorie you eat. It also prevents you from burning as many calories during exercise as you did when you first started dieting.
Some research suggests these changes may continue for years after you diet and even may continue once you regain the weight you lost. This makes all subsequent weight loss attempts even more challenging because your body is now primed to burn fewer calories.
Thanks to these changes and others like it, your body creates the perfect storm for regaining weight after dieting, despite your best efforts.
You did not fail.
Instead, your diet failed you.
What Happens When You Only Focus on Weight Loss?
A blind focus on weight loss can be a distraction from achieving other valuable goals in your life.
The obsession can make you feel miserable, all without getting you any closer to the body of your dreams.
Have you been fighting with your body your entire life to lose weight? If so, regaining the weight can lead to feelings of failure, guilt, shame, and reduced self-esteem.
Even if you are successful at shedding a few pounds, the obsession doesn't stop there. It is a constant struggle to monitor every calorie and step to keep that number from creeping back up.
There is a better way.
Instead of focusing on numbers on a scale, honor your health by practicing good self-care. This includes treating yourself kindly, feeding yourself well, and finding realistic ways to enjoy physical activity.
When you shift your mindset to focus on ways to take care of yourself instead of losing weight, you will achieve better physical, emotional, and mental health.
How to Take Steps Toward Health and Vitality in the Body You Have
What happens when you take weight loss and dieting off the table? You may be afraid that you will gain even more weight. In reality, when people takethis approach, the opposite seems to happen, such as:
They approach food with gusto, enthusiasm, and pure pleasure (depending on what food it is). They eat what they want and stop when they have had enough.
Start to relearn intuitive eating by paying attention to your hunger and fullness cues.
Think of your hunger and fullness as falling on a scale of 1-10. 1 is so hungry you can’t function and 10 is Thanksgiving level stuffed.
Aim to eat before you feel ravenous (maybe between a 3-4) and to stop eating before you’re stuffed but satisfied (7-8).
Listen to your body when it tells you it’s hungry. Pay attention to which kinds of foods make you feel most satisfied and energetic. You will be well on your way toward better health by eating in this way.