I hear this a lot, whether it’s from a client or if I’m incidentally eavesdropping on nearby conversations in public:
“I just want to lose ____ pounds, and then I’ll be happy!”
“I haven’t been under ____ pounds since I was in college.”
“If I could just lose those extra few pounds, I’d look great!”
“All I want to do is lose the belly fat, but it’s SO hard…”
No. No it isn’t. The only difficult part in losing weight is reframing your mindset, and that’s because WEIGHT LOSS SHOULD NOT BE YOUR GOAL IN THE FIRST PLACE.
More often than not, our clients list weight loss as one of their goals on our initial intake questionnaire. And more often than not, I entirely disregard it. Sure I’ll give it some lip service, but 90% of the time we blow past the weight loss goal very early in our program, so it becomes a non-issue. This is because, as part of becoming a healthy human being, you will return to the weight that is natural and healthy for YOU. If you’re carrying excess weight, then there is a problem, and you’re not as healthy as you should be. That’s where we put the majority of our focus - resolving the root cause of your health issue.
Most people are unaware that 80% of your body composition is determined by your diet, NOT by how much you exercise. That’s why most people become confused and frustrated when spending so much time exercising and yet not losing the weight they expect to lose. The old “calories in, calories out” principle has been thoroughly debunked by millions of people, and you can see many of them slaving away on the treadmill with a keen eye on the “Calories Burned” meter. After all, if all calories were created equal, shouldn’t you be able to get all the calories you need in one day from a nice, warm glass of diesel fuel?
The truth is: a calorie is NOT a calorie. Especially if the main source of your calories causes inflammation. If you’re consuming the Standard American Diet (SAD), your body is inflamed, period. Inflammation causes your cells to retain excess water and cholesterol because your body senses that you’re in a state of emergency, and retainage of water and cholesterol is your body’s way of trying to protect itself. This is for good reason - in a state of emergency, your body tries to hold on to the things it knows will protect your life. Water, obviously, because you cannot live very long without it. Cholesterol, not-so-obviously, because it PROTECTS EVERY CELL IN YOUR BODY. Yes, every single cell in your body is protected by a thin layer of cholesterol, and your body adds to that layer in times of emergency. Quite ingenious, actually, but quite problematic if you’re trying to lose weight but staying inflamed by not eating correctly.
By eliminating SAD foods, the inflammation will gradually subside, and your body will no longer need to be in a state of emergency. This will trigger the loss of excess water and cholesterol, resulting in weight loss and less risk of cardiovascular disease.
This is worth reiterating: 80% of your body composition is determined by what you eat, not how much you exercise. Let’s extrapolate that math a little bit:
If you cut out 80% of SAD foods from your diet, you’d likely attain 80% of your weight loss goal.
If you eliminated 100% of SAD foods and remained sedentary, you’d likely STILL attain 80% of your weight loss goal (though I would never recommend a sedentary lifestyle).
If you eliminated 100% of SAD foods and remained active, (but not through chronic cardio), you’d likely easily surpass your weight loss goal.
The bottom line is that weight loss naturally occurs as a result of being healthy. And you cannot be healthy if you’re not eating what your body was meant to eat. Simply put, you cannot exercise or supplement your way out of a bad diet. So put the scale in your closet for just 30 days and reframe your weight loss goal into “I will only eat real food.” Kick out the grains, legumes, dairy, sugar, and industrialized seed/vegetable oils. Reduce the inflammation and live a longer, stronger, and happier life!