Why Can’t I Seem to Lose Weight, and Keep IT OFF?!?!?!
This is a pretty serious question, and as most of the American population can relate to the epidemic of obesity, I feel it is a question that is not only misunderstood, but misguided. Weight loss has become a very profitable industry, reaching $60.5 billion in sales in 2014. With 69% of America’s 20+ year old population being overweight (according to 2011-2012 CDC) and climbing, I would say the industry that has set out to make $BILLIONS$ has some explaining to do.
So, what do I mean by a question that is misunderstood and misguided?
We have an entire weight loss industry that has put themselves in place to answer this easy enough question, and it seems, they are simply failing to either figure out what people are asking, or failing to provide a relative solution to the problem at hand. People are getting more overweight while using these products. Or even worse, people lose a ton of weight on a special product, and as soon as they stop taking it, BOOM, an additional 15 pounds gets added.
No sustainable weight loss miracle has been created, and yet, the industry keeps their Dr. Oz recommended, green tea, miracle berry, super protein powder, crap on the shelf of every supermarket, gas station, bus stop, and car wash to ensure to the masses that they, in fact, have the secret weapon against the invading fat cells.
At the end of the day, everything that is in our face about weight management is a big misconception to ensure ongoing profits for the industry. I spend a lot of time researching the metabolic functions of the body. I have a clear understanding of the plethora of hormones that are involved in weight loss, and it almost astonishes me that these companies continue to market complete fallacies. To be honest, weight loss is a complex subject, with many different interpretations. Some try to blame it solely on genetics, and others try to blame it on bad luck. With the research I have found, these two excuses just do not work for me.
So, the big question remains… Why can’t I seem to lose weight and keep it off?
Well, I can assure you that lack of effort is not the issue. It seems that everyone that is a client to the weight loss industry has tried absolutely everything. I have seen patients taking a miracle pill that is supposed to shed the fat, and no effort is necessary on their part. The problem persists in the effort given. It seems that we will spend a fortune, put faith in every single cockamamie diet pill, and try so hard to believe that they will work just like it shows on TV or the advertisement. We are putting in so much effort to keep us from actually having to put in effort? Yes, I understand that sounds ridiculous.
Newsflash… If a product or weight loss solution tells you that you do not need to make any lifestyle changes, and their product is the end all beat all, no effort needed to lose weight, or if they tell you that you do not need to change your diet and the product will just curb your appetite. DO NOT BUY THIS GIMMICK. Yes, that product does sound too good to be true, because it is.
EEERRRT. Get back on track here…
I am always asked this question, and I always have the same answer. If you want to know how to lose weight, first you have to understand what causes weight gain.
- 1. Diet: The quality of the food you eat is the most important factor in regards to weight loss. 80% of the responsibility for weight gain and weight loss has to do with what you put in your mouth. If you are thinking you are eating the right foods because it says it is ZERO CALORIES or FAT FREE, you are probably eating the exact foods that cause weight gain. Processed foods that are loaded with sugars, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, and any amount of crazy scientific ingredients are the foods that are causing your weight gain issues.
- 2. Stress: The hormone cascade involved with elevated emotional stress will only wreak havoc you your metabolic function. Please understand, stress plays a vital role in how our nervous systems react. If you are in a stressful situation, it will stimulate the sympathetic nervous system, and your flight or fight response kicks in. During this time, the parasympathetic nervous system is shut down, digestion is shut down, and every other metabolic function is shut down to keep your energy focused on running or fighting a stimulus. Which takes me to my next bullet point.
- 3. Digestion: I understand that most want to blame their weight struggles on a faulty thyroid gland, but I can ensure you, your digestive function is vastly more important, and a sluggish digestive system is possible the root cause of your thyroid woes. If your body is unable to digest food properly, (given that you are actually eating food that is, well, food) you will not be able to break down these foods and assimilate the vital nutrients that the body needs to function. If your body is void of the vital nutrients, it is in stress (see previous bullet). Thyroid, adrenal, cardiovascular, and every other function of the body needs a constant influx of vital nutrients, if your diet, and your digestion system are not providing these building blocks, your weight will suffer.
- 4. Exercise: Understand that the time spent at the gym, or the calories burned while you are on a treadmill, plays a minimal part on your weight. Exercise is beneficial in the form of a system for increasing muscle mass in the body. The body’s resting metabolic rate (RMR), or the amount of calories you can burn at rest, is directly related to the amount of muscle mass you have. If you want to increase your RMR, you need to increase your muscle mass. This is what exercise if for. If you are not active, your muscle mass will diminish and your RMR will crash.
As I stated, if you truly want to know why you can’t seem to lose weight, first you have to understand what is causing you to gain weight in the first place. This is where I stand behind the comment that if a product tells you that all you have to do is take their miracle pill and change nothing, IT WILL FAIL. Sure you might lose some weight initially, make yourself a true believer, and then it all comes crashing back on. This is because you have failed to remove the one thing that is causing the problem at hand.
To be clear, if you eat processed foods, even just one a day, you gain weight. If you do not exercise at all, and your muscle mass is going down the tubes, you gain weight. If you are going through a stressful time, and you know that you are having a difficult time dealing with it, you will gain weight. If you digestive system is not working properly, you have heartburn, you have intermittent diarrhea or constipation, you gain weight.
I do understand that you know someone who went through a tough time and they couldn’t eat and they seemed to wilt away to nothing. Or, sometimes a digestive system is all mixed up, and people seem to be unable to gain weight. And I also have seen those pesky people that seem to be able to eat ANYTHING THEY WANT, and never gain a pound. Rest assured, this is a major point that we address at New-Start Health Center.
I will not go on and on about the unhealthy relationship between weight and health as we all have seemed to become accustomed to. But to be clear, if you know someone who is not overweight, but they seem to eat sugary product after sugary product, iff you know someone that is too stressed out to eat and they are wilting away, they are not healthy. Sure, they may appear to be at a healthy weight, but their metabolic function is in distress. Each person’s body fat storage function is different. But I have to encourage you not to envy someone who can eat whatever crap they want and not gain weight. Their health is struggling and due to the vanity of America, we still allow them to assume a healthy status. This is dangerous.
So, the first part of answering the primary question is this: You need to understand what causes weight gain if you ever want to stop it.
Fun Analogy Time!!!
Think of weight gain or being overweight as a pink room. You are not interested in the room being pink anymore. In fact, you want to change it to a white room (lose weight). To start this process, first you have to realize some very important factors. How the room became pink? What you have to do to get it to turn white, and finally, what you need to do to keep it from turning pink again? Now, it is easy to understand how that room became pink, right? Someone took the pink paint, put in on a roller, and painted to their hearts content. And you obviously know to turn the room white. You take white paint, put it on a roller, and paint to your hearts content. The biggest disconnect between being overweight and weight loss, and getting a pink room to turn white is the simple step of, what do you need to do to keep it from turning pink again?
The current model we have in place for weight loss is missing this important step. If you have not learned what has made your room turn pink, or made you gain weight, if you do not understand how to keep it from coming back after you lose weight, then you are in a winless battle. Every single diet plan that I have researched, and every single miracle pill that tells you that you do not have to change anything is like painting your wall with white paint and then your friend coming in right behind you and accidently dripping bright red paint into your bucket without you even noticing. You just keep trying and trying to get a pink wall to turn white, but the material you are using, will only leave it the same color. Depending on how many coats you try to apply, you could even end up with a darker shade of pink. (The analogy here is that you will actually end a diet weighing more than what you actually started)
OK, that was fun. Now, let’s clean up this answer, shall we?
So many people are struggling with weight gain, obesity, and overall poor health in America. So many people are searching high and low to figure how why them, why are they overweight, how did they get this unlucky? To be honest, it is on you. It is not all your genetics fault, your doctor’s fault, or even your personal trainer’s fault.
You have to understand that your lifestyle is the predominant cause of weight gain. The food you eat,the stress you have around you, the amount of exercise you perform, is all on you.
If you want to lose weight, you have to start by addressing the cause, AND GET HELP. You need help from your family, friends, loved ones, coworkers, etc. You need the people around you to understand your goals, and understand what it is going to take for you to get your weight on track. YOU HAVE TO STAY FOCUSED.
So many people go into The New-Start Solution with intentions of losing 50 pounds in 5 days and then they get to go back to eating pizza and Doritos. This is just not a reality. The New-Start Solution is a Lifestyle Change. A rebirth into a healthy style of living. Call it what you want but it is not a diet or miracle system. It is simply the most basic form of eating that makes your body more efficient.
With all of my research, it all comes back to this one simple rule:
If you want to lose weight, and I mean truly lose weight… Look at yourself in the mirror. When you start to think about what you want to change, do not even think about the vanity standpoint of getting into a smaller size of pants. Do not waste your time thinking about what you ideal weight is. Instead, think about what you want to change to get there.