Posted by: Jo Banks
How many diets have you tried where you’ve lost weight only to pile it back on (and more) once you stop?
There are currently around 250,000 diet books in print, there are numerous types of diets from weekly ‘groups meetings’ to pre-prepared, calorie counted food delivered straight to your door to full meal replacements not to mention the plethora of diet supplements and pills available. However, studies have proved that traditional diets only work (ie people lose the weight and keep it off) for 9% of people who do them. 9%! No wonder the diet industry is a multimillion enterprise.
So, why do traditional diets not work or only work for a short time until the weight piles back on? The answer is that they don’t deal with the underlying issues for the weight gain. If you don’t deal with the issues, no amount of dieting is going to work long term. So what are the most common underlying issues when it comes to managing sustained weight loss?
1. Obsessive Dieting
According to Paul McKenna:
"‘A diet is any system of eating that attempts to exert external control over what, where, when or how much you eat."
We are constantly looking for “that perfect diet” and it doesn’t take an expert to tell you that most of the diets can be completely contradictive and leave us confused and deflated. Diets are basically training courses that teach us how to become fat and invariably make us feel like failures.
Have you heard people say, “It’s me. I just can’t lose weight, no matter what I do” of course you have! You may have even said it yourself, it’s because you've trained yourself into this way of thinking from doing and failing at so many different diets.
Experiments and research has shown that where people have had their food restricted for a period of time, even when that restriction has been lifted, people still continued obsessive behaviour around food eg hording, talking about it , overeating. Food restriction triggers the subconscious survival instincts in us - it's not a conscious thing - it's the body protecting itself. In fact, there was a piece of research done in the 1950s, The Biology of Human Starvation, which completely bears this out.
Depriving yourself of food is the worst thing you can do if you want to lose weight. It will only make you want more, FACT.
2. Emotional Eating
Emotional eating is directly responsible for the majority of our overeating. People will eat excessively when they’re bored, happy, stressed, angry, lonely, unhappy etc none of these reasons have anything to do with actually being hungry. We are trying to fill a void left by an emotional feeling or issue we are facing. However, no amount of food is ever going to fill an emotional void, that’s why people eat and eat and eat when they are suffering emotionally but never feel full.
Many people, when they look back over their lives can often see the triggers that have caused them to start putting on weight – it may be a trauma or a particularly difficult time or situation that happened as a child or teen. Without addressing those issues, they keep knocking and knocking and knocking and we keep eating in a vain attempt to try and quieten that knocking ... all to no avail.
Next time you feel like reaching for something to eat, think to yourself:
Am I hungry or do it just want to change the way I feel?
Put is on a Post It note and stick it to your fridge, computer, cupboards if that helps. Just asking yourself that simple question will help you identify the difference between real and imagined hunger. I’ll go into this much more in following posts.
3. Faulty Programming
Being overweight is just a by-product of faulty programming. It’s not your fault, it’s just how you’ve programmed yourself subconsciously throughout your life in response to experiences you’ve been through, the behaviour you’ve witnessed around food as you were growing up, TV advertising etc etc.
Like I’ve said in previous posts if you’ve learned unproductive behaviours and limiting self beliefs, you can unlearn them just as easily and replace them with productive ones. That’s what I’ll help you do through this programme.
Traditional diets don’t work, we all know that and have experience of it. Restricting our food intake only makes us want more, therefore, what we need to do is to change the way that we think and act around food. We need to change our relationship with food and we need a programme that will help us do that. The programme that I will be outlining in future posts is not a diet, it is a weight loss programme that has a proven success rate of 70% as long as you follow the instructions and do the exercises as described.
In my next post I’ll tell you how ‘naturally’ thin people keep thin whilst eating what we would usually class as ‘forbidden foods’.
As always, if you have any comments or feedback on anything I put here, I’d love to hear from you.
Until next time, have a wonderful day.
Visit the website for Jo Banks' first book, Thoughts Become Things now available in paperback and Kindle formats.