Why Weight Loss Can't be Your Only Goal
Most everyone wants to lose at least a little weight. But fad “diets” aren't the answer. Instead, you have to start in a completely different—and deeper—place to find real health.
I recently had a woman come to one of our Wellness Dinner Seminars. She'd been struggling with her weight and some other serious health concerns for a number of years. She was skeptical if anything would ever work for her, but she was desperate for a change. When she left the seminar, she was excited and ready to enter our Healthful Evolutions program.
But a few minutes after walking out of our office, she walked back in with a worried expression on her face.
When I asked her what was wrong, she said that she thought we had a great program but she was going to try to solve her health issues in another way. When I asked what she meant, she said that she'd talked to some people outside (who had just come to our seminar for the first time as well) and they had convinced her to try a diet they'd just read about. I didn't press her very hard... but I did want to know what she was going to try. And honestly, I was worried she was heading down a path that would not get her to her goals.
“It's called the Plant Paradox Diet,” she said. “My friends said it's supposed to work.” I wished her luck and told her she was always welcome back.
That encounter has stuck with me. Honestly, it makes me sad. Why? Because I know she's not going to find success with that—or any other—”diet.” (As an aside, if you're interested in Dr. Stephen Grundy's Plant Paradox Diet, as well as all the various “lectin blockers” he sells at a premium on his site, watch this—and then read this—first.)
All fad “diets” promise only one thing. That you'll lose weight. And, often, people do lose weight... but only for a little while.
But, let's actually dig a little deeper here.
Can losing weight help you're overall health? Sure, in certain situations. But, does just losing weight mean that you're healthy?
Not at all.
And that's what made me so sad about this interaction with this woman. She needed to lose weight, of course. But the weight was just a symptom of deeper issues. And the “diet” she chose to pursue isn't going to help with any of those underlying issues. If anything, in her situation, that fad diet is probably going to only exacerbate her underlying problems.
When you're looking to get healthy, to be around longer for your kids, to find happiness and live life to its fullest, weight loss can never be your primary goal.
For two main reasons. First, going on a fad diet doesn't work to begin with. And second, that's not how we're built as humans.
Reason #1: fad diets don't work
For evidence why this first reason is true, take a look at the following statistics (all pulled from here):
- The average adult American attempts a fad diet four times per year
- One in four Americans give up after less than two weeks
- More than 97% of people gain the weight back within three years
- 65% of people who even “finish” the diet end up regaining at least as much back
From all of these statistics, a couple things become clear. First, Americans go on fad “diets” a lot. Now, couple that information with the fact that we are only growing more and more obese. Add in the following statistic and you'll begin to get an idea of why weight loss can't be your only goal:
The diet industry pulls in $61 billion annually.
Why don't fad “diets” work? Because they're marketed to us constantly... and then designed to fail. Every time.
Because, what would happen if they worked?
For one, we wouldn't be, on average, trying a new one every three months. And, what's maybe even more telling, we certainly wouldn't be spending tens of billions of dollars on them if the first one got the weight off and kept it off.
Reason #2: Here's How we, As People, work
For the second reason as to why weight loss can't be your main goal when considering your options, let's just take a quick look at how we all tick.
First, know that I have been there... so no judgement! Newton's first law of motion goes something like this: For people sitting on the couch dipping into a family size bag of Sour Cream and Cheddar Ruffles, something has to make them get up and decide not to live that way anymore.
(I'm paraphrasing the physics here, of course, but you get the point.)
Meaning: There needs to be a reason you want to lose the weight. We need to connect to a purpose to give up the chips. Otherwise, why not? They taste good!
Now, let's take a look at some of those potential reasons. For one, maybe summer is coming up, and you want to go to the beach. Or two, maybe that 35th high school reunion is just around the corner, and you want to shed some of the extra pounds before you see your old classmates. Whatever it is, there are plenty of (perfectly legitimate!!!) reasons to want to lose a little weight. Nothing at all wrong with that.
But here's the question: What happens when that event is over? Nine times out of ten the answer is that you regain all the weight you lost and you're no better—or healthier—for it.
Why? Because your goal had both a time limit and an expiration date. Once both of those are exhausted? You have no reason left to keep the weight off.
By the way, that's what the diet industry is counting on. They love the short term. The myopic makes them tens of billions of dollars each year.
Getting back to Newton, the way we as humans work is that to change, we need a reason. And for long-term, life-long change to happen? That reason needs to be a big one.
Going on vacation matters. I totally get that.
But it's not your ultimate WHY.
WHAT WE DO AT THE WELLNESS TRAINING INSTITUTE
That's really what separates what we do in our programs here at the Wellness Training Institute from every other program out there.
First, we find your WHY.
And second, we focus on every part of your health. Health is more than weight loss. In fact, weight loss is really just a tiny part of it. If you're ready to make the changes you need to make, and you do the hard work of making the changes you need to make, of course you're going to lose weight.
But that's not ALL you're going to get. That's honestly just the start.
Instead, you're going to take a journey that will change you forever. And along the way, you'll find happiness, life, health, and community.
You'll get out of the dieting loop. You'll have the freedom to know what your body needs—and why.
All without depriving yourself of anything. All without having to starve yourself.
And all without having to finish your next fad diet only to have to start the cycle once again—and feel the shame the diet industry knows will bring you back, once more, with your wallet open.
You need a plan. You need support. You need a guide.
That's how real change happens. And that's what we offer.