Let me start by saying, losing weight isn’t easy. Don’t get me wrong, the science of weight loss is very straight forward, but the process can be both physically and mentally taxing.
So why is it this way? Why is it such a struggle to millions of people around the world? There’s no one answer to this, but I’m going to share some of the reasons I believe make it so hard for people to lose weight.
Note: I’m not getting into the science of body types and medical conditions. Just real world things that we can control.
We ALL Want Weight to Change
So that sounds stupid right? Of course we want weight to change. If that number on the scales isn’t changing nothing is! Right?...Actually, wrong!
Its just not that simple. A couple of reasons our weight might not change can be due to increased lean muscle, water retention through diet off the last couple days, and menstral cycles. So many things affect our overall ‘weight’. In reality, if you’ve been managing your calories, you might of lost a pound or two in body fat and that is the aim. The scales can’t tell you this though. So we see the weight as a number hasn’t changed and go back to old habits as it’s demoralising!
What should you do then? Take photos of yourself once per month, test with tight fitting clothes to see if they’re fitting better and take body part measurements. This will give a much more accurate indication of actual fat loss.
Unrealistic Expectations, or, Lack of Patience
We all want better bodies. Trust me, there are only a very small percentage of people in this world that are 100% happy with everything about themselves. And why is this? Celebrity profiles, social media and glam mags force us to be constantly wanting what they have. Even though 99% of it is shopped or tampered to make them look better than they really do. It gets in our heads from a young age and sits in our subconscious as an unrealistic dream so we are never quite happy with our image. We have unrealistic expectations.
Linked directly to this, we find ourselves jumping on the old fad diet or workout. ‘6 weeks to a 6 pack‘ ‘lose 10 pounds in 10 days’ ‘toned legs overnight’ these are all typical tag lines of bull shit products or diets. BUT, millions fall for these every minute of every day because it promises fast results. I have spoken to hundreds of people that have tried these types of diet and they got initial results....however....a month later they were back to square one, or worse, they’ve put more weight on! These short term fads are not good for us and negatively affect our metabolism so fuck us up in the long run. They also start a potential cycle of depression and that can impact your whole life.
With weight, or rather fat loss, patience is key for long term sustainable changes. I would NEVER be happy with someone I worked with if they were losing more than two pounds a week (even that can be more than I’d like to see). If they do, they get told to eat more! This normally doesn’t go down too well but it is essential for long term weight maintenance.
Time is on your side, surely reaching your goal in a year or two is better than falling into the yo-yo routine for the next 20 years?
The Rise of Fast Food and Easiness of Ready Made Food
I’m 30 now, and when I was growing up most villages had one or two takeaways. A fish and chip shop and maybe a pizza shop. Sure the likes of Greggs and McDonald’s were everywhere, but the huge rise in private takeaways has had a large impact on people becoming overweight. It’s cheap, it’s easy, and it’s delicious. I love a pizza, Chinese, or Indian takeaway but I limit my intake because I know the calories they contain. Unfortunately, most people have no idea or just ignore it due to the convenience.
Exactly the same goes for processed and ready made foods. They’re quick, easy, tasty, and mostly very cheap. for these reasons, people tend to neglect the nutritional absence and dense calorie values of these foods.
Combine this with the marketing campaigns plastered everywhere from the bigger players, and you’ll find yourself regularly considering a takeaway because it’s in your head and just so easy.
In reality though, you can cook a nice nutritious meal or a healthier option of a takeaway (fakeaway ;-)) in the same time it takes to cook a ready meal or wait for delivery.
Lack of Education on the Basics
Did you get taught about energy balance at school? And I’m not talking about a one off session in Year 9. I’m talking regularly educated on calories for weight loss and gain. Most of us rely on the internet to try and learn a little about weight loss, but surely if it was drilled into us at school from an early age we’d have more control?
If you spent the time now to educate yourself on the basics you could gain control of your weight for the rest of your life. No bullshit fad diets or slimming group crap, just the basics of calorie management. Do this and I swear your life can change forever!
Any good personal trainer will do their best to teach you this from the off.
There’s too Much BS
This is simple, everywhere you look, in magazines, on TV shows, in shop windows, there’s another miracle weight loss cure/workout/pill/diet. It’s just too much! And it confuses everyone! One day we will hopefully see more strict regulations on the advertising of such crap. Until then, don’t fall into their trap. These people just want your money.
No one likes to hear this but it’s so fucking true! We are all too lazy. Consider being alive 100 years ago where everything you did was manual labor and everything you ate was freshly cooked. If you were lazy then, you’d probably die.
In our age, we sit at desks all day, we can get food in 20 minutes with a phone call, we drive everywhere and we can even turn lights on without standing up to press the switch. Then we complain we are too tired, too busy or have other issues that mean we can’t take care of ourselves in the most basic ways. I’m talking about cooking and movement. Yet we all find time to sit on social media for an hour or two a day and binge watch three episodes of stranger things every night after work.
Break your day down with me right now. 24 hours in a day, 8 hours to sleep, 10 hours to work and travel then on average 6 hours to do as you please. You can cook and amazing meal in 30 minutes and you can do a good level of activity in 30 minutes. We still have 5 hours left....
We’re just too lazy as a nation, this has happened through the rise and modern day reliance on technology, and most people won’t accept responsibility for their actions.
This is the way the world has turned and only you can change your habits. You’ve just got to start! Move more, sit less, start to prepare a few meals and then build on it.
Final Thoughts and Points
All of this stuff makes it hard to lose weight, there’s no one reason but on the whole, it’s just so fucking confusing with the mixed messages and false information we receive everyday. There’s an army of GOOD coaches out there growing every day trying to educate people. Hopefully, in the not too distant future, we will be able to make a great difference against the money makers.
At the end of the day though, it’s your life, you’re in control! You make your own choices on what you eat and do. Deep down, you have to take responsibility. So go now, educate yourself on how to actually manage your weight and give yourself at least 12 months to hit your target.
So to recap;
- Weight is just a number. Understand this doesn’t tell the story of your health or appearance. Photos and measurements are key.
- Losing weight is hard! It can be confusing, depressing and both physically and mentally draining.
- Don’t believe everything you see in the media and don’t try to be someone you aren’t.
- Be patient and realistic.
- Limit fast food and processed foods, don’t cut them out, just limit them.
- Cook more! You’ll enjoy your food and learn along the way. Keep it simple at first.
- Educate yourself on Calories and Energy Balance. Once you understand this you can stay in control of your weight.
- Don’t be lazy. It’s easy to think we’re all crazy busy and have no time. But when you reflect on your life and be honest with yourself, you probably have a lot of free time.
Thanks as always for reading, hopefully some of this info is helpful. Please post your comments and thoughts in the comments.