For the record, I believe everyone can make positive, healthy changes to improve their weight and their wellbeing, EXCEPT the following groups of people:
1. The “Encyclopedia of Weight Loss” Person
These are the people who know everything about metabolism, glycaemic index and all other manner of technical details, but are still overweight.
It’s almost like someone learning the rules of tennis, but never getting around to trying to hit a ball. How good would they be at tennis? Learning facts is not worthwhile unless you learn how to take action to lose weight.
2. The “I want to lose 3 stone in 1 week” Person
These people dont have the patience to lose weight properly. They want quick results. They will put up with absolute misery as long as it only lasts 1 week and they lose all their excess weight in that time. These people are likely to try many fad diets, before eventually quitting, believing that there is something wrong with them. There is nothing wrong with you, you just need to change your attitude!
Urgency is the enemy of weight loss. The more quickly you want to lose weight, the more likely you will try short term strategies rather than the long term behavioural change that is needed to maintain a slim, healthy body.
3. The “I know what to do, I just don’t do it” person
People who say they know what to do, but are still overweight are deluding themselves. If they knew what to do, they would have done it by now.
Often the extent of them knowing what to do is some variation on “eat less and exercise more”. This is not how to lose weight, any more than “put one foot in front of the other until you reach the finish line” is how to run a marathon.
A good example is someone saying “I know I should eat less chocolate”. This is not a sufficient level of knowledge to succeed at losing weight. You need to know how to ensure that you eat less chocolate.
When you think about it, this is one of the failings of many diets and exercise programmes. They simply tell you what to do, but don’t tell you how to apply it to your life.
“To know and not do, is to not know”
4. The “Genes are destiny” Person
This is the person who hides behind their family history as being predetermining their entire future and uses it as an excuse for not taking any further action.
There is most definitely a family component to weight gain, but it is not a reason to give up. I can show you people who come from obese families who managed to lose and maintain their weight. On the other hand, I can also show you people who came from slim families who managed to gain and maintain obesity.
Genetics are not destiny.
Tongue In Cheek
I hope you realised that I wasn’t being entirely dismissive of people with these beliefs. I bring up the problem because I think there is a solution. If any of these thought patterns remind you of yourself (or someone you know), then let me say to you, don’t hide behind these false beliefs. Don’t make excuses and don’t look for shortcuts where there are none.
Your attitude towards losing weight is one of your most important assets. If you approach weight loss with an open mind, a desire to improve and to make long term changes, then you will find the journey that much easier.