Q & A with Dr. K: I’m 51 and have dieted since my teens. What do I do now?

Here’s this week’s question:

Q: I’m 51 and have dieted all my life since my teens now I just can not get my head around going on a another diet or trying anything to lose weight and I am the most overweight i have ever been.


Thanks for the question.

Many of my clients who come and see me at my clinic have “diet fatigue”. They’re just exhausted from going on diet after diet.

They are sick of getting all hopeful and excited for a few days or a week, but then coming back crashing down to earth when they realise that the new diet is not the magic solution they hoped it would be.

There are two things that would be useful for you to consider at this stage:

Is another diet going to make any difference?

Most diets you will have tried, involved you doing things you hated, sacrificing things you loved, and sticking to plans that you realistically would only be able to manage for a few weeks, tops.

This sort of approach is doomed to fail.

Rather than look for another diet and hope against the odds that this one will work, it’s time to try a different approach to losing weight.

Here is a different way to look at weight loss:

1. Don’t make any drastic changes.

Rather than overhauling your entire life, stick with what you usually eat, but make some small changes. Nothing major.

The one I usually recommend to clients to begin with, is to cut back portion sizes by 5 – 10%.

5% is NOTHING. It should be barely noticeable. But it’s a start. And you can build on it.

2. Keep adding small changes.

The ideal weight loss plan is one that feels like you’re not doing enough.

Aside from from continuing to cut back on food portions, look for other ways to cut back your eating in ways that you barely notice.

For example: removing food from your line of sight (for example on your desk at work) makes you eat less, but you don’t notice it. (There’s plenty more things you can do like this)

3. Allow yourself to indulge

You have to be able to go out, eat foods you love and enjoy life. This is crucial.

Learning how to do this without over-eating is a crucial skill. But if you can do this, it definitely won’t feel like a diet

4. Be patient

Most diets promise lots of weight loss in no time at all.

But if you can be comfortable with NOT needing to lose 10 pounds in 10 days, life will be a lot easier.

The fact is, after 40, it becomes harder and harder to lose weight quickly. But that’s OK, if you’re patient and stay the course.

5. Keep going no matter what

If you keep making small changes and keep going no matter what, then you will see amazing results that hardly seemed achievable before.

So there is a plan that you can follow, that won’t feel like any of those other diets you’ve been on. But first you need to get into a frame of mind to feel motivated to take action:

What are your alternatives?

I can understand the diet fatigue, but you have to face the question: what are you alternatives?

As it stands, you can either avoid doing anything about your weight, in which case it will keep rising and your problems will compound.

This is not really an option is it? (And you wouldn’t be asking me a question on here (or reading the answer) if you were realistically thinking of doing nothing)

OR you can decide to take action, but do it gently, and take the pressure off.

Perhaps all this time, you’ve been in a hurry, and put pressure on yourself to lose 10 pounds in 10 days. How about being more gentle with yourself, and taking it easy.

You will be able to get there, but you can do it without the self-blame and the pressure. Why not try it?

Posted in Blog, Weight Loss Q&A

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