YHATC001 – Why You Still Haven’t Reached Your Ideal Weight

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I’m starting a brief series with this episode, and I’m calling it, “Why You Still Haven’t Reached Your Ideal Weight.”  This series is especially for those who have been at this weight loss thing for a good minute.  You’ve been trying to lose weight for weeks, months, years, or even decades for some.  You may have lost substantial weight before, and you may have even reached your ideal weight, but you gained some or all of it back.  You might have even “gained interest,” so to speak – meaning that you may have gained even more weight.  If you fit in any way in any of these categories, I’m talking to you right now.

We’re going to touch on a variety of things that could be causing you to remain stuck weight-wise, so I want you to listen closely.  But I will tell you this right now:  If you’re expecting me to talk about some shortcuts, hacks or quick fixes, I’ll probably disappoint you.  But if you hang with me, I promise you that it’s gonna be good for you.  Let’s get on into the topic.

So why haven’t you gotten to that ideal weight yet?  Why, despite your many valiant attempts, have you been unable up to this point to achieve lasting success?  There could be a variety of reasons for your lack of success, and I’m hopeful that we’re going to touch on something that speaks to your specific situation in some kind of way.  Let’s discuss Possible Reason #1 for your inability to get to that ideal weight.

Possible Reason #1 – Your focus is on losing weight rather than on losing fat.  See, there is a huge difference between losing weight and losing fat.

Your body weight is comprised of all of your many kinds of bodily tissues – muscle, fat, bones, skin, guts, etc. – as well as of the food and drink that you ingest and the waste that your body produces and gets rid of.  But let’s consider what it really means when you need to lose weight.

Although we talk about losing weight, usually the issue is that your body is carrying too much fat tissue.  See, it’s possible to be somewhat overweight and it not be a problem, in the case that you are more muscular than average.  The reason is because lean body mass, which includes muscle and everything else except for fat, is generally healthy.  It’s when the culprit is fat that being overweight is generally unhealthy.  Fat places an extra burden on your various organs, throws your insulin and hormones out of whack, and increases your general risk for degenerative diseases.

So, I understand what you’re saying, Shawn, but how in the world could I know that I’m focusing on weight more than on fat?”  I will tell you that an easy way to know if you’re focusing too much on losing weight rather than on fat is by the amount of attention you pay to the scale.

How often do you weigh yourself?  Every now and then?  That’s cool.  If you’re stepping on that thing every day, or even multiple times a day, that’s a problem.  If you find yourself devastated often by what the scale says, you’re focusing too much on your weight.

Think about this.  Sometimes, when you’re in the process of losing weight, the scale may not go down very much.  Sometimes it may not go down at all.  The reasons are because of 1) plateaus, which are normal in the weight loss journey, 2) because of the weight of the food and drink you ingest, and 3) because sometimes you might be gaining muscle, depending on what kind of exercise you’re doing…and that’s okay!  You should be trying to gain muscle.  But when you weigh yourself all the time, you might beat yourself up over gaining 2 lbs over the course of a day, when it is impossible for that weight to be anything other than food or water.  Your body can’t metabolize and create fat that fast.  Trust me.  Don’t beat yourself up so much.

And hear me on this.  If you weigh more after eating, it is okay.  Food is matter, so it increases the amount of matter that you contain.  But just because you ate a lb of food doesn’t mean that you’re going to gain a lb.  It doesn’t work that way.

Honestly, the best thing for you to do to help you focus on your fat loss is to either weigh yourself no more than once a week, or to throw your scale away.  No joke.

Possible Reason #2 – Your focus is on the external rather than the internal.  Our society literally surrounds us with images of fitness models who make real men and women everywhere feel insecure.  The reason they do that, by the way, is because they have products that they want you to purchase so you can supposedly look the way the models do.  Even though the fitness models were usually already in shape before they advertise the product.

Anyway, the natural consequence of this is that we all focus more on how we want to look, rather than on finding the root cause of our extra fat.  I’m not saying that it’s wrong to want to be happy about yourself.  That’s generally okay, but too often, what happens is that we work so hard to reach these ideals that it took the fitness models years, in some cases, to achieve.  And by the way, when you see those folks with the ultra-chiseled abs and cuts in their legs and all, they had to do very specific dietary restriction to prepare for the photo shoot.  They had to drastically reduce their carbs, which means they probably feel really drained, and then they had to fluctuate their water so that their bodies would get rid of excess water.  What I’m saying is that, for the most part, they can’t maintain that state long.  So we depress ourselves over ideals that are unrealistic unless you’re an Olympian.

Not only do we get ourselves depressed from trying to do what the models do, but we miss the opportunity to find the real problems.  It might be better to meditate and think about your life and the things that have happened to possibly discover where the problems lie, rather than to read another magazine or advertisement where a big money celebrity talks about his or her routine.  The reason for your extra fat usually isn’t as simple as food, drink and exercise.  There’s usually a deeper, internal reason for your external habits.

Possible Reason #3 – You think you haven’t found the right diet.  “I’ve tried EVERYTHING,” you might say.  And I feel you.  I really do.

But here’s the thing.  Even though we’re all different people, the type of diet you use usually isn’t a problem.  The principles on losing weight are actually pretty simple, but you can approach those principles in different ways.  That’s why there are so many diets that have worked for people out there.

These days, the popular diets include Paleo, Whole 30, Veganism, Vegetarianism, Anti-Inflammatory Diet, Macrobiotic Diet, Gluten-free Diet, and so, so many more.  They’ve all worked for some people, so what I honestly find is, it tends to not be the diet so much that is the issue.  Rather, it is whether one sticks with the diet that is the real issue.  Are you going to keep going with the diet after week 1, or even after week 21?  Or are you going to change what you’re doing at the first sign that somebody else is doing something different?

Trust me.  You’re going to have to have some staying power if you want to see results.  You need to give any way of dieting at least a good month – maybe two – to give it a fair chance.

Now, there are some diets out there that you need to just avoid.  Starvation diets, as well as diets like Atkins that tend to avoid more of the nutritious foods you need are going to mess your health up, so they’re not worth it.

Have a question you want answered on the Your Health At The Crossroads show?  Tweet your question to @ShawnB2BFitness, put it on the YHATC Facebook page, or call (478)216-8536 and leave a voicemail.  You can also send your question via e-mail  to shawn@yourhealthatthecrossroads.com.

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