Oh my Gosh! I Can’t Believe What I Ate!
‘Tis the season for those crazy calls and emails from clients asking me which diets, diet pills, potions – and even creams – they should use to lose weight. As a former sales representative and product researcher in the vitamin industry, I am qualified to give an educated opinion, so here is my basic answer for everyone: NONE. Nothing you buy in a bottle or tube will fix this problem. You have to eat better.
Furthermore, none of the diet programs will fix this, even the most expensive one out there, which I am not going to call out for fear of getting sued (but you know who you are). Diets don’t work because most people don’t eat out of physical hunger as much as from emotional hunger masking uncomfortable, underlying feelings such as boredom (the most frequent culprit), sadness, anger, and sometimes even elation You have to satisfy your real hunger to lose weight.
Just the Facts, Ma’am
Over the years, I have seen many people through the weight-loss process, have done a ton of research on the subject, and am absolutely convinced of some important ideas:
- Calories in and calories out is an incomplete way of looking at the problem. As JJ Virgin says in her Virgin Diet books, “Our bodies are not calculators; they are chemistry sets.” 100 calories of chocolate is not the same as 100 calories of cabbage.
- Exercise will not guarantee weight loss. Exercise has a ton of benefits, so do it daily if you can; but research has shown over and over that exercise alone will not make you thin.
- Low fat is a fail for weight loss. Everyone has different weight-loss strategies that work for them, but in general, clients I’ve worked with over the years who’ve tried low fat diets have a nearly 100% failure rate. In fact, this is why many of my clients come to me in the first place…they are upset by their lack of success in doing what they’ve been told is the solution.
- Sugar is a legal addictive substance. The #1 complaint I hear from clients – even ones not trying to lose weight – is that sugar cravings are a major problem. The reasons for craving sugar are partly emotional, but more physical in nature. It takes ten days of not eating sugar to be completely free from craving it, although it should start feeling easier after three days. It isn’t as simple as it sounds to give up, but you will be amazed how much better you feel if you do.
The answer is simple: knowledge. I have found that people with the most success in long-term weight loss took the time to really understand the problem from a scientific perspective, doing research and experimenting with different ways of eating to see what worked for them. This is the approach I recommend. The following is a list of books I highly recommend to anyone on the diet/exercise journey:
“Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It” by Gary Taubes. This book gives a clear discussion of the science involved in weight gain.
“Salt, Sugar, Fat” by Michael Moss. Here you’ll learn the fascinating and yet diabolical way the food industry basically engineers our food to ensure our addiction to it.
“The Paleo Diet” by Loren Cordain. For years, my professional athlete clients have been recommending this way of eating to me. Finally I tried it, and now I’m a fan, too.
“The Fast Diet” by Michael Mosley and Mimi Spencer. The authors introduce a different approach to weight loss, one that employs intermittent fasting. I am playing with this one now, and so far I really like it.
“FastExercise” by Michael Mosley and Peta Bee. A significant amount of research is now showing that high-intensity, short-duration exercise bursts may be just as effective as longer, lower-intensity training. This book explains the process.
“Feed your Real Hunger” by Jill Thomas. Yes, a shameless plug for my own book, but I wouldn’t recommend it if I didn’t think it was great!
“Bridget Jones Diary” by Helen Felding. Read the book, which is quite a different story than the movie. After you’ve read all the scientific, information-packed tomes, you’ll enjoy this light novel portraying dieting in its most ridiculous light.
Enjoy reading, learning, and experimenting. And if you want extra help with losing weight, I welcome your calls. My commitment to this issue means that when you achieve your goals, I have achieved my goal.
To support your efforts, I’ve created my short End Sugar Cravings meditation.
Jill Thomas CHT
Soul Connect Hypnotherapy