Why You Need to Start Doing The Opposite of Everything You’ve Done Before To Lose Weight … and Actually Start Losing Weight!

The typical love your weight loss client:

1. Has been a yo-yo dieter for many years (usually over ten).
2. Has had short-term success with at least one method but have regained (or are fast regaining) all the weight they’ve lost.
3. Are emotional eaters.
4. Are wary of wasting more money on weight loss products or plans, skeptical that any will work, but too scared not to try because they’re sick of being overweight.
5. And, most importantly, they’ve “tried everything” (shakes, programs, pills, personal trainers, frozen meals, etc., etc., etc., etc.!)

But mostly “trying everything” means trying all the mainstream weight-loss methods… so if you’ve tried all the usual things to lose weight and they haven’t worked then it’s time to try something different…something counter-intuitive! But first some words of warning…

We don’t like counterintuitive things

Research shows that people don’t like counter-intuitive things. For example, when we are forced to confront something we don’t agree with, our brains turn on a whole network of neurons that produce feelings of distress1. We don’t like to feel distress, so our brains combat another network of neurons that rely on faulty reasoning.

Here’s the problem with this type of thinking: We become resistant (almost blind) to things outside of our comfort zone, unfamiliar ideas and different ways to do things. Instead, we look the other way and let our illusions become our reality. Chances are your illusions about ‘what works for weight loss’ (going on a diet, hiring a personal trainer, that you think you can’t keep the weight off etc.) have become your reality. But they don’t have to be. These things ARE illusions – and as Love Your Weight Loss goes on week by week you will discover more about why this has happened – and most importantly – how to overcome this!

We love denial

In her book, Wilful Blindness: Why We Ignore The Obvious at Our Peril, author Margaret Heffernan explores the concept of collective denial2. Her conclusions have great relevance for weight loss. In short, denial makes us feel hopeful that we are having a positive effect on solving the problem at hand. However, at the same time, hope stops us from determining if there is any foundation for this emotion. We don’t investigate whether or not our attempts are actually doing something good, and we don’t try other actions to solve the problem more effectively.

Denial keeps us in our comfort zone, which means we limit our options (we don’t like to be overwhelmed by choices) and take short cuts so we don’t have to start from scratch. We tend to do what works for someone else and assume it will work for you. Sometimes this strategy works, but often times it does not.

See how this relates to weight loss and those “you don’t have to think” weight loss marketing mantras? They help perpetuate denial. Denial is easy when you don’t have to think. But I challenge you to stop for a moment and actually think … think about this: If you don’t have to think about losing weight, how will you learn to keep it off once you’re done with the weight loss program? The answer, of course, is that you don’t learn, resulting in regaining the lost weight (plus more). You then become part of the vicious weight loss industry cycle, creating more revenue when you decide to try something else to lose weight.

Top Counterintuitive Tips:

1. If you want to make a giant weight loss leap, take it step by step.

If you’ve already watched my introductory videos then you’ll know that Love Your Weight Loss is a step-by-step system, something which productivity experts love.

Leo Babauta elucidates the benefits of starting small – and then gradually building on this – in The Power of Less: The Six Essential Productivity Principles That Will Change Your Life. Babauta explains that this step-by-step approach makes things easier to handle, and helps you make lasting changes that yield successful results. Most importantly, it helps sustain your interest in the task at hand:

By starting out doing less than you can actually handle, you build up energy and enthusiasm, kind of like water building up behind a dam. That built-up energy and enthusiasm ensures that you don’t run out of steam early on, but can keep going for much longer.3

And we all know what it’s like to run out of energy and enthusiasm on our weight loss efforts.

2. Don’t tell anyone you are trying to lose weight

There are many reasons why… here’s my top three:

a. Setting goals and announcing them to everyone you know is actually a way of limiting yourself. Who knows what you’re capable of achieving, or how long it’ll take you to get there?
b. Your nearest and dearest could be resistant to the idea of change, even if that change is going to benefit your health. If you are already struggling with self-sabotage then I’m sure you don’t want to potential sabotage from friends and family is some
c. As psychology Dr Peter Gollwitzer argues, announcing your intentions to others and then getting recognition for those intentions – for example, hearing people congratulate you for taking charge of your health, or telling you how good you look after you’ve lost those first few kilos – can trick you into thinking that you’ve achieved your goal already. What happens then? You stop trying. In your mind, you’ve already achieved what you set out to do.

So, once you’ve decided to lose weight, zip up your mouth – and, very soon, the next jeans size down!

3. Don’t spend a fortune on food

It’s a common misconception that unhealthy foods tend to be cheaper than healthy ones. In fact, The Wall Street Journal recently reported that healthy eating isn’t as expensive as you might think: while consumers eat fewer calories per dollar when they make healthy choices, the price of healthy food by weight or portion size works out better than the price of unhealthy food. What’s more, since junk food is made up of empty calories, it often leaves consumers feeling unsatisfied, and so they buy more of it and end up spending more money. Then, of course, there’s all the extra money that you end up spending on weight loss products to get rid of all the unhealthy foods residue!

 

 1D Western, The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation, PublicAffairs, USA, 2007.
 2M Heffernan, Wilful Blindness: Why We Ignore the Obvious at Our Peril. Simon and Schuster, Australia, 2011.
 3L Babauta, The Power of Less: The Six Essential Productivity Principles That Will Change Your Life, UK: Hay House, 2009.