Weight Loss vs. Lifestyle Improvement
Your pants, which you stated would be the last “larger” size you would buy, can no longer take the pressure your waist line is putting on them. The day has finally arrived and you have had enough. You decide this time it will be different. You are going to start your final weight loss program on Monday.
This is how a lot of our weight loss stories start. The story may not start over a pair of pants. Maybe, it’s bad news from the doctor. Or, maybe it’s a recent divorce or loved one’s death, but they all start the same way with a desire for change in one’s life. There is usually a pain that has entered into your life that is forcing you to focus on the one thing you have been trying desperately to avoid, your health.
So, what are my options?
- Appetite suppressants – sure, they’ll take the hunger away and you might lose weight assuming you are not emotionally eating, but what happens when you are off the drugs? Yes, you guessed it, you’ll return back to your previously recorded lifestyle weight with a vengeance.
- B-12 injections – If I just have more energy, then maybe I’ll be able to exercise my way to a lower weight. In most, if not all cases, your low energy is due to lack of nutritious foods, not due to a malabsorbtion issue. No unbiased research has proven the connection between B-12 injections and weight loss.
- Group weight loss approach – Meetings! Yes, that’s what I need! I will go to my meeting and peer support combined with peer pressure will get me on the right track. Right? There are two problems with this type of weight loss program: you have to like meeting publicly about a pretty private matter and you have to be willing to feel group pressure each week relative to your success or lack of success. Most of the people that I talk to stop going to meetings once they are no longer seeing the weight loss. This is when you need the most support, not the least support.
- Meal replacement, supplements or meal plans – Makes sense as long as you are willing to either drink through a straw, eat frozen meals or eat what someone else deems interesting for the rest of your life. I don’t know about you, but life is too short to live this way.
- Bariatric Surgery – Another possible, but extreme, alternative for those that struggle with food addictions. These types of surgery have proven to take the weight off through severe caloric deprivation, but what happens when you go through the surgery and never dealt with the underlying reason behind your food addiction. More commonly than not, you go through a transference of addiction where you seek other methods to find the same emotional comfort you experienced when you could overeat.
The problem with all of the above weight loss programs you may be considering is that none of them teach you how to live the lifestyle you want to weigh and the stresses that may go along with that lifestyle. All of the weight loss programs direct you how to live the lifestyle of someone who is severely restricting their caloric intake so you can have big losses each week. This is why you cannot wait to get off of the “diets” when you are on them. There is a different, better way.
Live the Lifestyle You Want To Weigh
Why do people who are skinny seem to be able to eat whatever they want and not gain any weight? The truth of the matter is they can’t, unless there is an underlying eating disorder. They just happen to be living the lifestyle they weigh, much like you are living the lifestyle you weigh.
No matter what diet books out there state, the more of a calorie surplus you have (the more you eat relative to your output) the more you will weigh until you normalize at a specific higher weight. This is also true of a calorie shortfall. The more of a shortfall you have (the less you eat relative to your output), the less you will weigh till you normalize at a specific lower weight. At LightenUp, we refer to this as your weight at caloric equilibrium.
Based on this realization, if you want to weigh less, it is a matter of understanding what the metabolic rate and exercise looks like for that person and then tuning your inputs to equal that target. Once these numbers are understood, you will continue to lose weight till reach your target weight.
The cool difference between lifestyle improvement and weight loss is that with lifestyle improvement you will be learning how to live at your target weight with all of the struggles that go along with it. You will have a clear understanding on what that lifestyle improvement looks like when you go out with family and friends and what it looks like on the everyday nights at home. However, the big difference is you will be receiving physical, nutritional and emotional support from your health coach as you go through this lifestyle improvement.
That being said, know that a lifestyle improvement program is not a quick weight loss strategy. When the lifestyle improvement program is done correctly, then there will be no difference in your weight loss lifestyle versus your lifestyle at your target weight.
This small change is important. A typical weight loss program has you consume calories that would sustain a sub-100 lbs person. Traditional weight loss programs expect you to sustain that lifestyle till you get to your target weight. At LightenUp Lifestyle, we teach you how to live the lifestyle of your target weight while you are working towards your target weight.
As a society, we have to stop thinking about weight loss as a race to our target weight. It took us many years, sometimes decades to get to our current overweight self. To expect to lose that weight in 2 weeks or 2 months is unrealistic. You may lose the weight, but you learn nothing about the lifestyle you need to live. Instead consider a different method that has proven successful to the hundreds of people we’ve served.
Contact LightenUp Lifestyle to learn how we can help you achieve the lifestyle you want to weigh!