Weight loss is commonly recommended for purported health benefits however this can instil a misplaced belief that weight loss and health are perfectly synonymous.

They aren’t.

There are healthier and less healthier ways to lose weight…agree?
One could simply increase the nutrient quality and density of your diet choices, increase your activity levels, stop smoking, and reduce your alcohol intake, whilst taking active steps to reduce the stress in your life. You could do all this, and yet, still hover around the same caloric intake levels, and thus, maintain the same weight.
Undoubtably by making these healthier choices  most people would anticipate a much improved sense of health; measurable via our metabolic health markers (blood pressure etc), general wellbeing, energy levels and outlook…again even if there is little or no change to body weight.

Ones body composition could even change for the ‘better’, and yet still, no observable changes to ones ‘actual weight’. This scenario is prevalent in individuals who increase their strength and lean muscle mass. Physically the body composition has changed, clothes will feel decidedly loser, your mirror image looks better, body measurements around the hips, thighs, waist and chest will all ‘better-proportionately’ change…and yet, still no noticeable ‘weight-loss’. An another added frustration is that even though composition has “improved”, for many, there is an actual increase in body weight…due to increased lean muscle & bone density. 

This is something I’ve witnessed again and again over the years this – clients who have implemented the above changes to diet, training, lifestyle choices, improved sleep etc have seen a dramatic improvement to all metabolic markers, including sense of wellbeing, vitality and virility, plus the extraordinary improvements in body composition – and yet, the client continues to sabotaged their efforts or, in most cases give up completely, only because the scales told them that their weight is the same, or god-forbid, higher.

Because weight loss, and especially the images that the dodgy health and fitness industry portrays as “healthy”, you know…bikini bodies, six pack abs etc is synonymously associated with improved health, many folk strive to lose weight with behaviours and a mindset that may not be either conducive for their mental or physical health, or supports a realistic, sensible approach to actually maintain ‘the required behaviours’ for their long term…which is the goal right?
You don’t have wonder why the majority of diet and training programs only last 14 or 30 days…it’s because they’re stupidly restrictive and completely unrealistic…there is no way in the world that these approaches could possibly be sustained for the long term…and yet they’ll promote these ‘programs’ with ‘elite-types’ who do nothing but train and starve themselves for a period of time for the one photograph, or for that one competition. 
Most lives aren’t like that, so why do we torture ourselves aspiring or believing the hype that this is what we need to do.

This ‘hardcore elite’ approach that  aligns itself to individuals who want super-low levels of body fat for a contest or photo shoot, knowing very well that their ‘health will take a hit’ (such as, an inability to absorb nutrients, suffer low testosterone and a host of other hormonal issues, plus heart disease risks, gut problems, damaged nervous system, organ shrinkage and not to mention the huge psychological impacts – such as severe mood swings, increased impulsivity and inability to sleep), but for the general population I think we need to reiterate that health and body weight don’t overlap perfectly in the ways many people either portray or aspire to.

There’s two possible approaches here:

Weight-centric approach – if you focus on body weight alone you could feel the need to adopt behaviours and thinking that you (or anyone else) wouldn’t consider physically or psychologically healthy.

Health-centric approach – focusing on the health-centric approach will allow psychological, physiologically and even philosophically you to be much more inclined to simply ‘allow’ your body composition changes to come along for the ride. And continue to develop thinking and doing strategies to best maintain your ongoing journey.

Work everyday on changing your narrative that supports your reality…this is the only way we can best navigate and overcome the hurdles that lie in our path. 
What you eat, how you eat, and how much you eat is a mindset skill to master.
This skill is a masterclass in resilience and self-kindness, plus it’s an antidote for so much of what ails us.

Ref: Ben Carpenter

Till next time