All You Need To Do Is Eat Less, MOVE MORE, To Lose Weight! Why I Think It Is an UNHELPFUL and Poor Statement
It is a phrase that keeps getting repeated but I feel it is an unhelpful statement for people who struggle with their weight as it just too simplistic and vague.
It is a bit like telling an alcoholic that all they have to do is stop drinking or advising someone with depression that all they need to do is “pull themselves together”.
Many people already know that to lose weight we need to expend more energy than we consume. However how many people try to lose weight, diet and exercise but still struggle with their weight. Things are not always so black and white.
There are other factors to consider-
• Psychological Factors-
People may indulge in comfort or emotional eating. Or for example. Why can some people take one biscuit from the pack and put it away, while others (like me) have that little gremlin in their heads that will make us eat the whole pack. We know eating the whole pack isn’t a great idea but we will do it anyway and find ways to justify it.
• Physiological Factors-
There could be genetic factors come into play or some sort of medical condition (underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), Cushing's syndrome, and polycystic ovarian syndrome. Certain medications can be a factor
• Environmental factors-
Social circle, upbringing, what a person grew up eating, local facilities, education, stress factors, sleep etc.
• Throw into the mix people notoriously underestimate how many calories they consume and overestimate how much they expend.
They can all play a role and each person is unique and our bodies and minds are complex.
There is absolutely no question that to lose weight there must be a calorie deficit and for anyone who wants to lose weight has to find a way to do this. But we can’t expect someone to eradicate habits over night that have been developed over years and years or over a lifetime. It’s not just as simple as making yourself go for a run every day and eating less.
Many people know they have to expend more energy than they consume but still struggle with their weight.
A common problem why many will struggle to lose weight and keep it off is often adherence. Lots of people start with great intentions but at some point the dieting and exercise regime starts to fail and the weight creeps back.
Why do so many people struggle with adherence?...
The answers can be complex, but often people don't plan ahead and/or make it too hard on themselves initially. To lose weight they think they have to suffer by thrashing themselves in the gym, force themselves to do “go running” abstain from foods they don like and/ or suffer on low calorie diets that are simply not sustainable or long term solutions.
Some tips for starting out with your weight loss plan and to help with long term adherence
• Try making LIFESTYLE and HABIT CHANGES not quick fixes.
• Everyone is different, see what strategies work for YOU
• If starting out on a diet think to yourself, can I see myself doing this in 6 months, 12 months or through my life time?
If not maybe re think your strategy. As I have mentioned in many blogs any diet will work in short term. However many diets fail long term. Its easy to lose weight, harder to keep it off.
• To lose weight you don’t have to suffer or do things you don’t like. Try and look for ways to achieve your goals that fit in with personal preference, tolerance and goal.
• For example- If you like running sure do it, if hate running, don't force yourself to do it! Try and find something else you may like. Try classes, weightlifting, sports you may enjoy, martial arts, walking etc.
• Like a beer, glass of wine, chocolate etc. then try and figure a way to fit it into your diet without over indulging, you don't have to try and completely abstain. Having some of these foods once in a while isn’t going to blow your entire diet plan. These types of food will only become a problem when overconsumed.
• Try incorporating plenty of high nutrient/low calorie foods to help control energy balance and provide lots of nutrients (think fruit and veg, lean meats, high fibre unprocessed grains into your diet.
• Not keen on veg, eat the ones you do like and they can be prepared any way you like and fit them into your diet. Same can be said of protein.
• Patience and consistency with your diet and exercise plan. We will all fall off the wagon at some point. most of us enjoy a drink, some chocolate or pizza. Having some does not mean you have blown your diet. Try not to have an all or nothing mind set with regards to food and exercise.
• You can start by looking to make small changes to your lifestyle that will make the biggest impact first then build on it
• Look for strategies that fit in with YOUR lifestyle, preferences and goals
Many people who try and lose weight but struggle are not lacking in willpower.
Most people know that to lose weight they need to try and expend more calories than they consume somehow. We have to realize that everyone is different and will need different approaches, so by telling someone you just to “eat less and move more is pretty lame advice, it is just oversimplifying things and too vague.
Jamie Miller- Personal Trainer
UK Fitness Personal Training