Diets don't work for the majority of people and the reason is simple. Weight loss is complicated and yet most diets are set out the same way for everyone. So how can that ever work? We are all so different, our bodies are different and our reasons for our weight gain are different. So we need to be treated that way, as individuals. What I do believe that lots of diets have to offer is guidance and support, networking and a community that encourages and helps people that otherwise might feel very alone in their battle with their weight. So what happens when that diet finishes, when they stop going to the class with other people who can empathise better than those that don't need to lose weight? Very often this is where diets fail and it's partly because the way of eating isn't realistic in the long term, or the person feels that they can't do this on their own.
One of my clients has been coming to see me for some time now and I wish that I could say she has lost tons of weight quickly, but she hasn't. She has lost a few pounds but I honestly think that those few pounds have been lost for good, and that many more will follow, never to return. Here I'll explain to you what we have done in order for things to be set in place for steady weight loss. You will see that so much needs to be taken into consideration and you will also see that there is mainly focus on good health. That's because I believe that weight loss is one of the side effects of healthy living.
My client has suffered with depression and turns to food and alcohol as comfort. She has eaten mindlessly for years now, admitting that very often she barely even tastes the food that she is eating. In her words she "sniffs packets of crisps up" without even realising, sitting at her desk or watching the telly. She drinks gin to help her "escape" and she eats sweet things when she doesn't drink gin. She replaces one comfort with another one. She gave up smoking which is fantastic, only to find that she drank more alcohol as a result. So, this is where we start. By addressing how to give comfort and reassurance without these things. What I have done is set her a mindfulness practice and daily compassion therapy work so that she can feel soothed and reassured as well as be able to switch off and relax without the need for excess food and alcohol.
Moderation isn't something that she is used to and there has almost been a fear surrounding food and drink, so I have worked on that with her. I am helping her to learn what comes naturally for many lucky people; how to be moderate. So comfort, relaxation and confidence in moderation have been key areas to work in our early days together. She called me once to tell me that she had been able to eat one biscuit. For her that was a massive deal, and she hadn't been at all bothered about the other biscuits in the packet. She felt completely in control and moderate. This was a great first step.
I also focused on digestive health. She suffered from diarrhoea and a very strong appetite and so through some changes to diet and lifestyle we were able to balance her digestion and with that her fiery appetite. Another area of focus is her microbiome. For those who aren't sure what that is, it's the millions of bacteria that live all over you and in you and keep you in good or bad health, depending on which bacteria are flourishing. So for her, her bad bacteria had been having a great time feasting on her diet of unhealthy carbs, booze and stress and the more they thrived, the hungrier she was. Those little critters crave all the junk, the sugar, the cakes and the booze and the more she gave them, the more they wanted, and the lousier she felt. So she started to increase all the lovely foods that the bad bacteria hate through some real changes to her diet regime, and so her good bacteria could start to win in this battle. The great news is it doesn't take long at all and it does actually mean that very often a person needs to eat more food, not less, just plenty of the good stuff. And the good stuff is tasty!
So with balanced microbiome and digestion, normal appetite and no cravings, confidence in her ability to be moderate and a belief that she actually deserves to be happy and slim, she can continue to lose weight confidently and steadily. You will see that this way of working is a holistic approach as it is pointless to work any other way to my mind. Weight loss will usually happen on a typical diet but chances are it all comes back eventually, plus a bit more usually. This is because the root of the problem hasn't been looked at. Although weight loss can be quite quick at first, this whole process involves such a lot and means making changes for life. But those changes are changes that will make you feel fantastic. Not only will you be preventing so many different illnesses and diseases throughout your life by eating beautiful foods that have been scientifically proven to prevent and reverse disease, you will be able to lose weight and maintain a healthy size that is right for you.
If you can relate to my client's story, or if you would just like to learn about healthy eating and a balanced microbiome, please get in touch. Throughout my programmes I offer guidance and support and even after a programme has finished I am here to help you whenever you feel you need it. I run a practice in Cornwall and also offer online help.