It almost goes without saying that there is no shortage of weight-loss products in the market place today. These solutions range from the all-familiar “point-style” programs to books detailing the latest fad-diet. We now even have turned weight loss into entertainment with TV shows, magazines, and a long list of celebrity personalities endorsing products.
As a Dr. and nutritional professional I am writing about this because I am extremely angry at the very industry I go to work in every day. The nutrition and weight-loss industry has set you up to fail, instead of giving you the education and tools to build success.
You’ve been told “take this to lose weight”, eat-this not that, workout “x” is the best, and been sold products making countless promises that have just enough truth to them to prevent a class-action lawsuit. Despite this the U.S. population has taken the bait creating a $60.5 Billion weight-loss industry.
It makes my blood boil that this industry is far more interested in telling you what you need to buy, as opposed to teaching you the science and lifestyle behind creating a healthy and long-lived life. In my experience health and wellness success is built not bought.
I see clients everyday that have a dream of feeling their absolute best; yet when reviewing patient histories I hear far more stories of disappointment, failure and hardship than I do of success. The majority of my clients are very well educated, brilliant individuals, yet success of their goals still eludes them.
So what do I tell my clients when they learn they’ve been setup to fail by the very industry that promised them their dreams? 5 Things.
1. Let the Past be the Past. The only way to keep growing is either to fail or succeed and both can be productive in their own right. Forget about what didn’t work and instead focus on your next step.
2. Care about the Why not the What. The most important part of building a healthy lifestyle and losing weight is understanding how your body works relative to your environment. The idea that there is a one-size-fits-all plan/product is a fairytale. Don’t get distracted by what the product is and instead learn why it will or won’t work for you.
3. Tools Build Things. There are countless tools for sale in the weight-loss industry, but much like in the real world, there is a right tool for every job. You should have to use the tool forever in order to maintain success, instead use it for the right job and then move forward.
4. Love What You Love. Having a good handle on what you love makes building a healthy life much easier. It’s easier to stick with the plan if you love what the plan entails. For example with exercise, if you love yoga then build that into your weight loss plan, if you don’t like taking supplement capsules then don’t do it. Don’t be tricked into thinking that “XYZ” is the only way to get results. Same thing goes for other aspects of weight loss.
5. Learn How to Learn. This last one is important and will serve you well far beyond the boundaries of building a healthy lifestyle and loosing weight. My goal is to give clients the ability to make healthy lifestyle choices on their own, but in the beginning I have to teach them that process so they can slowly embody it on their own. Once that process is learned outside the confines of a product or industry you can go as far as you want to go.
It’s not to say that the weight loss industry is evil, but I do believe the emphasis is placed entirely on the wrong things. The human body is an incredible machine, and there is no substitute for understanding why it works the way the way it does. So if something sounds too good to be true; it probably is, but with a little work and an open mind you too can go anywhere you want to go.