For me, the key in losing weight was the journey. I didn't want to do some fad diet only to put weight back on once I reached my goal weight. So many weight loss programs I've tried don't have a great exit strategy or offer advice for how to maintain what I've already lost
Did you know we spend over $40 billion on weight loss programs every year? And a recent study by The New England Journal of Medicine says most people on diets regain about 1/3rd of the weight loss during the next year and are typically back to baseline within 3 to 5 years? Yikes! And if all these programs were so great and helping us lose weight, why as a country are we still so heavy?
What I really wanted is a lifestyle change - not a diet. So I chose to make small changes over a longer period of time. But everyone is different and what worked for me may not work for you. If the paleo way of eating sounds good to you and you know it's something you can stick with, do it! If counting points is more your thing, great! If hiring a personal trainer and eating mindfully looks interesting, go for it! The key is to know yourself and choose the path that works best for you. And stick with it!
I have to roll my eyes every time I see a weight loss infomercial that says their plan works for everyone. Sure those before an after photos look great and the paid actors really sound convincing. And I have to say, late a night when I was eating a bowl of ice cream on the couch because I couldn't sleep, those programs are VERY convincing. The messages are designed to press all our buttons: it's convenient, it's inexpensive, you don't have to change how you eat. But how can we expect results when we're not willing to change?
The biggest obstacle I faced when loosing weight was commitment. I only half heartedly engaged in weight loss programs or was really excited in the beginning and then lost interest after a week or so. And I was also caught up in blaming everyone else for my weight gain. It wasn't until I realized that it wasn't the processed food companies, the brilliant fast food marketing, and the looks-so-easy-to-lose-weight programs that were to blame. It was me. I am responsible.
That's a big pill to swallow. All along I knew this but I just didn't want to face that fact.