For much of the world, these last few years has really put a spotlight on health, or a lack thereof.
As we emerge from the pandemic, we're seeing a multitude of issues affecting overall mental and physical health. The one that seems to be top of mind for most is weight gain.
In Canada, Global News reported back in November 2020 that one-third of all Canadians complained about gaining weight. And in the U.S., Harvard University reports showed by October 2021, 39 percent of all its patients had reported gaining weight.
Rising stress levels, eating more and exercising less were all cited as culprits. Unhealthy habits crept in and replaced some of the healthy choices for those who, pre-pandemic, were more intentional about their health. And for those who weren't very intentional in the first place, well the whole upheaval simply added to those bad habits and exacerbated any pre-existing conditions.
Now that most things are open to everyone and many are back to work, people are starting to look at what they can do to get rid of that unwanted excess around the middle, along with the weight of other health issues that come along with it.
What I'm seeing in my coaching practice is that most people have specific health and weight goals, they're motivated and ready to do the work, they just can't seem to get results that stick.
Typically what I hear from people is that they're just so frustrated and feeling so uncomfortable in their own skin, they'll try just about anything that promises results—cutting out carbs, restricting certain foods, only eating at certain times of the day, working out like crazy, counting calories or points, endless tracking, injections, pills, or even all of the above.
The truth is, anyone can get a result doing any of those things—for a season. Sustainable results are an entirely different story. Anyone whose ever been on diets know they make a lot of promises but the results never last.
The weight comes back on, you don't feel good anymore and so you try a different diet. And the cycle repeats.
Just so you know, less than one per cent of people can stick to a diet and get any sort of long-term results. So if that is you, you're not alone. And it's not you who failed, the diet failed you.
In May 2021, Allied Market Research published a piece stating, “The weight loss and weight management diet market size was valued at $192.2 billion in 2019, and is projected reach $295.3 billion by 2027,...”
With approximately 24 per cent of men and up to 40, one statistic was as high as 57, percent of women currently on a diet, that's big money. There is absolutely a way to get improve health and achieve and maintain a healthy weight without doing all the crazy things. But diets aren't going to tell you that because as you can see, keeping you coming back and trying the next best thing is big business.
For over 13 years now, I've been educating people on how to stop dieting. Rather than focus solely on bringing down the number on the scale, we focus on the six components of health—nutrition, exercise, water, stress, sleep, and supplements and balancing blood sugar.
Think of six spinning plates. When they're all up and spinning, everything's great. When one starts to wobble – you go a little off track in one of those areas – and all you have to do is adjust, re-focus that one area, and voila, the plate stays up and keeps spinning.
The difference between this approach vs a diet, is that diets focus on all the things you need to give up and all the hoops you need to jump through in order to see the scale move. And they make you feel guilty anytime you fall short of their unrealistic expectations. Here's a good litmus test.
Ask yourself these three questions:
1. Is what I'm doing or about to do based on science?
2. Would I let my younger child or teenager do it?
3. Can I do this for life?
If you answered “yes” to all three, awesome! You're on the right track. If not, you're likely setting yourself up for a big disappointment.
Whereas an approach based on the science of blood sugar stabilization that addresses creating balance in those six key areas, means you're using food to create hormonal balance. Instead of restricting certain foods or eliminating entire food groups, it's giving yourself permission to eat. And yes, even carbs.
I have people tell me all the time they are so surprised at how much they're eating and they're still losing weight. When you focus on health and giving your body what it needs, the scale takes care of itself—and you get results you can keep for the rest of your life.
For more info and free video on how to stop dieting and keep those six plates spinning, email Tania at, [email protected], subject “video”.
This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.