How to Convince Your Body to Lose Weight
Are you having trouble getting to a healthy weight despite your best efforts, then you may need to learn how to convince your body to lose weight.
Recently, I got this email from a client.
It’s like my body finally decided it was safe to drop the weight. That is 5 pounds this week. I am amazed.
This was no quick diet for this client. This was many months of work being kind to herself and gradually changing her relationship with food.
Many of my clients spend months doing everything right before the scale begins to move. Our bodies are complex and sometimes it takes a while for your body to be able to lose weight.
If you’ve been scrolling on Pinterest, looking for a way to lose weight after 50, then this post may get you started.
For many of us women over 50, it can take many months to change eating patterns, heal hormone responses to food, and retrain your brain around food.
There is so much confusing information about food intake, calorie intake, metabolism, mindful eating, body mass index, and what lifestyle changes to make.
It’s enough to just make us throw up our hands and say, “What’s the use?”
I’m 60 now but I figured out how to lose weight in my early fifties after not being able to for about 10 years!
As a professional life coach, I help women figure out how to have the best relationship with food and their bodies that they have ever had.
You might not have realized this but you are in a relationship with your body and it has its own goals and agenda–to keep you alive. It doesn’t necessarily believe that a lower weight is what is best for you.
While media and professionals may try to convince you that a lower weight is the key to health, it’s really more complex than that.
Your body is taking care of everything! While of course we don’t want diabetes, heart disease, or the risk of obesity, it is not all about our weight and our bodies know that.
The Problem with Diets for Women Over 50
Diets don’t usually address this. And forget about goals like two pounds a week. While this may happen for some of you; it is not the norm and there is no reason to think that not achieving that is failure.
Most diets will work initially. Pretty much all of them if you stick to them. But what we know from tons of research is that 95% of diets end in failure and women gain their weight back, often with a few pounds more.
What this means is that about only 5% of women who lose weight will keep it off long-term.
Now there is a lot of missing data from this sentence but it’s a very dismal statistic. Despite being a billion dollar industry–weight loss diets, even when they work, don’t work for long.
It’s discouraging. And then what we discover in our fifties or sixties is that what used to work, doesn’t work anymore.
Many women are facing more weight on their body than what they want. And feel depressed every day because of this.
So, you try to cut carbs, eat more berries and yogurt, avoid the french fries and a variety of foods, start yoga, and add more physical activity. And despite all your best efforts you don’t feel like you are getting anywhere.
How to Deal with Unwanted Weight
For some of you, you might have unreasonable expectations of how much you should weigh or what your BMI (body mass index) should be.
Or you, you simply want to feel more comfortable in your body, have more energy, and feel better overall.
Either way, you have some unwanted weight and you don’t know how to deal with it.
Almost everything ever written says you need fewer calories, less carbohydrates, and more exercise. Some of that may be true but it’s not the whole story.
Instead it’s possible you need to eat more healthy fats. You will most likely need to learn to use your hunger as a tool to lose weight.
In addition, you absolutely have to understand how hormones such as insulin, leptin, ghrelin the hunger hormone, and cortisol can affect your weight.
Even your body fat seems to have a mind and hunger of its own!
Changing Eating Habits Takes Time
As women, most of us have spent decades depriving ourselves in growing desperation of having the body we long for.
Okay, here’s some bad news. By age 50 or 60, your body is sick and tired, literally, of diets and deprivation.
Many women think that they are overweight because there is something wrong with them. They think that they are lazy, unmotivated, or out of control.
The self-talk that goes with that is usually very harsh and unkind.
This is NOT the formula for a healthy body!
The other thing is, that our bodies don’t just turn on a dime. How often have you started a diet to only quit after a few days? A lot of women give up on the very same day!
It can actually take MONTHS for your body to start responding outwardly to your attempts to eat healthy. The healing often begins inside, long before you see things on the outside.
Often you will notice yourself feeling better, having more energy, and being less controlled by cravings long before you lose a single pound.
I know this isn’t the news you want in a world of instant gratification. But taking care of your body takes time, compassion, and ever-growing mental strength.
Yes, you will have to strength train your brain, way more than your body to get the results you want. Because you are going to have to eat and love your body like it has already lost the weight long before you do.
You are going to have to convince your body to lose weight.
How to Convince Your Body to Lose Weight?
How do you convince anyone to do anything?
- You build a trusting relationship
- You get to know their needs
- You respect them
- You treat them with kindness
- Understand their viewpoint
- You offer them something in return
- Be patient
You don’t usually say, “Hey, we are going to starve you, talk like shit to you, tell you how ugly you are, and demand you do exactly as we say right this minute.”
I don’t know about you, but even writing that paragraph made my skin crawl.
Guess what? Your BODY hates it too and after years of being treated like this, it is sick and tired of this kind of treatment.
Changing your thoughts and feelings about your body is where you begin to convince your body to lose weight. You begin a relationship with this amazing, beautiful body you have.
Women reach out to me because nothing is working anymore. You already know this, but you can’t keep doing the same thing and hoping for different results.
The Benefits of Loving Your Body First
If you have this thought, already running through your head, “But if I love my body, I might just as well give up.” “I’ll gain even more weight.” you are not alone.
We usually believe that we are motivating ourselves by saying these types of things to ourselves.
- You’re fat and ugly
- You’re a loser
- You’re lazy
For your own sake, please stop talking to yourself like this!
If you do nothing else but change how you talk to yourself, you will feel better.
Why do you even want to lose weight?
Because you think it will make you feel better!
So, let’s work on feeling better first.
7 Ways to Convince Your Body to Lose Weight
Build a trusting relationship
From now on, instead of focusing on your weight, you will begin to build a trusting relationship with your very own body.
How do you build a trusting relationship with your body?
Here are the ground rules:
- Pay attention to your self-talk. Notice how often you say mean things. Begin to turn these around.
- Practice new ways of appreciating your body. How can you appreciate it? Look beyond the number on the scale or the size of your clothes.
- Check in with your senses. Be thankful for everything that is helping you connect with the world: your eyes, nose, ears, touch, and intuition.
- Do you have the ability to get around? Not everyone does easily.
- Is your mind healthy. You’re here, so my guess is yes.
- Do you dance, sing, make love, hug, and smell the flowers?
- When you allow yourself, do you enjoy food?
Your body deserves to have a relationship with you! It is already amazing.
Get to know your body’s needs
Your body has needs. In my experience, women are experts at ignoring even their basic needs. We often push aside these needs as inconvenient.
Next time you have to pee, notice your self-talk. I can almost guarantee it annoys you to stop what you are doing and go to the bathroom.
But we minimize our physical needs in other ways:
- We work long hours
- We don’t prioritize rest or even sleep
- We eat foods we don’t like because they are healthy
- Often, we undereat, we don’t give our bodies nourishment
- We overeat, overdrink, and over-sit around
- We avoid exercising because we think it’s going to be too hard and ignore safe and easy workouts that feel good.
Everything on this list needs to be addressed. If you aren’t even taking care of your body’s basic needs, how can you expect it to now lose weight.
Here’s something you need to know. Your body was designed to hang on to weight. Having extra weight has been historically not just beneficial but life-saving.
Guess who has a better chance of surviving a famine, illness, or even old age?
Those people carrying some extra weight! That’s who.
So, it is a big ask, to ask your body to lose weight when it is literally programmed for survival.
Your body is concerned with its physical needs and survival. It doesn’t give a care about the size you wear or how much you weigh.
Respect and love your body
Do you love and respect your body? My guess is going to be no after talking to so many women. They simply see their bodies as fat or not fat. Thin or not thin. Pretty or ugly.
Loving your body probably isn’t what you think it means. I wrote a post called How to Love Your Body that shares my ground-breaking ideas.
We are so much more than those narrow dimensions. We are technicolor 3D beautiful amazing bodies no matter what you currently think about it now.
Something that has helped me is to follow women of many sizes, ethnicity, and culture on social media, who treat their bodies with respect and do not hide their glorious selves away until they weigh a certain number.
I also make it a point to notice beautiful women in my real life, who clearly respect their bodies by dressing themselves with care and flaunting their gorgeous selves.
You can take this to the bank. If you respect your body, most other people will too. And if someone doesn’t? Who cares? It is only your opinion that really matters.
For too long, you’ve held that respect back for way to long. Before others will give it to you, you must give it to yourself!
Treat your body with kindness
When was the last time you treated your body with kindness?
If your answer is:
- I started a restrictive diet to lose weight today
- I ate a salad
- I did a hard workout (unless you love that kind of thing)
let’s start again.
What does it mean to treat your body with kindness?
- Speak kindly to your body.
- Feed it when it is hungry with food that it likes.
- Don’t binge to numb your feelings.
- Acknowledge your feelings!
- Move your body in ways that feel great.
- Compliment it abundantly and outrageously.
- Smile at it every single time you look in the mirror.
- Protect it from toxic people, situations, and substances.
Understand your body’s viewpoint
As I said above, your body is programmed to survive in as many conditions as possible. Living in a time with abundant and consistent food is fairly a new thing as far as our body is concerned.
Evolutionary-wise, our body is many centuries behind our current mindset. It is designed to keep weight on. Gaining weight and maintaining it is super important to your body.
That’s because, the bodies that could do that, were in general the ones that survived. You are the product of this.
A weight that is chosen for aesthetics is not the primary need of your body. That’s why there is a billion-dollar weight loss industry and many invasive procedures attempting to force bodies into doing what they are not created to do.
Part of convincing your body to lose weight, means convincing it that it is SAFE. Starting restrictive diets every week does not convince your body of safety.
Starving it, just convinces it, that it is right and must hang onto the weight. Remember, it is primitive and values life and safety.
This primitive part of your body does not recognize good or bad foods either.
The kinds of foods that are not optimum these days, such as processed junk or fast food, look pretty good to your body.
Our primitive bodies value easy to grab, high energy types of food.
In simplest forms, this is any food that your body sees as sugar. That’s why we often unintendedly grab for the office candy or cookies. Our bodies see fast energy!
Back in the day, finding a beehive or some fruit on a tree did the trick. That was a halleluiah moment for our ancestors.
Here’s something to keep in mind. What you believe to be healthy, and a preferred body type is actually what you have been taught and conditioned to believe. Thin does not equal healthy. Extra pounds do not equal unhealthy.
Actually, many thin women that you envy and believe are healthy are not. Many have diagnosed or undiagnosed eating disorders. Some don’t. But their thinness means absolutely nothing about the state of their health.
Offer your body something in return
Have you ever considered offering your beautiful body anything?
You could offer to feed your body really great food. You could offer your body a few hours of doing absolutely nothing.
Take your body out for a walk. Admire your body. Look in the mirror and tell your body how much you love and appreciate it.
Touch your skin and give it some gentle massage. Smile more which sends special signals to your brain.
Admire other normal bodies so your body knows you like yours too.
You get the picture. Offer your body love on all dimensions. Let it know that you are committed to taking care of it.
You are offering your body a lifelong commitment to love and care for it, no matter what.
It can take time, sometimes weeks and sometimes months for your body to respond to your love and care.
Your body is complex with many systems. By the time most of us are in our fifties we have wrecked many of our normal body processes.
Your eating and digestion hormones are probably screwed up to some extent. Your sensitively to insulin most likely isn’t like it used to be. Many of you have thyroid problems or on the verge of it.
Nourishing and healing your body should be your top priority.
For some of you, you may need to be more careful. For many of you, learning to eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full can do wonders.
Nobody is going to suffer nutritionally from eliminating most junk food.
This might seem counter intuitive, but many women need to eat more at their meals of the right kinds of food.
These changes don’t have to all be done at once. Give yourself TIME to make changes and get to know your body.
Give your body TIME to adjust and heal. Give it time to get to know you. Give your body time to trust that you are finally ready to love and take care of it.
Plan to take care of your body like this forever and no matter what happens with your weight, you are going to be okay.
Next Steps for Losing Weight After 50
The most effective way? Work with me 1 on 1 for private coaching. But I also have plenty of other ways to get started.
This blog has lots of posts on how I eat and what I see working for other women. You can find lots of ideas here in my guide to losing weight after 50.
In addition, I also write and send out an email every week with more ideas and information.
I’m not a doctor or dietician. I provide information based on my own research and observations. I’m a mindset coach. I teach you how to use your brain to get the results you want.
Your mindset really is your best tool to live your best life.
Keep showing up my friends,
Ready to find out more?
Schedule a free consultation today.
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Hi, I'm Sara Garska and I'm so happy you're here! Big changes can happen with a shift in thinking. Over time, you transform your life into the one you always dreamed of having. As a certified life and weight loss coach, I can help you create a life you love. Click here to schedule a free 50-minute coaching session.