Why Is it So Hard to Lose Weight?
Why is it so hard to lose weight? Women tell me all the time that this is their biggest struggle in life.
It’s not your imagination; it is hard to lose weight. While many people will say it’s easy or that you should do this or that, the fact remains that losing weight and keeping it off are difficult.
This is my reminder that no matter how tempting a diet sounds–the likelihood of it being successful long-term is only about 5%.
May 2023 Update: I just turned 61. I wrote this post four years ago before I became a life and weight loss coach. What I’ve discovered is that it is difficult to lose weight when we are trying to do it with misleading information that is presented as the truth.
Diets do not work long-term. They feel terrible to be on and everyone dreads them. Even when a person loses weight they often gain it all back. And this cycle repeats.
And no one questions what the problem is!
We think the problem is us. That we lack whatever it is that we should have so we can stick to a diet.
The problem isn’t you my friend. The problem is the diet industry and our medical industry isn’t much better.
Why is it so hard to lose weight?
It’s because your body doesn’t want to lose weight.
It is not designed to lose weight or to make it easy to lose weight. Your body wants to stay at a stable weight and its complex system of hormones fights your efforts to drop the pounds.
This is actually a good thing when you think about it. This mechanism that keeps our weight stable for the most part is essential for our survival.
And remember, that for millions of years, our bodies were desperately looking for food. It is only recently that humans have ever needed to lose weight!
This is a mismatch of what our bodies are designed to be like and the world we live in now.
Our body miraculously maintains a fairly steady weight for you if you don’t mess it up with diets and too much of the foods that can cause you to gain weight.
I know that doesn’t sound like good news, especially if you are feeling overweight right now.
Did you know though, that the categories of being overweight and even obese were arbitrarily set?
Ideal BMI and the categories of overweight and obese were simply created by a mathematician in Belgium almost 200 YEARS ago for men.
It doesn’t take into account anything about YOU or your body.
Just weight and height. We are so much more than that. It’s a mathematical formula that was used to help one county allocate rations two centuries ago.
Here’s another thing. You could be overweight by this formula and actually be more muscular than fat! Or you could have larger, heavier bones and be considered overweight.
Yet, we all know people, and may be one yourself, who is at a weight that is considered above ideal and be perfectly healthy, inside and out.
So, as you contemplate losing weight, you have to think, do I really need to?
Here’s something else you don’t hear often. Our body sizes might be as individual as say, our height or hair color. We don’t all come in one size and it’s ridiculous to think we should.
Yet, we do. And in the pursuit of a weight that is not our true body, we often set in motion something that makes us bigger than we really should be.
Diets, my friend, rarely end well.
If you are above the age of 30, you have seen, pretty much everyone you know lose weight. And gain it and more back.
I’ve had it happen! And it happens without any fanfare. But it happens steadily and stealthily without the person knowing why.
Let’s talk about our normal weight for a minute.
Most of us have or had a normal weight. Looking back on pictures we can see proof, we had a normal, perfectly nice weight. But we got bamboozled by something that said we were too big.
And we began the cycle of trying to lose weight.
Now in our 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, and beyond we are still trying to lose that weight.
We see our own bodies and even the food we eat as the enemies.
For your own health, stop trying to lose weight for the sake of losing weight.
Having fat on your body, does not make it unhealthy.
I know plenty of really thin people that have one health problem after another.
Now I am not saying that carrying more fat than is comfortable is healthy either. Some of the things that make you fat—are simply not good for you and cause inflammation and that is the basis for a lot of health problems.
And I’m not saying being thin is unhealthy. I’m saying that you can be healthy either way. Or not healthy.
Many thin people eat the things that cause inflammation too and they suffer the same consequences. It’s not the fat on your body—it’s what is going in it. Or things beyond your control.
Why Is it So Hard to Lose Weight?
Because for some of us, we don’t even need to lose weight. For others, we are looking at our bodies as problems to be solved. As, in my body is the problem. No the problem is what you’ve been taught.
The things you have been taught are what makes losing weight so hard!
You’ve been taught a lot of BS when it comes to your body, food, and your weight. We’ve been bamboozled into believing that the problem is something wrong with us.
We’ve been told this something is so wrong, and that our body is so wrong, that we should be punished for it.
And that punishment is a diet. Our culture has taught us to loathe our bodies and if they don’t fit into a very narrow view, we should suffer.
We shouldn’t even have enough to eat to not feel hungry. And if you aren’t willing to suffer then you must be lazy and lack willpower.
I’m calling BS on all of that. Instead you deserve so much more!
Here’s what you deserve as a woman.
- To eat food that tastes good.
- To not be hungry.
- To not feel ashamed of your body.
- To enjoy food and see it as the nourishment to your body it is.
- To be free from craving for junk food.
This is true self love. It is possible to live in your body, eat food that is good for you and that you love. It’s even possible to sometimes eat that shit that we think will make us feel better.
But Sara, I still want to lose weight!
Fair enough. But first, learn to feed your body. Learn to limit the things that cause inflammation and pack on the fat.
To find your body weight, your natural body weight, you have to actually feed your body and give it the good stuff.
You need to limit the things that cause it to gain fat unnaturally. This is totally doable and will give you freedom like you’ve never had!
What Gets in the Way of Losing Weight?
Besides, your natural body size, your hormones have an impact on your weight. Not just at that time of the month or in menopause but every day, all day long.
Your hormones run the weight gain and loss show. Too much insulin and cortisol. You gain weight. Sugar and foods that act like sugar cause your insulin to be too high. Too much cortisol, and you also gain weight.
Insulin can be controlled with food. Cortisol is a little trickier since it is stress-related too.
My best advice. Eat real food, limit insulin-raising foods, and do exercise that releases stress. It’s not the fanciest advice but it won’t hurt your body and it will help you take care of your body for a long time.
I truly believe that restoring healthy eating habits and overcoming cravings is the only way to manage your weight in a long-term way.
What to Do Next to Lose Weight
I work with women one-on-one to lose weight without dieting. You can know all the things you should be doing and it still be difficult. That’s because we aren’t just bodies, we are also our thoughts and emotions.
Trying to take action without using your thoughts and feelings is like trying to drive a car without gas. You just aren’t going to get anywhere.
To get you started on something right now, I have this whole blog full of information that I’ve been discovering over the past few years.
I share everything I’m doing with the public through my blog and emails. I’ll never hold back what I think is helpful information. Besides, most of it is out there for you to find yourself.
With all that information available, why work with a coach?
Because a coach is the best way to discover what is really going on when it comes to food. All of us, myself included have blindspots. We just can’t know what we can’t see.
Additionally, a coach creates a sense of accountability while you are learning new habits. It’s not because I’ll ever shame you–but sometimes knowing you’ll be talking to your coach can create enough of a pause that may make a choice that supports your overall goals.
My goal is to help women stop dieting, learn to eat well, and to love their lives. Join me by reading the blog, subscribing to my email list (that pop-up), or scheduling a free consult with me.
Keep showing up my friends,
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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.