I recently had someone ask the question, “What do you wish someone in your industry would admit already?” When I heard this question, I knew immediately what my answer would be.
It is this: there is no one-size-fits-all solution to weight loss!
Conflicting weight loss solutions
Have you ever noticed that there are infinite conflicting ideas in the world of weight loss? I have 30 different books sitting on my shelves right now telling me 30 different things and offering 30 different solutions that promise to be the only one I need.
All of them are telling a truth. All of them have evidence to show you that their truth is an important and effective one that you should adopt as your own. They all say that if you do, you will finally have the body you want. They are all right.
But how, you may be asking, can they all be right if they are conflicting? Well, because they are all right for SOME.
Their philosophy has worked wonders in their life and the lives of some of their patients, clients, friends, or relatives.
But there is not a solution that has worked the same wonders for everyone.
I have done a lot of research and tried a lot of things. I have tried many different programs, ways of eating, philosophies, tactics, strategies, and meal plans. Along the way, I’ve found some things that work for me and my body.
However, the overwhelming lesson I have taken away is there is no one solution that works for everyone forever.
Everyone with a solution will argue with me on this point, but I can guarantee you that for every plan, program, philosophy, or pill out there that worked for some, or even a lot of people, there are people who it didn’t work for.
Some people weren’t able to be successful at getting to their health goals, losing weight, changing their diet, reducing their cholesterol, or getting off their blood pressure medication by doing that thing.
Weight loss lies
I can also guarantee you most, if not all, of the people who weren’t successful are making it mean something is wrong with them.
They may believe that they are broken, that this solution that was supposed to work for everyone didn’t work for them, and therefore, they are the problem.
That’s because we’ve all been sold the same lie that our bodies are and should be the same. That if they aren’t, something is wrong with us.
Look around at the messages we are pounded with constantly. The images of size, beauty, and age ideals that we see everywhere. Who do we value? Who do we listen to? Who do we pay the most? When our heroes and idols are criticized, what is it most often for?
I support people losing weight when it’s driven by love for our bodies.
I do not support the idea that everyone should lose weight, be a certain number, or meet a certain ideal or expectation.
I also don’t support the idea that there is one best or most effective way to lose weight if you choose to do so. I love science, data and understanding how things work. It’s important to me to see proof of it with studies and evidence.
But, here’s the thing with nutrition science and the human body: there are far too many factors to control for to be able to do a truly scientifically sound, 100% certain, study that becomes a prescription for everyone to follow forever.
Just think about nutrition science over the last 30 years. Think of how many things have changed and been proven completely wrong with new science and new studies. There was a time when we all subscribed to the “truth” that fat was making us fat. We were all encouraged to cut out fat to lose weight.
We were also told that grains should be the bulk of our diet by the food pyramid of the time. Sugar wasn’t even really a discussion, and in fact, I ate plenty of fat-free candy, thinking I was taking really good care of myself. It baffled me to watch my weight going up when I was eating all the bread and crackers and pasta I was told to base my diet on, while I was focusing on choosing fat-free candy and fruit snacks instead of chocolate.
Now we have some different information and look at how things have changed. But it’s not as simple as just what to eat and what not to eat.
A plan that fits YOUR life
Some people can hear that they should eat more protein and cut out carbs and they immediately get started. They don’t look back.
Then there’s the rest of us. We like carbs. They are the best part of our day, if not our lives. When people tell us they’re bad and we should give them up, we don’t want to because we really like them.
So we eat our cookies in secret. We pretend to love our kale salad at the lunch meeting, and we go to the drive-through on the way home and eat it in the car, so no one knows.
All the while we despise ourselves for it because why can’t we just like kale and stop eating fries like the rest of the world?
A kale-only, superfood, sugar, and carb-free plan is never going to work if you don’t want to give up sugar and carbs.
An intermittent fasting plan is never going to work if you love breakfast and want to keep eating it.
An eating-every-two-hours plan is never going to work if you’re only hungry twice a day.
Of course, I believe you can figure out how to like veggies if you don’t and that you can work to cut back on sugar cravings. But if cutting out sugar right now creates panic and drives you to eat even more, how is that useful?
If counting your macros makes you feel like you want to pull your hair out and leads to you eating all the things on the weekend, how is that helpful?
If the program recommends you eat only organic, grass-fed everything, and make everything from scratch, and that isn’t in your budget, how are you ever going to make any progress?
Learning to let go and listen
We have to learn to let go and listen. We have to let go of the idea that there is one answer, one solution, and that what worked for someone will then most definitely work for you.
We have to let go of the idea that if one thing doesn’t work, nothing will. We have to let go of the idea that our bodies should look and behave like someone else’s.
We have to let go of the idea that someone outside of us has the answer for the inside of us.
We have to let go of rules and expectations that are driving us in the opposite direction of the one we want to go.
We have to let go of the belief that our body equals our value.
We have to let go of the belief that we are broken.
We have to let go of the idea that we’ll never figure this out just because we haven’t yet.
We have to listen to ourselves. We have to listen to our bodies. We have to listen to our wisdom. We have to listen to what works for us and what doesn’t. We have to be willing to try new things in new ways. We have to be willing to try things that don’t work and keep going anyway.
We have to be willing for it to feel hard and have that be okay.
We have to be willing to let kindness for ourselves usurp any prescription of what we should or shouldn’t do.
There is an answer for you. There is so much out there for you to try. You finding that answer is inevitable if you learn to listen and keep going.
What if instead of looking for a solution in one place, you listened for your own customized answer in a lot of different places?
What if you tried to look for answers that felt good to you? Answers that sounded doable, practical, and realistic for the you that you currently are, and then you gave them a good solid try with your heart?
What if you stopped beating yourself up for this or that thing not working and instead got curious and asked why didn’t it work?
What didn’t work about it for me right now? Did any part of it work? Can I take that away and use it and keep looking and listening?
What if you focused on loving yourself more than losing weight? What if you went all-in on love for you? What might that look like? What would that feel like? What would you do if you were all in on loving yourself?
Love is the solution that works
I’ve given you lots of tools and ideas and philosophies and tips and tricks and suggestions and challenges on the podcast.
Some of them work for many of you and not for others, but nothing I or anyone teaches you will be 100% your answer because your answer has to come from you.
There is one thing that is my only “it works for everyone” solution — and that is love.
When you love yourself, every decision is the best one, even if it doesn’t work out how you want it to.
Figure out how to love you and go all-in on that. It will change your life.