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Weight loss plans are not one-size fits all

April 10, 2019

I’m taking a quick detour from our series “How to Get and Stay Motivated To Move” to talk to YOU, particularly the people who really want to drop some sizes.

Did you know you are completely and utterly unique? No one who brushes their hair like you has the same exact blood lipid profile and tolerance for caffeine. Even if there was someone on this planet who had your matching hormone levels, I’ll guarantee you they don’t have the same relationship with peanut butter ice cream as you do. When you find all the people whose favorite TV show is Seinfeld, none of you will have the same heart rhythm and blood pressure.

Do you see what I’m saying? YOU are completely and utterly unique!

And that goes for how you will need to go about your size-loss journey.

I see a lot of social media posts and advertisements advising you how to drop size – even from well-meaning people who have been very successful in their journey.

They say things like:

Eat lots of smaller meals

Eat X-percent of protein or fat or carbohydrates

Exercise in the morning

You need to do High Intensity Interval Training

You need “cardio”

Never starve yourself

Quit salt, etc.

I have been talking to people about fitness for more than 35 years, watching bodies shrink, and watching bodies grow, and the one thing I know for sure: every body is different!

For example: Can you imagine a person with a food addiction that has caused her to gain 150 extra pounds and then asking her to eat lots of small meals all day? “I really want a salted pretzel with melted cheese, but I have to have this cucumber instead.” Then two hours later: “I really want an ice cream bar, but I have to have this tuna salad instead.” Then a couple of hours later: “Oh, time to eat again … man I’d love some m & m’s but I have to have this apple and cashew butter instead.”

That’s torture! Why are people telling her to think about food every two hours? Maybe she would be much more successful with two or three big meals that cause her to be satiated and comfortable until it’s meal time again.

Or, I knew someone who was on a high protein diet because it’s popular, and lots of people have dropped size that way, but he had a constant headache, so he was grumpy and tired, and ended up taking meds, which probably did not help the overall goal of being healthy. Maybe his body would like a few more vitamins and minerals that only come from fruit.

I talked to a woman the other day who said she knew she had to do “cardio” because it’s the only way to drop size, but she HATES cardio! How sustainable is that? And who said her body won’t respond better to lifting heavy?

I have read lots of advice to never starve yourself when you’re trying to drop size. Well, I’ve also seen a lot of people experience success by fasting regularly because they learned to be more disciplined in all areas of life, which trickled to making better food choices.

Here’s the take-home: Go ahead and listen to what your co-worker, or your favorite famous person did to get lean and fit. Try it on, and if it doesn’t fit your lifestyle, try another. You are not weak. You do not have low will power. You are not destined to be overweight. You just need to find what will work for YOUR BODY, YOUR LIFE, and then be patient with yourself.

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