As we approach the end of the first quarter of 2018 with resolutions to ‘do better’ still occupying space in our minds, most people are likely to fall into one of two categories;
A) You're congratulating yourself on sticking to that new year's resolution and finally achieving the weight loss and health results you've been after for the past few years, or
B) You're feeling anxious, frustrated, overwhelmed and have been beating yourself up over falling off the wagon and failing at yet another diet.
Harsh as it sounds, “b” is where most people have sat in the past, are sitting today and unfortunately the reality is many will sit there again next year.
If you've beaten the odds and found yourself belonging to the first group, congratulations! Statistics say that only 20 percent of people are able to keep their resolutions in check beyond the end of February. This of course means that 80 percent have long since let it go. “B” group people, although you may feel like you're the only ones who weren't able to succeed, clearly this is not the case. But why? The concept behind making a resolution is resolving (making a decision, standing firm, being committed) to achieve a specific goal, or at the very least, come closer to hitting the mark this year than last. I may be going out on a limb here, but I'm guessing no one sets a goal, invests time and money into achieving their results, announces their resolution to family and friends, while secretly never intending to follow through. Crazy right? People aren't the problem. Resolutions themselves aren't the problem. It's the hype that's created around weight loss and health, especially at the beginning of every year.
Hype is a marketing tool used to catch our attention and create an urgency to purchase.
Hype highlights, focuses on and appeals to sensitive areas and emotions like guilt, shame, and feelings of helplessness and despair. After making the audience squirm, a crafty marketer then shares how anyone can lose a crazy amount of weight in a very short period of time.
Using celebrities as influencers or over promising and under delivering on the amount of weight that can be lost or the time frame for results, are just two of many tactics used to get people to purchase a diet. And in that vulnerable place of not wanting to fail again like last year, people react to their emotions rather than respond to what their common sense is saying and the yo-yo dieting continues. Statistics further report that chronic dieters “buy and/or try” something new every 90 days. Clearly much of what is being offered is not working for people. At this rate it's not surprising obesity rates are at an all-time high.
Being overweight or obese and often dealing with serious health concerns are emotional enough without all the mis-information and hype. Let's take a look at how to avoid the hype and what to grab onto for health.
ASK YOURSELF THESE FIVE QUESTIONS:
1. “Does the presentation or ad bring up feelings of guilt and/or shame?”
2. “Does it promise results above and beyond what you had expected?
3. “Does it promise results in a very short time period?”
4. “Does it require a specific product purchase in order to be successful?”
5. “Does the call to action feel like high-pressure sales”?
If you've answered “yes” to these, chances are you are about to embark on a journey that ends up bringing you right back to where you started. Diets will do that. Now don't get me wrong, anyone can lose weight on a diet, the question is, can they keep it off? Again, statistics tell us that less than one percent of people can actually maintain a diet for life. It's not people who are failing, diets are just not structured in a way that facilitates success. Programs on the other hand are entirely different.
So, as diets are tantamount to hype, a good program will set you up to win. Programs motivate and inspire lifestyle changes to achieve results. They provide education on how to correctly eat the foods you love in a way that stabilizes blood sugar to lose weight healthily and maintain those results for life. Programs will be food based. Products and/or supplements should be recommended (not required) to achieve results. They are there to support the program by filling any gaps in nutrition and increase health.
TO CONFIRM WHETHER YOU'VE FOUND A WINNING PROGRAM ALWAYS ASK YOURSELF THESE THREE QUESTIONS:
1. “Is what I am about to do based on science?”
2. “Does it make sense?”
3. “Can I do this for life?”
If you're able to answer “yes” to all three, congratulations! You have chosen well and have just increased your likelihood of success by 99 percent.
There is just one more thing to understand when embarking on any sort of weight loss or health journey and that is the work. As with anything in our lives worth having, it was worth working for. A good program is simple, straightforward and easy to follow, yet change of any sort is never easy. Being committed to making healthy changes, one percent at a time if necessary, consistently over time will bring about huge results.
Think about it. If you committed to doing something for your health one percent better every day, where would you be in a year?
A lot healthier with a lot less hype, that's for sure!
Nutritionist & Fitness Coach (IBNFC)
Tania, owner/founder of FIT Nutrition, is a global nutritionist and fitness coach, fitness instructor, workshop facilitator, educator, speaker, writer and success creator. Tania is currently one of only five professionals licensed and certified in Canada to coach a proven, three-phase program providing education on the importance of blood sugar stabilization, not dieting.