I have been a clinical hypnotherapist since 2003 and have helped many hundreds of people lose weight. The surprising thing is that I have noticed is that many overweight people tend to actually eat quite a healthy balanced diet.
Overweight people don’t always eat unhealthily
I find it quite annoying when therapists always assume that all overweight people have poor diets. This may be true sometimes, but it certainly is not a hard and fast rule.
Many overweight people are food lovers. Food lovers tend to acquire very good cooking skills over time, know where to get the best ingredients, and learn where the best places to eat are. They often eat well made high quality nutritious foods. The problem with this is not the quality of the food, but the quantity. Being able to cook great food does have its consequences. It is far easier to overeat tasty food.
Too many calories
I have met many people who don’t need to go on a complete overhaul of their diet, and don’t even need to exercise any more. Their diet and activity levels are fine – it’s just that they regularly eat too many calories.
The problem is that you don’t have to overeat by much to put on a lot of weight over time. One pound of body fat takes about 3500 calories to create. So you only need to overeat by 500 calories per day to put on a pound of fat in a week. This is usually what happens to many people. 500 calories overeating is not really that much, and the person will not feel like they are overeating. However it is the consistency of this behaviour that eventually causes the problems.
Putting on a pound of weight every week is barely noticeable. However it just 6 months that can be a weight gain of 26 pounds. Suddenly the person will realise they have put weight on, and wonder where it came from.
Typical weight loss plan
‘Dieters’ then try and lose weight by radically overhauling their diets and introducing a rigorous exercise regime. The problem with this is that it is usually not sustainable. Too big a lifestyle change is rarely followed for long, and the person gets depressed and ends up putting on more weight than before.
The diet industry loves this behaviour as that person is a perpetual customer. They try the latest fad diet, lose some weight, then out it back on again ready for the next fad diet. Perfect. They don’t want you to lose weight permanently, which is why most of these fad diets simply don’t work in the long term.
Most people simply need to cut their calories so that they are in a slight calorie deficit. That way they will lose weight gradually, instead of putting it on gradually. They can eat a similar diet, just smaller. Maybe up their activity levels a little if they want. This takes time, but will be a far better tactic for permanent weight loss.
A good tactic is to use smaller plates than before in order to give yourself smaller portions. A 20% reduction in the calories you consume can make a great difference over time. If you cannot bring yourself to totally cut our snacks, that’s fine. But if you can find a way of cutting them down then great. So for instance if you eat 3 bars of chocolate every day, give yourself a new rule that you can only eat 1 bar per day.
The point is that you don’t have to go crazy to lose weight, unless you have a LOAD of weight to lose. If you gradually piled on the pounds by slightly overeating, then you can gradually lose the pounds by slightly under eating. Find ways to reduce your calorie intake without leading a joyless existence. Then you can find the plan that is right for you, and one that you can stick to until you reach your ideal weight.