Stop trying to lose weight! No More Restricting Calories!
Based on my personal experience and working with my health coaching clients, I have learned a very important lesson. The secret to living your healthiest life is to not “try to lose weight!”
I know this may sound counterintuitive, but let me explain.
Time and time again, it is proven that counting calories or restricting our food intake is not a sustainable plan for maintaining our ideal weight or optimizing our health. In fact, most people (as high as 90%) of people who do lose weight, end up gaining it back and many actually gain back more than they lost!
The problem is, when you focus on weight loss, there is a finish line, an end result. And once you reach the goal, you take your foot off the gas and resort to the old habits that led to weight gain in the first place.
There is also a psychological piece that plays in. When you are focused on what you can’t have or are left feeling deprived and hungry, you will be looking for the end, for relief. You will be relying on willpower which is like a muscle and gets fatigued.
If you want to be healthier and maintain your ideal healthy weight, the key is to shift your focus to a different goal – health!
Health is a never-ending goal. There is no “health” destination. Health is an ongoing, ever-evolving journey.
Once you change your focus and decision-making practices from “weight loss” to gaining and maintaining health, things change.
The way you look at and think about food changes. The daily decisions you make a change. This change in decisions, repeated over time, creates a habit. Once you create a habit, being healthy becomes easier and easier.
There is a switch from feeling restricted to being empowered. You think “I am choosing to be healthy” instead of “I can’t have that or I’ll gain weight!”
For years, I was focused on my weight. I wanted to be at or under a certain weight. I did whatever I had to achieve that weight – intense workouts, very specific eating plans. Then, as soon and I reached that weight I would feel this sense of accomplishment and what had gotten me there didn’t feel as important anymore because the reason behind it was gone. There was no longer a goal I was working on. Until that is, I started to gain weight again. And thus, the cycle would continue.
I continued this vicious cycle of weight loss and weight gain and eventually, it became a problem. I would get frustrated at the scale and burned out from all my efforts. My mood began to be dependent on what the scale told me. If the number was down I was happy, if it was up I was frustrated and unhappy.
At the time, I thought I had been doing all of it to “be healthy” but in fact, it was becoming an unhealthy cycle and I did not feel in control.
This went on until one day I couldn’t take the ups and downs anymore. I stopped and evaluated what this was all for and it hit me. When I really thought about what I wanted, it was health. I wanted to look and feel healthy. I wanted to feel energized and I wanted to make sure I was teaching my kids to be healthy. But what I was actually teaching them was far from healthy.
Once I made that mental shift and really focused on what I was putting into my body and how it was affecting me – on the inside, instead of how it was affecting the scale – an amazing thing happened. I naturally changed what I ate on a consistent basis, not just until I reached a certain weight. I also stopped weighing myself so often. That was liberating!
The next thing I knew, my food choices were based on how healthy it was, not how many calories it was. I felt more and more empowered to choose foods that served me. I created habits to support making those choices. My children picked up on my healthy habits and interestingly, my weight dropped and stayed down without even trying!
This one shift in focus can set off a domino effect that allows you to experience changes you might not think are possible right now. I challenge you to try it.
What do you want?
You always have a choice! Choose health and you will reach your ideal weight naturally! And more importantly, you will have long term health and decrease the risk of future disease.
Want to learn more about how you can transition out of the weight loss/gain cycle, contact me at or check out my private Facebook Community Happy & Healthy Mamas (you don’t even need to be a mom to join!)
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Debbie Movsesian is a physician assistant and a health coach. She graduated from the University of Michigan and attended PA school at George Washington University. She has many years of experience treating cardiac patients. Her passion is health promotion and disease prevention and treating the root cause of disease. This passion led her to start coaching as she believes it is the education plus close support and accountability that truly inspires long-lasting health.