If your attempts to lose weight feel like a lot of effort with no lasting results, it might be time to change your approach. Let’s take a look at why diets.
Weight loss programs will provide you will rules, and maybe a calculator for counting food, but that’s it. A rule might be to count calories/point/macros/carbs or only eat at certain times of the day, or eliminate categories of food, like carbohydrates. These are just simple rules, around which a program is built. Even when programs state that they are interested in taking a whole-person approach and recognizing the behavioral aspects of change, the program always boils down to “calories in, calories out”, or some other measurement of the same concept. Rules. Restriction. Nothing more.
Weight loss programs treat users like they know nothing. The reality is, users are most capable of making this change—they have access to the information they need. Using a behavioral weight loss approach, users take the information they already have and arrange it in a different way. Think of it this way – if a person struggles with saving money and the account says “you need to spend less” – is that really helping? Isn’t this the obvious answer that the struggling spender already knows? Just because I need or want to lose some weight does not mean that I am unaware of the problem.
They do not come out and say it, but restriction weight loss programs really place all the responsibility on the user to lose weight. You must provide “willpower” and when the diet fails, it means that you did not try hard enough.
Consider something that you might want to add to your daily life, like reconnecting with a loved one. You might find some time for a phone call or a visit here and there, but for a meaningful change there needs to be integration with daily life. That is, if a weight loss program is just laid upon your daily life, it will eat up other important time/resources. For instance, food logging will cause distraction when you are trying to work or connect with others. Food logging will also cause anxiety and create tension in your already difficult relationship with food. Anxiety does not fix problems, it creates new ones.
There is probably more to say about the pitfalls with restriction weight loss programs, but No Weigh is not about knocking down, it’s about building up. The program is designed to empower users to make meaningful long-term change and feel better about their bodies.
Are you ready for something different?
Valerie A. Evans, Ph.D. is a licensed and board certified behavior analyst and small business owner.
Valerie worked as a behavior analyst in school and home settings and also as a consultant. She began her career working with adults with intellectual disability, a population of consumers that has special meaning to her. In addition to her clinical experience, Valerie worked in research labs as a student and also held a position as Research Associate for the School District of Philadelphia.
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A New Way to Love Your Body