More than two-thirds of all Americans are overweight. And right now, more than 108 million Americans are on a diet. The average dieter makes four or five attempts each year, yet less than one percent of these attempts actually results in long-term weight loss.
Before we continue, it should be noted that the issue of weight loss is more about health and wellness than anything else. If our only motivation for slimming down is to look a certain way and be attractive to other people, we are destined to fail. We have to tap into the true reasons for wanting to be healthy and lose weight.
We hear these statistics all the time, but I think we’ve become numb to what they’re actually telling us. Is there any other sphere of endeavour where so many people try so hard with so little success? What would we think if fewer than 1% of people who enrolled in college ever graduated, while the other 99 percent spent billions dropping out and re-enrolling four or five times each year?
The one biggest mistake we make is that we rely on willpower! The fact is, for most people achieving lasting weight loss requires a lot more than willpower or desire. According to recent research, it takes a fresh understanding of how the brain interacts with food. Food addiction is something that so many of us struggle with, and there are many reasons for it. Some of us are more susceptible to it than others, though. You can take a quiz here to see what your own relationship with food looks like.
A Program 7 Times More Effective Than Weight Watchers
Food Freedom! It’s a program by Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson, a tenured psychology professor with a Ph.D in Brain and Cognitive Sciences. For sixteen years she struggled under a torturous relationship with food. She dieted again and again, only to watch her weight balloon back up. She was clinically depressed, and, in her darkest hours, would lie in the fetal position and weep for a solution.
Finally in 2003, Dr. Thompson’s cognitive studies put her in the path of the answers she’d been seeking. She shrank from obese to slender in six months and today she’s among the top .01 percent of successful weight loss maintainers.
Now Dr. Thompson has created a program called Bright Line Eating to share what she’s learned about how the brain blocks weight loss, and so far the results are promising. She reports her data to reveal that for the first 1,000 graduates, her program was three times more effective and seven times faster than Weight Watchers.
She talks in great detail about the one big mistake we make when trying to lose weight in her video series you can check out here.
Stealthy Junk Food Marketing
As we have discussed in previous stories about losing excess weight and why we struggle with it:
Kids are the primary target for junk food marketing. We can see this clearly in check-out lines, where chocolate bars, candy, and soda are strategically placed at the eye levels of children. This type of marketing must be working, because one out of three (1/3) children in the US today are considered obese. This type of lifestyle is obviously detrimental to children both physically and emotionally.
Kids are now exposed to marketing via brand licensing, product placement, schools, stealth marketing, viral marketing, DVDs, games, and the internet. According to a 2013 report by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), children aged 2-11 now see an average of more than 10 television food ads per day.
United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Olivier De Schutter, recently warned that “obesity is a bigger global health threat than tobacco use.” The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) also recently issued a position statement on obesity and cancer in which they too state that “obesity is quickly overtaking tobacco as the leading preventable cause of cancer.”
During this year’s World Health Organization annual summit, De Schutter urged nations to join forces to place stricter regulations on unhealthy foods, saying: “Just as the world came together to regulate the risks of tobacco, a bold framework convention on adequate diets must now be agreed.”
How To Avoid Weight Gain Factors
As previously mentioned, one of the main ways to avoid weight gain is to examine the quality of the food you are eating, rather than the quantity (calories).
Organic food does not contain harmful chemical preservatives, hormones, or pesticides that cause weight gain. Stay away from overly processed food, as you will only get frustrated when you discover the food you’re eating is laced with the aforementioned weight gain factors.
If foods are advertised, it is almost certain they are bad for you. When was the last time you saw a commercial advertising apples? Kale? Didn’t think so.
Buy whole, organic foods, and cook from scratch. This will automatically reduce your sugar consumption, which is the root cause of insulin resistance and weight gain. If you buy organic produce, you’ll also cut your exposure to pesticides and genetically engineered ingredients, and in ditching processed foods, you’ll automatically avoid artificial sweeteners and harmful processed fats.
Healthy fats are essential, so make sure you aren’t consuming the wrong fats. Sources of healthy fats to add to your diet include avocados, coconuts and coconut oil, unheated organic nut oils, and raw nuts and seeds.
Opt for glass packaging and storage containers to avoid endocrine disrupting chemicals.
Make the process a learning journey, implement slow changes, and have fun along the way. Eating clean doesn’t have to be a struggle.