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November 07, 2007

Healthy Weight Loss: When Non-Dieting Doesn’t Seem to Work

With the holidays looming, lots of folks are thinking about losing a few pounds. After all, there's lots of holiday food on the horizon. If you're thinking similarly, think again. Quick weight loss just doesn't work. Oh, yes, we generally see a few pounds peel off quickly, but unfortunately, they come back once we start eating again (and that's the only way quick weight loss occurs -- we basically have to quit eating). Green Mountain's pioneering non-diet approach is based on the fact that we need to eat adequately, both for health and for healthy weights.

Still, we do hear comments (complaints?) from folks from time to time that they just can't seem to lose weight when they're following a non-diet healthy weight loss program. Here's a typical scenario:

"When I first stopped dieting and started to follow my internal cues for eating, I felt a lot better, and a big bonus was that I lost a fair amount of weight. I wasn’t at my natural weight because of all the dieting I had done as well as my generally unhealthy lifestyle. But now, even though I’m eating mindfully and staying active, my weight loss has stalled. I think I should be at a lower weight. What am I doing wrong?"

Read our latest FitBriefing about non-dieting as a healthy weight loss program for our thoughts on this. But briefly, we first recommend you be sure that you need to lose weight for health. As we've said repeatedly on this blog, not all of us are meant to be thin, and we can spend our lives strugglng in vain to reach a number on a scale that's just not meant for us. Do we want to waste our energy, our lives this way? I know it's hard to not look like the societal ideal, but we don't have a choice sometimes (compare it to aging -- and plastic surgery isn't a choice because it doesn't really work either).

Our second thought is that if you really are above your healthy weight, consider these three questions:

1) Do you really eat only when you are hungry most of the time?
2) Are you eating well-balanced meals and snacks?
3) Are you active?

These three questions get at the heart of a healthy lifestyle that leads to healthy weights. Again, read more about them in our FitBriefing discussing healthy weight loss.

Oh, and the cartoon pictured above? That's the best thing to do with the scale....if we're paying close attention to the numbers on the scale, we can be distracted from how we truly feel. Ultimately, it's our behaviors that make the difference in whether we feel great or whether we feel like we're not taking care of ourselves. Those behaviors are what make the difference, not what the scale says.

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Posted by Marsha on November 7, 2007 | Permalink


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Hey, I've been a "silent fan" of your site for a while but I had to THANK you for today's post. Since July of this year I've been striving to live in a way where my behavior make a difference and not what the scale says. I appreciate your approach on non-dieting. Keep up the good work and I'll keep spreading the word for you too!

Posted by: Cintia EUA | Nov 7, 2007 10:43:35 AM

Thanks for the feedback! Hang in there. It's tough sometimes, but the payoff is worth it!

Posted by: Marsha | Nov 7, 2007 10:50:27 AM

I want to thank you for your post today too, Marsha. And I work for Green Mountain! Heh. I can't hear that message too often. Really resonated with me today. I'm making my list and checking it twice. ;-)

Posted by: | Nov 7, 2007 12:36:21 PM

Thanks for these thoughts today.. Its so easy to get focused on the outward appearance of our weight loss progress, rather than how we're doing on the inside.

Posted by: Denise | Nov 8, 2007 1:57:31 PM

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