05/11/2012 11:38 GMT | Updated 05/01/2013 05:12 GMT

'If I'm So Smart, Why Can't I Lose This Weight?'

Why is it, that even when you have a handle (most of the time) on all the other things in your life, you can't seem to get control over your weight?

And given that what you eat is probably one of the few things that you do have absolute control over, doesn't it seem even more bizarre?

I have met many clients who express absolute frustration and dismay that they just can't figure out how to lose weight.

Even the most determined, motivated woman, who is able to solve almost any problem in their work or family life, cannot seem to work out what to do when it comes to their weight.

How can this be?

The Problem

I think there are a number of reasons, but the most pertinent is that weight loss is not as simple as we would think. After all, we know that eating more makes you gain weight, so simply eating less would mean you would lose weight. But eating less is not easy.

For a start you are fighting against innate biological urges to eat. You might want to cut back on after dinner chocolates, but your body doesn't want you to.

On a societal level, we live in environments where we are surrounded by food in the form of all night supermarkets, convenience stores, and ever-present food advertising amongst other things.

On top of this, the solutions that most people turn to, diet and exercise, are simply not up to the job.

Exercise is good for you. But especially for women, as they get older, it is not enough to lose weight.

And diets don't work. You might be able to lose weight temporarily, but the weight comes back when you stop.

And so this is the problem. Most women don't know how to accomplish their goal.

So what's the answer?

The Solution

A complete change in how we think about weight loss is needed. It's not enough to delude yourself into thinking that you can starve yourself or exercise yourself to slimness. You have to understand the way the body and the mind work.

And it starts off with something as basic as your aim.

What is your aim? Let me tell you, that your aim should not be to lose weight. There is no point losing weight and then gaining it back straight away. Your aim should be to lose weight and keep it off.

And your success at losing weight and keeping it off, relies completely on whether you can change your habits. When you change your habits, you change the way you do things day to day. By changing your habits, you become a different person. You become the kind of person who manages their weight naturally.

If you don't change your habits, you won't succeed. And if you change your habits, you can't fail.

A Different Focus

Rather than simply following the next diet, make your focus on changing habits.

Or to put it another way, ask yourself: "How do I make changes in the way I do things, that I know I can live with for the rest of my life?"

It's a totally different attitude to "How fast can I get rid of this weight?"

How do you make changes to your life, that you know will last? This requires making sure that every thing you do:

  • Fits seamlessly into your life
  • Allows you to have a fun, enjoyable life

Remember, you're not just losing weight for a few weeks. You want to lose weight and keep it off for the rest of your life. It's when you keep sight of this, that you make the right decisions about how to lose weight.

For more about a behavioural approach to weight loss click here.

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