Dieting doesn't work for me

Good morning.

When you don’t achieve a body composition goal, it’s quite easy to say something along those lines.

For some people, it’s the downright rejection that energy balance dictates body composition. These people might graduate to more exotic, but less effective, strategies in the future.

For others, it’s the assertion that they cannot stick to the regime required to create an energy deficit. These people might not try again, or stop when it gets hard, in the future.

Dieting, exercise, energy balance, etc, all work, and everyone can do them. However, they come easier to some than others.

Sometimes you need resilience, and a bit of optimism to invest in the future.

When you set yourself an arbitrary weight loss goal (ie. weigh a certain amount) you are essentially failing every single day until you get there (because you aren’t that weight).

If the goal is <90kg, neither 92.2 and 94.3kg are that goal, even though the might be good progress.

Setting the goal to lose 7kg can help with that, but then weight fluctuations are a more significant issue (ie. a 1kg weight gain when you’ve lost 4kg out of 7kg is deflating).

If there’s not resilience, then the program gets tossed at the first time it becomes too hard.

But you don’t want it to become a suffer-fest.

That’s where the optimism comes in.

Now, it’s great just to be an optimistic person, but the optimism I am referring to here is based on the results you have been getting from other areas of the program.

So if the weight is stable, or maybe even going backwards, look to see what is going well.

An example for me: running 10km for the first time in nine years, seven weeks into the program. That’s evidence that my running program, once per week for seven weeks, was working pretty well.

During the run in question, I was cooked from the 7km mark - all I wanted to do was stop -  so pushing through that highlights an ability to keep going. 

The next time the diet seems a bit tough, and waiting another hour for dinner seems unbearable, there’s always the 10km run to refer back to.

Dieting works for everyone, as does exercise, or any strategy that is based on energy balance.

It might not have worked for the specific timeframe you had set, but that means you just have to keep going. Don't stop and question the system.

Tom Fitzgerald