I’ve worked with plenty of clients who have their fair share of stories about weight loss programs. I’ve heard all about the fraud, the rip-offs, the one-size-fits-all approaches and the physical injuries.
I’ve also heard about how at first, a lot of diet, exercise, lifestyle or detox programs worked. They helped my clients drop weight, very quickly— even up to one hundred pounds.
The problem is, they’re still coming to me. Why is that? Well, it’s because something along the way went terribly wrong.
They gained all the weight back— and some.
But why? Was it the programs fault? Most programs are pretty clear that if you follow through, you will lose the weight and keep it off. They ask for your full commitment and pledge and then shortly after, you start to drop weight. Quickly.
But here’s what they’re not telling you:
The faster you lose weight, the easier it is to gain it all back.
Why would they tell you this? Because it is possibly the biggest buzzkill ever. The reality is, most scientists, medical doctors and dietitians agree that people who slowly and consistently lose weight are more likely to keep it off and maintain their body weight.
“Slow and steady” is not the sexiest sales pitch.
“Lose 20lbs in two weeks on this sketchy pill that definitely is some legal form of meth!”
Now we’re cookin’. (literally).
The fundamental issue is that most people are interested in short term solutions. They want to lose the weight quickly in order to/or before they… [insert thing here]. Culturally, we draw a line in the sand so that when we reach it (at a certain body weight or size) then (and only then) we’ll be socially acceptable or good enough to do it.
If we approached weight loss from the perspective of… do what you’ve always wanted to now, get happy, get healthy and let the weight come off slowly… no one would need to buy weight loss products and programs. This multi-billion dollar industry would cease to exist, at least in it’s current form.
I’m sorry for rocking the boat!
But let’s be honest about something. This industry might not be telling you this fact, but they are aware of it. And it benefits them tremendously. Here’s why:
If they could truly cure your weight problem, they would not profit off you.
On an NPR Planet Money podcast episode, they analyzed Planet Fitness and their unique business model. What they found is that although the monthly membership is between $10 and $20 per month, an average gym can fit about 300 people at a time, even though they sell about 6,500 memberships… per gym. If everyone showed up, the entire business would crumble to the ground. They rely on members not showing up, it’s how they make their money. When you stay at home, you are their best customer.
The same goes for traditional weight loss programs. They make tons of money off recruiting you, getting you started and selling you everything you need to start their program. If you lose weight, you are downgraded to their basic membership.
But if you lose weight quickly and gain it back because you can’t keep up with the rigors of structured dieting, you will recycle through every program as a high-ticket buyer until you find your way back to them. You are making them way more money than anyone who has successfully lost weight.
That’s why the emphasis in successful health programs is not to drop tons of weight. Instead, finding emotional, physical and spiritual solutions to every aspect of your life puts you in a place where weight management is a life-long option for you.
Personally, I feel the need to call this out because I am in the business of affecting lasting change and if you’re like me, you will appreciate the revolutionary approach.