Without doubt, the majority of people who pick up the phone and call me have a weight goal in mind (even when they know that I don’t support diets or weight loss goals - such is the lure and seductiveness of the diet industry). I need to be honest and upfront, I will not make any promises about where your natural weight will settle – I know that this can be tough to hear, but I refuse to perpetuate the lie that we control and re-shape our body, regardless of our genetics and biology.
Why? We all have a natural weight – the weight that we can comfortably sit at without restricting our food or exercising excessively. It’s important to avoid comparisons to your past self as it’s extremely rare that someone can maintain their exact weight and body shape over their life.
The cruel irony of diets is that they while they promote long lasting weight loss they actually lead to weight gain over time. Each time we diet to an unnaturally low weight our body responds to protect us. When we stop our diet (at some stage this will happen - there isn’t a single diet that has been shown to be sustainable for the long term) our body responds by storing a little extra fat ‘just in case’ - it’s a natural protective mechanism to survive future periods of starvation (or dieting). The more we diet, the more this cycle continues. Our bodies need to be nourished, not deprived.
What about health? We know from stacks of research that weight is never the sole defining factor of health. In fact, our weight tells us very little about health. We cannot make any assumptions about someone’s health just by looking at them. Optimal health occurs when we are at our most natural weight – being over or under your most natural weight can have negative effects on health, but there is no single weight, body shape or size that is best for health. There are a huge number of other factors that contribute to health that aren’t weight related. When we put our energy and focus into lasting and sustainable changes for health, we see so many benefits, regardless of any change in weight.