Have you ever been on a diet that claimed to be the "holy grail" of all diets? Have you ever tried so hard to lose weight, get a better body, eat as clean as you possibly could, only to find you fail?

You are not alone. 

This year, as in previous years, hundreds of thousands of men and women will make a New Years resolution to lose weight, get fit, and eat better only to find they fail and go right back to their old habits and ways of life. The reason why most of them fail is for one reason alone... they forgot to change their mindset first.

The reason why you're not losing weight isn't because the diet you're on can't work, in fact most diets will work for a short period of time. The reason why you're not losing weight is because your focus is on weight loss alone.

Hear me out, I know what you're saying right now, "If I focus on weight loss I won't lose weight? How am I going to lose weight if I don't think about it"?

When our focus is solely on weight loss and weight loss alone we become consumed with the desire to be at a specific weight or size. We then tend to project all our energy and focus into this one small area of what it truly means to be healthy, and we neglect every other aspect that plays much bigger roles in our success with our physical self, our emotional self, and our spiritual self. 

I'm not saying that weight loss is a terrible goal to have. If you know you need to lose 10, 20, 30, 50 pounds, I think it's a great idea to work towards that success. What I don't agree with is aiming your focus on weight loss alone. It doesn't work long term.

I hate to break it to you but no one gains a significant amount of weight because they simply like food or they lack willpower. People gain weight for many different reasons and unless you have a medical condition or are on medication that makes you gain weight, the reason you've gained weight is because there's an area/s of your life that you're neglecting or that's causing you hurt.

Maybe you're alone, no kids, no spouse, nowhere you really feel like you fit in. You eat to fill that gap and to avoid loneliness. Maybe you were sexually abused when you were younger and even though you so desperately want to have the body of your dreams, having that body signifies sexuality which subconsciously leaves you vulnerable. Having that body is scarier than not having that body...

So what should my focus be when I want to lose weight then?

Here are a few areas to look at when you embark on a weight loss program that will be sustainable:

1. Look at the actual food you're consuming and how you're consuming it

  • Eat food that is as close to its natural form as possible
  • Be present when you eat. Slow down and enjoy every bite
  • Do not eat in front of any screens
  • Choose high quality foods from reputable sources whenever possible
  • Choose local/organic foods that are herbicide, pesticide, and hormone free
  • Make a point in reading food labels. Choose products that have minimal amounts of ingredients in it and foods where you understand what all the ingredients are

2. Look to eat balanced meals at appropriate times of the day

  • Every meal should be a balance of proteins, fats, and carbs and not too heavy in any one particular macronutrient.
  • Avoid low fat, diet foods...eat naturally
  • Eat a breakfast that's rich in proteins and fats with some carbs to help keep you satiated throughout the day
  • Do not skip lunch. Eating more at lunch than you would at dinner will help you to feel fuller throughout the evening
  • Eat a small snack during the day if you find you get hungry in the evenings easily. Make this snack one that's rich in protein and healthy fats instead of sugar and caffeine

3. Look at other areas of your life

  • Notice if you eat more a certain times of the day, week, month and what you tend to gravitate towards
  • Notice if you eat when you are under pressure or feel stressed
  • Are you finding purpose in your life?
  • Notice if you are in relationships that cause you anxiety 
  • Are you going through a big life transition that is causing you stress and anxiety?
  • Are you harbouring unforgiveness or resentment to anyone (including yourself)?

Weight loss is much more complex than just eating "this" and not eating "that", but can be relatively simple when you open yourself up to something bigger than another diet or meal plan. Long term weight loss comes more from being and less from doing.

How long have you tried to lose weight with no avail? How long will you continue on the same path that leads to the same results?

It's time to try something you haven't done before. Make 2016 your most successful, healthy, and purposeful year yet. Make 2016 the year you finally make the changes you want to see last for a lifetime!