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Difficult or Complicated?

In this blog post I would like to discuss the difference between the concepts of weight loss being “difficult” compared to being “complicated”. In our Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky weight loss offices we often hear from clients that weight loss is “difficult”. While I will agree that losing weight does require certain sacrifices and can be slightly uncomfortable, I do not believe, if done right, that it is difficult. These two words often get conflated when talking about losing weight and getting healthy.

First, is it fair for me to even say that weight loss is not difficult? After all, everyone is different and has his or her own challenges. In my opinion a weight loss program is only “difficult” if you have selected the wrong program. A prerequisite in our weight loss offices is that the program must conveniently fit the individual. This means that whatever changes that need to be made to get the client to lose weight need to fit into their life/lifestyle. Yes, changes need to be made, but these changes cannot be overwhelming or the inevitability will be that it becomes “difficult” and the client will quit. So no, I do not think that a well thought out plan that fits the person will be “difficult”.

I do, however, know that losing weight can be complicated. And when I speak of weight loss I am specifically talking about losing body fat. I think that it is well understood that when someone tries to lose weight that they are ultimately trying to lose fat but sometimes, and with some programs, this isn’t what happens. Fat is tricky to lose. Gaining and retaining body fat is the body’s natural defense mechanism against starvation. This goes back 1000’s of years. There was a time when we could actually run out of food and if we did we would rely on this stored body fat to sustain us until food was plentiful again. This situation obviously does not present itself anymore. Our primitive body does not know this however. It wants to retain body fat almost at all costs. Losing body fat still means starvation to our metabolism. Intentional metabolism of body fat, therefore, must follow certain steps in order to be successful. This is where weight loss can get complicated. In our weight loss offices we use an analogy of baking a cake. I know this might seem like an ironic example but hear me out. If you are baking a cake you need certain ingredients (four, sugar, eggs, etc.). If you follow the recipe you get a predictable result, a cake. If you leave just one ingredient out however, you end up with a completely altered finished product (certainly not a cake). A fat metabolism program needs to be followed in a similar way. We need to follow a predictable “recipe” to get our body to give us a predictable result (fat loss).

When followed carefully and correctly a fat loss plan can lead to amazing results. When followed correctly losing weight, and body fat, is also not difficult.

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