Weight Loss: Why Gyms and Weight Loss Centers Don't Work
Trying to lose weight?
So many fitness or weight loss centers are missing the most important point. I’ve worked in over a dozen gyms and fitness centers over a period of 30 years and their current practices don’t work because they are missing these crucial details...
Here’s the typical conversation between a trainer and a potential new client…
Trainer: So I have all of your health history and exercise history. What brought you to xyz club today Mary?
Mary: Well I wanted to tone up and lose maybe 30 pounds.
Trainer: Those are great goals and I can help! I can give you a great protein powder as a meal replacement so you won’t consume the same amount of calories yet give you plenty of protein to build muscle and this will help you lose weight. I will also give you a workout program that will target those problem areas you are concerned about. Sound good Mary? When can you start your new program?
Mary: Well, I ahhh yeah OK I guess I can start this Saturday, how much does this all cost again?
This is the typical dialogue between trainer and client in any franchise gym. This type of dialogue was developed from years of sales experience in the fitness/weightloss industry, do you know why? Because if you get a client in for some personal training you can make way more if you sell them supplements and protein powders upfront, that way if they cancel their training or membership shortly after their initial meeting with you, at least you will get the sale on the protein powder and supplements.
Do you understand why they do it this way? Because the industry leaders know you will fail. They know you won’t keep to your regime because no real change in the weight gaining behavior has
taken place. And diets that focus on calorie restriction sound like a good idea only serve to sabotage you because the signals you send your brain with such activity totally negate your purpose, which predetermines your quit timeline. Not only that, but you will return (to that gym or center) if you had a pretty good initial personal experience, in other words you felt a level of camaraderie and support that was important to you. So whether you lose weight or not you will either come back because you felt heard and understood or if you stick with a program and lose a little weight, you will eventually gain it back and come back to the place that “helped” you lose the weight to begin with. Either way you are a return customer with lots of sales potential in the future.
I understand that is sounds rather cynical however, it is true. Calorie restriction is the worst way to lose weight because it consistently send signals of starvation to the brain which raises insulin, cortisol and other stress hormones that will keep you perpetually fat. Not only that but protein powders are notoriously high in carbohydrates or energy. If you're not expending enough energy throughout your day you will be storing the extra carbohydrate energy as fat.
Also your trainer may choose to give you the same workout over and over again (to make it easier to them), claiming that you need to increase in intensity, weight or complexity over time. Either way it’s basically the same workout which may produce strength, some cardiovascular endurance but zero variety which means your body will adapt to the same stressors, become faster, stronger more adept at those exercises and those alone, while doing it all super efficiently (burning less and less calories and fat over time). Why is this bad? Because your body will become super efficient at conserving energy when it has learned and mastered a task. In other words, you will plateau rather quickly if either your strength or cardiovascular workout don’t change.
Again I realize this all sounds bad but ask yourself: Have I really lost the weight I wanted to with this type of program and have I kept it off for X number of years? If you answered “No” to either part of this question I’m pretty sure you are looking for something different by now. Something that will not just help you eat better and workout more but something that will help you change how your brain supports your new habits. Something that acknowledges your needs, your personality, your spirit, how you think and feel.
The issue is that the weight loss and fitness industries have neglected one of the most important parts of being human, our minds. Our brains contain the links to neurosynaptic connections, hormonal and chemical balance, behavior change, motivation, decision making skills, your entire metabolism is regulated through your brain. How you perceive your reality or remember past trauma, current stress or abuse of any kind has a direct impact on your brain and the chemicals or hormones it sends out to “protect” you. If you have any brain imbalances, feel unsafe, insecure, unappreciated, unrecognized or unloved you will always have a problem losing weight and keeping it off.
You do have the power to change those circumstances that no longer support you or your health and weight loss goals but what if you simply can’t change anything just yet? What can you do? These were all questions that I came across when I started giving my personal training clients psychic readings.
It became apparent to me that when I’d give a psychic reading to a weight loss client the reading
revealed more about how and what they were thinking, than what they were eating or doing for physical activity. After years of collecting notes and data about how my clients were handling weight loss emotionally, physically and spiritually I realized my industry had missed the boat! They had only addressed two facets of a multi-faceted subject.
We need to start training our brains first or at least include them in our process. Because as well intentioned as we may be, we are ultimately subject to the reactions pre-set by our reactions and experiences from our past. In other words, the mental habits you have lived with that created your weight gain will ultimately be the go to habit when either times get tough, you experience the end of a program or you decide you can no longer sustain the new habit (like buying foods, supplements, or doing extreme workouts that can cause injury for example).
This is why I’ve included brain training in my weight loss protocols. Neurofeedback has been successfully used to treat depression, anxiety, focus, ADHD, trauma and insomnia. Why would this be important to your weight loss goals? Because if you suffer from any of these issues your brain is sending the wrong messages to the organs responsible for weight loss and regulation. Your hormone levels, norepinephrine, insulin and cortisol levels will consistently fight your goals, ultimately keeping the weight on and making you feel like a failure. The balance to these brain/body chemicals are the golden ticket to your ultimate weight loss and the creation of long term healthier habits. So why are we ignoring this? Because many weight loss or fitness centers are not educated or equipped to address brain body chemical imbalances. Arguably, becoming more physically active will change brain chemical balance for the better, however the effects are temporary and limited to a short period after you have stopped working out.
I was looking for a solution that would not only support the diet and exercise programs I was recommending and coaching but that would help sustain healthier habits over time. The timeline had to be long enough to create the new healthier habits but short enough to allow the client to make changes to their workouts so their bodies would not adapt to the physical work (decreasing continual weight loss due to metabolic adaptation, when the body uses less and less energy or calories to perform a task).
I chose a 21 Day plan that included not just a recommended menu plan and scientifically progressed exercise and cardiovascular conditioning but I added: spiritual coaching and neurofeedback. I am happy I did! My clients report feeling happier, better capable of finding alternatives when their weight loss gets sidetracked, they are able to relax and sleep deeply, feel more “clear and focused”, meditate, have purpose and lose the weight they intended to!
The psychic readings brought up things we usually feel uncomfortable addressing but need to be addressed in order to “set the mind right” literally and prime it for positive change. This is why I can no longer personal train clients according to some franchise gyms philosophies. I’m uncomfortable not telling the truth, I’m uncomfortable leading clients down a path I know they will ultimately fail at. I’d rather tell the truth and supply my clients with the tools I KNOW will actually help get their groove back, feel great and help them lose weight and keep it off forever!
What do you think? Have diets and exercise alone worked for years and years for you? What has your experience been? If you were successful long term (longer than 5 years) why do you think you succeeded when so many fail?
You can email me at Nicole@MindBodyMastery.org Thanks!