This article may be helpful if you:
- Have tried multiple weight loss programs, diets or exercise regimes and struggled to see lasting results.
- Are looking for a weight loss program but feel disillusioned.
- Are looking for a more effective way to manage your weight, health or relationship with your body.
Weight loss programs are popular, but they’re not always effective. They often don’t consider your individual needs or health conditions, can be restrictive, unsustainable, and, at worst, dangerous. Weight loss programs should be about our health, behaviours and habits, not just the number on the scale. Read on to find out why a “weight management” program may be a more successful approach.
WATCH: Nutritionist, Tammy Spiller, explains the pitfalls of most weight loss programs and the benefits that can be found with a more effective “weight management” approach.
Traditionally, weight loss programs can be great for losing weight quickly – though all too often, the kilos pile straight back on. This recurrent theme sees people “yo-yo” with their weight, leaving them both emotionally exhausted and impacting subsequent attempts to lose weight. According to a study in the Journal of American College of Nutrition, participants regained 73.4% of their weight loss during the first three years.
The problem with most weight loss programs is that they often approach weight loss by focusing on the notches on your belt. For most, they are only a quick fix. To be more sustainable, long-term weight management is about educating people with the tools to integrate healthy behaviours into their lifestyle.
Below we discuss several pitfalls that can be found in many weight loss programs.
Their “One Size Fits All” Approach
Weight loss programs aren’t often tailored specifically to each person; they’re just general guidelines that may or may not work depending on the participant’s circumstances. Unfortunately, this approach only works for some, as not every person’s metabolism, health conditions or lifestyle is the same.
For example, if a program tells you to eat 1,200 calories per day, but your body needs 2,000 calories per day because of your genetics and lifestyle choices (like exercise), then this approach will further disrupt your metabolism. This is a common cause of regaining weight and often leaves you without the energy to actually live life.
Weight loss programs might be a quick way to drop a few kilos, but this is most likely just fluid linked to a rapid drop in carbohydrates. This isn’t addressing an unhealthy body image or composition of your individual health, lifestyle or psychological needs often required for long-term change.
They’re Strict & Restrictive
It’s no secret that weight loss diets can be restrictive. At best, they may feel like some guidance, someone else telling you what to eat and when. But, at worst, they make you miserable because there is no consideration of things like cultural foods or your daily routines and patterns.
Many people who follow strict programs end up binge eating – this is especially true if the diet involves cutting out foods you love or restricting calories too much for too long (which can lead to hunger pangs). This level of restriction is often not sustainable or flexible enough to address the underlying issues that caused weight gain in the first place.
If a weight loss program doesn’t allow you to eat or exercise to suit your needs and lifestyle, it won’t be practical for long-term weight loss. Most programs typically fail after the supplied menu plan ends because there has been no guidance about how to continue building meals that suit you. With a high degree of restriction, most people find that life events get in the way, and they don’t have the support about how to navigate these circumstances. Further, many fad diets may also cut out specific food groups entirely, which becomes unsociable when eating out and can be unhealthy as well as unsustainable for long-term weight management.
A more effective approach provides structure in the early weeks or months, when you may have lost trust in your body and how it may react, but builds in flexibility once your confidence and knowledge in what works best for your body is rebuilt.
Quick Results Vs Long-Term Results
The problem with many weight loss programs is they’re band-aid solutions. But, more often than not, they don’t give you the long-term results you desire.
You may lose ten kilos in four weeks, but it will likely come back unless you change your lifestyle and keep those changes going long after the program ends. If you want to lose weight and keep it off long-term, it’s important to understand that this takes time and hard work over months or even years. It’s about adjusting your lifestyle and making healthy choices a way of life. Unfortunately, many weight loss programs fail to educate participants on how to do this.
They Treat Support & Empowerment as a Bonus
Research shows that one of the most important parts of any weight loss program is the support and empowerment of the team around you. Signing up for a program is not just about paying someone to give you a meal plan or an hour of exercise each day. Effective weight management is supported by a qualified practitioner who is with you every step – not just during training sessions but also when it comes to food choices and meal planning. They should guide you in setting goals and keeping track of progress. This kind of guidance is key to your long term change.
They Just Focus on the Number on the Scale
Weight loss programs often aren’t targeted towards reversing unhealthy behaviours but rather a specific number on the scales. For example, weight loss programs should be about changing your lifestyle, relationship with food, and body – not just about losing weight.
While an unhealthy weight can impact your risk of disease or create inflammation and discomfort, our ‘natural’ weight isn’t a one size fits all.
Weight Management – A More Effective Approach
For those looking to manage their weight long-term, recalibrate their relationship with food and their body, and manage certain health conditions, a weight management program may be more effective. If you’re feeling emotionally exhausted and disillusioned from programs that only make you feel defeated, a weight management program may provide the holistic approach you need to achieve your goals.
The Banyans Weight Management Day Program is not a diet. Instead, it’s the habitual use of behavioural, lifestyle and dietary strategies to support a healthy weight. More importantly, the effective management of weight will reduce the likelihood of disease and disability, leading to a longer, healthier life.
The program focuses on a personalised and holistic approach, focusing on you and your goals – not just the number on the scale. Be supported long-term by a multidisciplinary team of industry-leading health practitioners, including a nutritionist/dietitian, GP, psychologist*, exercise physiologist and yoga therapist.
Co-led by Clinical Nutritionist Tammy Spiller and Dietitian Emily Ghaiyed, the program has been designed to adapt to the personal health profile of participants, supports them for either 3 or 6 months to achieve long-term results, and provides a non-judgemental and empowering environment. “We conduct a thorough nutrition status assessment, blood pathology, and consideration of your circumstances, including health and lifestyle history. This may involve further analysis of your microbiome, DNA and hormones if required”, Spiller says.
Feel empowered to reach your health goals in a private and non-judgemental environment. Find out more about The Banyans Weight Management Program by calling 1300 226 926 or click the link below and take control of your health today.
*Psychology is available standard with the 6-month program, or as an upgrade.
This article has been reviewed by Clinical Nutritionist, Tammy Spiller (BHlthSc, NutrMed, PGradDipBus), of The Banyans.