Why Can’t I Lose This Fat?

It seems like I hear some version of this question each and every day.

Just this past weekend, it was posed to me by Angela. (Angela is not her real name)

Angela is a forty-something year old woman, with two kids and an executive position at an insurance company.

Angela is 5’6″ and weighs approximately 170 lbs.

Angela doesn’t want to weigh approximately 170 lbs.

Maybe, some of you can sympathize with her story.

Angela’s Story

All the way through high school, Angela was an average, healthy weight. Not thin; healthy. She participated in gym class and enjoyed playing tennis.

In university, she fell victim to the dreaded “freshman fifteen”. By the time she graduated, it was more like 20 lbs.

After graduation, she lost most of that weight by exercising at a health club and watching what she ate.

Next came the babies.

After the birth of her two children, Angela found herself reunited with that extra 20 lbs.

Throwing herself back into that same exercise and nutrition program, Angela managed to lose most of that 20 lbs.

And then gain it all back. And then lose most of it again. And then gain it all back plus a little bit extra. And so on and so on…

And this takes us back to the present day.

Angela has 35 lbs. of excess fat that she wants to be rid of.

And she feels completely lost.

She has read every diet book. She has exercised like an Olympic athlete. She has cleansed. She has popped dietary supplements. She has joined and quit three different diet programs.

Nothing works anymore.

So she asks me, “Why can’t I lose this fat”?

So Why Can’t She Lose That Fat?

The truth is; when it comes to burning off excess body-fat, Angela has no idea what she is doing.

But it’s not her fault.

The multi-billion dollar diet industry sets people up for failure. If every dieter was successful, who would buy the next best selling diet book?

Who would buy the pills or the bars or the shakes or the…

Well, you get the point.

The diet industry promises you easy weight loss. But when you fail, it is always due to your lack of will-power.

So why don’t the diet gurus help you generate that will power?

Why don’t they give you a complete weight loss program involving:

  • Nutrition
  • Exercise, and
  • Mental / Emotional / Spiritual Strategies

Well, over the next several posts, I will attempt to do that.

Stay tuned.


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10 thoughts on “Why Can’t I Lose This Fat?

  1. Mark,

    I think I need a more all-encompassing title than mental strategies.

    I think that our conscious and unconscious thoughts are so tied up with our emotions, that they are virtually inseparable.

    Maybe I should call it mind-body, but that may be too much of a cliche.

    Any suggestions?

  2. I agree, we need to take a new approach to healthy weight loss. It’s about lifestyle changes, not overnight pills or diets. Great post!

  3. this post is great! please keep updating people on how to do it. you’re totally right about how confused people are. i’ll be looking out for what you have to say!!

  4. There is a good book by Paul McKenna called “I Can Make You Thin”. Paul McKenna is very popular in the UK, I don’t know how well known he is over the pond.

    His approach is totally different to anybody else’s that I have ever seen. Basically, rather than counting callories or exercising, etc; it is about how to adapt your lifestyle to speed up your body’s matabalism so that you burn things of naturally.

    Many diets put the body into “famine” mode, where the body thinks that there is not enough food to go around. The body therefore stores as much as it can in case the “famine” lasts.

    Everytime you don’t eat when you ARE ACTUALLY HUNGERY, in order to keep the calories down; you are pushing your body deeper into “famine” mode.

    I have a great respect for Paul McKenna’s work. In fact, you’ve given me an idea for a posting on my own blog :)

    PS: In the UK, most of Paul McKenna’s book are on Ebay. Have a look in your country’s Ebay.

  5. If people only find a way to eat less which works for them, they will succeed. Fasting, low-carbing, they all work. Just pick one that works for you.



  6. Yavor,

    I have to disagree with you.

    On one level, you are right. If I fast or reduce carbs, I will lose weight. So will most people.

    But when I go back to my “normal” way of eating, I will gain the weight back, plus I will have lost muscle mass from the fast.

    Less muscle and more fat…a pretty bad combination.

    These are the type of people that I work with every day.

    Trying to find a lifestyle that works for them and helps them burn of fat and get healthy is a lot more complex than just dropping calories or carbs.

    Thanks for the comment

    Looking forward to hearing more from you.

  7. Health Habits is a good place to come for sound advice.

    I’d like to add to this discussion. I talk in depth on my blog about Water Retention. It is not well understood by western medicine, and is a huge contributor to heart disease, and heart failure. My newest post talks about how to tell if you are retaining water and what to do about it.

    If water is your issue rather than fat, you will be frustrated with traditional dieting, and the excess fluid in your system will over burden your heart muscle!

    Be well,
    Many blessings.

  8. What a coincidence!

    I was just reading a chapter in Gary Taubes’ book, Good calories, Bad Calories, about how a high carb diet forces your body to hold onto excess fluid, resulting in higher blood pressure.


    I have to admit that I don’t know very much about water retention. Could you throw a little info / science my way?

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