Why can’t you lose weight?

I get many questions from people who are struggling with their weight. It’s a hard subject to write about since I don’t want to judge anyone, and because everyone’s reasons for struggling with weight can be different.

Losing weight is not so much about the aesthetics of it since personal tastes, culture, and historical periods can influence this. It’s about maintaining optimal health, feeling light, strong (with a strong immune system), flexible, and being comfortable to move and dwell in your own body, which is your house for this life.

Here are some common mistakes or misconceptions around weight-loss:

1. Eating foods that make you gain weight instead of eating foods that promote a stable weight. When your goal is to lose weight, there are definitely some foods that prevent you from achieving this goal. Foods that contribute to weight and fat gain include all animal foods (meat, chicken, eggs, cheese, and dairy) and all refined foods (sugar, refined carbohydrates, white rice, white pasta, potato, sugar, cookies, snacks, alcohol, and more). Instead, you should eat a whole foods fiber-rich plant-based diet based on whole grains, beans, vegetables, seaweed, and fermented foods.

2. Low carb diets and counting calories don’t work! Perhaps you will lose weight in the first few months, but you will gain it back even quicker later on. Carbs are good for you! They provide sugars that give your body and brain energy throughout the day, and you need them! The trick is to distinguish between simple/refined sugars (sugar, honey, snacks, desserts, alcohol, etc.) and complex sugars from whole grains, beans, and vegetables. The latter ones provide energy, digest slower into the bloodstream, and don’t cause fat formation.

3. Many people eat from an emotional imbalance. Many people who have experienced trauma or have a non-loving relationship with their bodies are eating for the ‘wrong’ reason. Many people will eat to suppress pain and heavy emotions that they don’t want to feel or deal with. Other people who don’t experience self-love will eat foods that are harmful to their health. Consciously or subconsciously, they are destroying their own bodies because of their deep self-hatred. The solution is to go through deep and thorough psychotherapy and deal with these patterns. Next, learn which foods are nourishing and supporting for your energy and well-being and develop a new relationship with food and yourself.

4. Lack of understanding or cynicism towards the idea that food encompasses certain energy and certain movement. This is the main problem and the missing link in the view that science, media, and doctors have on food. If you haven’t delved into the concept of yin and yang and understood which foods are contracting and which foods are expanding, it’s really hard to understand what foods do to your body and which foods are good for you individually. There are a few types of people who have a hard time losing (or gaining) weight, so it’s hard to give one-size-fits-all advice to everyone. A different approach should be implemented for each type of person, and emphasis on different harmful and helpful foods should be made. It’s a long study of body types and individual diagnosis, which I will need more time and a bigger platform to explain.

5. Cravings are good, and so is the feeling of hunger; you should always listen to your body! Our cravings are our biological inherent ability to tell us what we need. The profit-hungry food industry has learned to trick and abuse our inherent biological cravings to give us instantly available foods that will satisfy the immediate craving but will not fulfill the deeper biological need. For example, giving us sugar and sweets while what we actually crave for on a deeper level is energy to do what we want in life. It’s like going on social media when you’re craving social interaction; it might satisfy you for the moment, but it will make you feel empty and depressed in a few hours.

We all need to go through a process of teaching ourselves how to satisfy our cravings in a healthy, nourishing, and sustainable way to maintain energy, instead of losing it. More energy, less weight. Less weight, more energy.

These are just my 5 cents on the subject. I hope it is encouraging and helpful. If you want to follow a year-long program with me for losing weight, which I will tailor-make for you, you are always welcome to write to me.

Any questions are always welcome!

Love, Alexander.