How many people do you know who started a diet in January and have already given up as there’s too much deprivation or starvation! Are you one of these people? Let me assure you, it really doesn’t have to be that way.

Let me ask you something… What is your killer weight loss question? That means what is the one question that if you answer truthfully, will give you the real reason why you have not yet lost the weight; or perhaps you have lost it in the past but regained it – if so, why?

In my work as a weight loss coach I have found one question to be super powerful. Like many good questions it has 2 parts:

a) What is the best thing that would happen if you lost the weight?

b) What is the worst thing that would happen if you lost the weight?

Part a) is easy, and people always trot out loads of benefits like, “I won’t feel bad, I will have more energy, I can buy nice clothes, have more confidence, have great sex!” you get the idea. Part b) is a bit more revealing but often harder to identify. The initial response is almost always one of shock, why would I ask such a ridiculous question? And clients predictably reply “nothing – there is no down side to losing weight”.

But the reality is, there has to be a reason why, if you genuinely want to be slim, that you are not doing what it takes to lose weight, otherwise you would have already done it, or at least be doing it now. There are no exceptions. If you want to lose weight and be slimmer, or just healthier, but have failed in your previous attempts, and are failing once again, the answer to this question (and especially part b) will tell you why.

If you are struggling to find your answer to part b), think of the things that you think you need to do or change in order to lose the weight, that you don’t like the thought of doing. Perhaps it’s the thought of giving up food or drinks that you enjoy? What do you think would be the hardest change you will have to make, and is making that change worth it in order to be slim? Which do you want the most?

On my workshops, I always ask this question and initially get the predictable “There is no worst thing about losing weight – it will be great!” But once we challenge this, the actual answers are “I might have saggy boobs”, “I will have to give up my Thursday night curry with the girls”, “I will not be able to go out or I’ll have to restrict my social life”, “I will have to go to the gym which I hate!” and there are more along similar lines. Sound familiar?

If your desire to avoid these things is stronger than your desire to be slim, then you will unconsciously self-sabotage.

The reality is that if you want to achieve something and you know basically how to achieve it (in this case to change what and how much you eat), yet you are not doing it, then your unconscious mind is associating pain with the changes you think you want to make, and calculating it will be less painful to stay fat than to endure whatever your answer to part b) is. In other words, if you want to avoid the pain of b) more than you want to be slim – it’s all over; it becomes another in a possibly growing list of failed attempts. Until you resolve this issue, you will not succeed long term.

In sales training, one of the most effective techniques used is to identify customer objections before they are raised and find genuine ways to overcome them. This is no different. You have to sell to yourself the idea of making changes. It has to be worth the effort, in this case, a physical and practical effort rather than a product.

So, think honestly about any potential negative outcomes of losing weight, and then find an acceptable solution or alternative BEFORE you start to make changes; that way you can by-pass your own internal natural reactions that would otherwise cause you to self-sabotage.

In the above examples, solutions might be: if you are worried about saggy boobs, there are plenty of toning exercises to strengthen the muscles that hold your boobs up (and get a good bra fitting for your new size!). If your worried about going out for a curry, choose tikka style dishes and no naan bread. For general social activities you can go out just as much as before (plenty of slim people have an active social life!!) but you could cut calories by drinking spritzers instead of full glasses of wine and make different food choices; after all it’s the company you should be enjoying more than the calories. If you hate the gym, either go with a friend and make it part of your social life, or find something else you don’t mind doing, walking, cycling or perhaps regular badminton sessions with a friend. Any exercise is better than nothing.

If you would like me to teach you some practical techniques in person, that will help you get and stay motivated and make the changes you want to make, you can come along to my next Champneys weight loss retreat – 28th – 30th April 2024.