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Why the System Won’t let you Lose Weight

What’s wrong with this picture?

Ironic to say the least?

If losing weight is your primary objective, then you’ll need to buckle up – this is going to be one bumpy ride. Losing weight is no simple task. It’s an overwhelmingly difficult road that millions of people choose to take on every year.

But why do we fail? Why are obesity rates INCREASING?

Answer: The “system” is designed for you to fail. Here are the facts…

Your weight loss journey is a tough one. You are embarking on a mission that requires hard work, dedication, persistence, support, and a never-ending supply of motivation. Although you may not think so, not everybody wants you to succeed. Not everyone wants you to lose that weight and become healthier. There are so many factors working against you here.

Allow me to introduce the three culprits…

Culprit # 1 – Mother nature

Your body is an unbelievably complex system. It truly does some amazing things. At its simplest form, it consumes fuel (food, nutrients) and converts it into usable energy. Whatever is left over is stored as fat for future use.

Back in the caveman days, this was extremely important for survival. Your day revolved around food – looking for food, hunting for food, preparing food. What happened when food was scarce? Those who had a solid layer of fat around their bodies were able to survive for weeks without eating.

Fast forward to today. There is no longer a hunt for food – it’s no longer a scarcity. We are no longer in survival mode. We have everything we need. However, biologically we are still wired the same – we are still very much primitive.

This is the problem if you want to lose weight.

Your body is designed to consume food, convert it into usable energy and store anything that’s left over as fat.

It’s not designed to shed weight easily. You are hard-wired to store anything you can for survival purposes.

That’s just the way things are. Can you reprogram your system?

Culprit # 2 – Money

It’s what makes the world go ’round. It’s what corporations will kill for and it’s your means of survival. It’s what we’re all greedy for and, at the end of the day…

It’s what makes you fat.

A lot of our actions are determined by the environment that we live in. Think about your surroundings for a second.

Your life is a hectic one. You work, you’re in school – you’re busy. This makes it difficult to eat healthy and stay active. You want convenience.

The voids are quickly filled.

Fast-food restaurants are popping up everywhere, eager to get you addicted. Gyms are excited to get you to sign lengthy contracts but don’t give a sh*t if you ever make a commitment to come.

The food industry in general is designed to make you fail. They formulate food for taste, not for health. Then you have my favorite – the food marketers. These are those guys pushing products they KNOW are not healthy for you. The conveniently place the chips and pop at eye level to eat away at your will power. Ever notice the position of the candy racks in supermarkets? Right at the eye level of toddlers. Man they’re sneaky.

We’re constantly bombarded with advertisements aimed at making us eat unhealthy. Look at the picture above. There is a BK Whopper advertisement in the GYM! IN THE GYM!! What is the person on the treadmill beside the giant ad supposed to think? What do you think they’ll be eating after a solid cardio session? My mind is boggled.

This brings me to the last culprit – the one that drives supply and is responsible for its own choices…

Culprit # 3 – You

That’s right, YOU – the consumer.

At the end of the day, you control what you put inside your body. You control your activity levels. You control your lifestyle.

You are in the driver’s seat.

It’s on you to make the right decisions when it comes to food choices. Do you avoid fast food places by preparing lunch the night before? How about getting rid of pop and junk food all together? These are all small battles that you need to take on – if you can win the majority of them you’ll have a better chance of winning the war against your weight.

It sounds easy, but as we all know it’s far from. There are hundreds of things (read: excuses) holding you back from success. Dozens of hurdles have to be overcome to reach your goals. You don’t have time, you work too much, you’re tired, you couldn’t sleep last night, you don’t know what to do, you’re scared…

Without a doubt, it takes a lot of effort to get to where you want to be. It’s a psychological battle more than anything.

Can you handle it?

Alykhan - Fitness Breakout - January 22, 2011

Srdjan,

Great insights here. You’re absolutely right… the food and fitness industries just want to make money off of you. They don’t care about your overall health. Same thing with the corporate world. It’s up to you to make your fitness, weight loss, or whatever your health goal is a priority in your life to combat all the traps today’s society throws at you because at the end of the day, no one else is going to do it for you.

Alykhan

Lance - January 23, 2011

The gyms can be blamed somewhat as well, mainly the big chain ones, their entire goal is to tie people into memberships and then afterwards they would actually prefer you never showed up, the more members that don’t come to the gym the less their costs are!

That picture is just funny as well, a friend of mine told me once that he seen a gym right across from a KFC, so people were hitting the treadmills while seeing cars go through with buckets of chicken!

Test - January 23, 2011

@Alykhan
Everyone wants to make money off of you. It’s all about profit margins and the bottom line and it always will be. Nobody is going to care about your health as much as you are.

You’re right – it all really is up to you. You have control of your own health. Now you just have to learn how to bypass the system. Thanks for the comment.

Test - January 23, 2011

@Lance
You’re absolutely right. The big chain gyms actually PREFER you do not come. They’ll be all over you initially trying to get you to sign on the dotted line but when that’s done, it’s like they don’t even know you. Of course, they can’t force you to come but the system isn’t designed to help you at all.

When I first saw that banner (it was at my gym) I thought it was the irony of ironies. KFC beside the gym is the norm these days I guess. Thanks for the comment!

Darrin - Lean, Mean, Virile Machine - January 23, 2011

Hilarious picture! That can’t be real, can it?

There’s definitely a lot of obstacles to losing weight, and I believe the best way is to slowly create new habits that will help you to effortlessly do so.

    Test - January 24, 2011

    @Darrin
    Yea that picture is for real. It was posted at the gym that I go to. Crazy stuff!

    Making any sort of permanent lifestyle change requires the creation of GOOD habits. Eventually you will make the right decisions subcontiously.

    Thanks for the comment. Hope that picture made your day đŸ™‚

Dave - Not Your Average Fitness Tips - January 24, 2011

Very good insights here. Why these are all obstacles to weight loss, I think anyone can overcome these obstacles with enough dedication and focus. Love the picture by the way…what a great money making scheme…people pay to go to the gym and then go get fat at BK after not so subtle advertising, and then are forced to go back to the gym.

    Test - January 25, 2011

    @Dave
    Your comment is right on point Dave. It really shows how Money is the culprit.

    Is the gym really looking for you to succeed? Do they care? Probably not. Theyre a business first and foremost and their primary concern is their bottom line. They’ll do whatever it takes to increase it even if it means sacrificing the health of their members.

Mike - Fitness Contrarian - January 25, 2011

That’s a great picture. Good post it makes you think.

Best – Mike

Michael @ The Underwear Body - January 27, 2011

I rarely watch TV but I caught some the other day and was struck by how much of the advertising was for junk food. I’d never have thought I wanted a pizza but seeing one on the TV made me think.

Constantly bombarding people with these images is a big factor in keeping the sales ticking over. Unless you have been able to make a conscious decision to swim against the tide its easy to get swept along as so many do. That is the crux of it right there; deciding to take control, then having the method to help you do so.

Michael

Test - January 30, 2011

@Michael
It’s very difficult to ‘swim against the tide’ and many of us do get swept along. It’s unfortunate but it’s the truth. It takes a lot of will power to make and stick with a difficult decision but it needs to be done.

Your health is the most important thing that you have. Why not take care of it?

Thanks for the comment, Michael.

Kelly-Fitness Overhaul - February 1, 2011

Great picture! The media and TV in general is the worst! If you watch football or any sport on TV, every commercial is either about drinking beer to be cool, driving a certain truck to look cool, or eating whatever junk food or pizza that they want to shove down your throat. The funny thing is that the people that drink tons of beer and eat these foods all the time are overweight slobs that don’t look anything like the people on the TV in these commercials!
-Kelly

Louis - February 2, 2011

I am with you. I agree food chains, big gyms, along with supplement companies, and fitness magazines actually prefer you not to change or get in shape they make more money when we don’t. If they cared like they say they do things would be different.
Good post!

Louis

Test - February 3, 2011

@Kelly
It’s quite funny seeing them put models in fast food commercials when those people wouldn’t touch that food with a 10 foot pole. I’m interested to see the lineup of commercials for the Superbowl this weekend!

Test - February 3, 2011

@Louis
I completely agree with you Louis. It’s the sad nature of business. It’s like Dave pointed out in his comment – the gym makes more money by sending you to Burger King. You get fat and have to come back to the gym. It’s a vicious cycle. Maybe one day things will be different but at the end of the day it’s up to you to make the right decisions.

Mudancas residenciais - February 5, 2011

You have a great point there and the picture you included in your blog will definitely make most gym goers face reality. We work hard on the gym but then there are still immovable objects that goes along with our journey. Whether we like it or not, calories are very essential to our everyday lives. But then self-control is always the best tool for us to get where we wanted to be. Sometimes we need to fight against our body’s demands to create change.

Kevin - Fitness B&W - February 5, 2011

Srdjan,
Great post – love the picture! You’re right, it’s sad but it is true. I think in the end though #3 is the most important though. As long as we are focused on reaching our goals then we can!

— Keivn

Test - February 5, 2011

@Mudancas
You see I don’t think they’re ‘immovable’. These objects are there to test us. Nothing worth achieving in this life is easy – there will always be obstacles you have to surpass to get to where you want to be. And I think this is a fair test. But you’re right in saying that we have to fight against our body’s demands. Our bodies HATE change. As soon as it senses even an ounce of change, it will fight back both physically and mentally to get back to steady state. Persistence and dedication to the cause is key to success.

Test - February 5, 2011

@Kevin
I agree that number 3 is the most important because it’s the one you have the most CONTROL over. You decide what you put in your body. You decide if you’re going to exercise today or not. You effectively choose your lifestyle. But making these decisions is easier said than done of course. Thanks for the comment!

Ferb Bozeman - November 5, 2011

True at the end of the day its you that will make the decision. There are so many things that will let us fail in our objective to loose weight but if you decide to do it you will achieve it. Loosing weight and to be healthy is one of the hardest battle I encounter but I decide to it. I already loose 20lbs in 2 months.

    Test - November 7, 2011

    Those are awesome results Ferb! Keep working hard and you’ll see even greater results. If you have any pictures or anything, please share!

Dr. George Suarez - December 2, 2011

Completely true, Srdjan. Even if we invest in expensive exercise equipments and workout until our body get sore if we do not watch out whether we’re consuming the right foods in right amounts or not, our efforts becomes useless.

    Test - December 4, 2011

    That’s exactly right Dr. Suarez! It always comes down to proper eating habits. Remember, you can never out train a bad diet.

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