Ep #256: Why Most Weight Loss Solutions Aren’t Permanent

It is probably no surprise to you that most weight loss solutions are not permanent. In fact, less than 10% (and that’s being generous) of people who lose weight manage to keep it off long-term. In this episode, I’m diving into why that is and what you can do to get off the yo-yo weight loss treadmill.

Listen in as I share the main reasons why so many of us struggle with permanent weight loss, why thoughts and feelings are a key part of long-term success, and how the Weight Loss For Doctors Only program is different than other weight loss programs. If you want to stop feeling like you just can’t diet right, this is an episode you won’t want to miss!

Listen To The Episode Here:

In Today’s Episode, You’ll Learn:

  • Why many people struggle long-term with weight loss.
  • How thoughts and feelings play into long-term weight loss.
  • The key to long-term weight loss success.
  • How Weight Loss For Doctors Only is different.

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Read the Transcript Below:

Katrina Ubell:      You are listening to the Weight Loss for Busy Physicians podcast with Katrina Ubell, MD, episode number 256.

Welcome to the Weight Loss for Busy Physicians podcast. I’m your host, master certified life and weight loss coach, Katrina Ubell, MD. This is the podcast where busy doctors like you come to learn how to lose weight for the last time by harnessing the power of your mind. If you’re looking to overcome your stress eating and exhaustion and move into freedom around food, you’re in the right place.

Well, hello there, my friend. How are you today? I’m so glad you’re here with me. How is your December going so far? It’s the end of the year. Here are. I know it was my dad who told me this once, but someone said that life is like a roll of toilet paper. It just starts rolling faster and faster. The older you get, the more you pull off. It’s like, “How did another year fly by?” So crazy. But I’ve got something really cool coming up in just two days that I want to make sure to invite you to. And I’m not only just invite you like, “Hey, you should come,” but like grab your hand and pull you along.” Like you’re coming. What I mean by that is that I’m hosting a free training on Thursday, December 9th. It’s at 8:30 PM Eastern, 5:30 PM Pacific. And it’s called How Losing Weight is Different For Doctors and What To Do About It.

And I really want to encourage you to get this information. It’s so important for you to understand the differences. Because so often we’re like, “I don’t know, this should just be working and it’s not working and we don’t know why.” And I’m telling you, I struggled and struggled for years and years and years, honestly decades and I didn’t really understand what it was about my life as a doctor. And that made losing weight pretty particularly permanently that much more challenging. And not like, “Oh, Boohoo, poor us. Doctors have it so hard.” It’s not that a mindset. It’s just understanding what the actual problem is, how we got to where we are, and what we can do about it. That’s going to be different than what you’re going to be getting in any other weight loss program out there. So it’s just really important for you to understand this. Really no matter how you decide to lose weight, whether you work with me or you do something else, it’s just really important for you to understand this if you are a physician, if you’re a doctor, you’re going to want to know this information.

So the way to register for this free training is to go to katrinaubellmd.com/different, D-I-F-F-E-R-E-N-T, katrinaubellmd.com/different. You’re going to want to go and register. If you cannot join me live, which I strongly encourage you to do, but if you can’t join me live, you will get a replay. The great thing about coming live is you get to ask all of your questions.

The other thing to know is that I will be opening up the Weight Loss for Doctors Only program for January of 2022. Doesn’t it sound weird? 2022. What is that? But yes, I open up this program three times a year, and this will be the start of your opportunity to sign up. So we’re only open for a limited time and there’s actually some really great bonuses that you’re going to want to know about, one in particular that is a very limited time and you’re going to want to hear about that. So come live. If you can’t come live, make sure you listen to that replay ASAP so that you don’t miss out on the bonuses. Okay? How Losing Weight is Different For Doctors and What To Do About It? Come and join me, katrinaubellmd.com/different.

Okay. So along those same lines, today we’re going to talk about why most weight loss solutions aren’t permanent. And this is no surprise to you if you’re like, “What? They’re not?” Then you probably haven’t been trying to lose my wait for a long time or you don’t know a lot of people who’ve tried to lose weight. All you have to do is look around, talk to people that you know> for almost everybody when people lose weight, it’s not permanent. And there’s statistics and data to show this and it can vary anywhere from 0.5% of people are able to keep it off long term, 2% of people, 3% of people, maybe even up to 8% or 9% of people, but that’s still a very small number compared to the total number of people who try to lose weight every year.

So I want to talk to you about why that is. Okay? That isn’t because you haven’t found the right diet, or you just need to wait for the latest diet book to come out. I was just thinking, “Except my coming out in September, maybe you’ll want to get that one.” But besides that, what you need to focus on is something different than just what the food is and how you’re moving your body because that is how the majority of the weight loss industry approaches weight loss.

The list is endless. You should eat according to your body type. You shouldn’t be eating gluten, you shouldn’t be eating dairy. You should be vegan. You should eat all the meat. It always felt like to me like no matter what, I always felt like I was doing it wrong. This person would be like, “You have to do it this way. There’s no other way.” And then I’d catch one of someone else’s approach to weight loss and they were completely contradicting everything. The first person had said. And they made sense too. And then I was just totally confused. I didn’t know what to do. And none of it was working permanently.

If you have lost weight and gained it back again, you’re probably like most of us, which means that you can follow a plan if you’re trying to get that A plus. If you somehow are looking to get the approval or validation of somebody else, maybe who you know in you’re life, or maybe the person that you’re working with to lose weight, you can follow things, but can you do it long term? Are you willing to do it long term? Often the answer is no and that’s why we struggle.

So when we think about weight loss just collectively as a whole, as a society, when we think about weight loss, what we tend to think about our actions primarily. So we’re thinking about the actions that we take. Like you sign up for any weight loss program, they’re going to tell you what to do, what not to do, how to eat, maybe they’ll give you a meal plan, maybe they’ll give you a grocery shopping list. They’re trying to make it really simple for you to take certain actions. There’s lots of things to do. You should write down what you eat. Maybe you should weigh yourself, maybe you shouldn’t weigh yourself, whatever they say. Maybe you should exercise in a certain way. Maybe they’ll give you certain workout plans, or exercises, or just a whole plan for you to live your life. And if you do these things and count things in this way, then you will get that result in.

And so here’s the thing. Very often if you actually do all of that stuff, you will get results. Okay? These things often do work if you’re able to do all of that. If you do all of those things that are required, and don’t do the things that you’re not supposed to do, then you will very likely create the result of losing weight. So there’s certain actions we talk about and those create certain results. So when people are like, “Oh, that didn’t work for me. That weight loss plan didn’t work for me,” what we’re really saying, almost always is, I wasn’t able to take the actions that I was supposed to take. I wasn’t willing to, I wasn’t able to, it didn’t work for my lifestyle, but not so much that if I actually follow the plan, it doesn’t work. That does happen on occasion. But most of the time, that’s not really what the issue is. The issue is that we’re not able to or willing to make the adjustments necessary to take the actions that are part of the plan that are required to get the results that we want.

So when you think about yo-yo, your weight loss. Your weight yo-yoing up and down, which is the case for so many of us. I know for me, oh my gosh, endless. Just up and down my weight. It would not stabilize out. That is a result. The weight going up, the weight going down. Whatever your weight is, that’s the result that you’re creating. And so of course, if your weight is yo-yoing up and down, that’s not permanent weight loss. So permanent weight loss means you create a result, and then you keep that result. That result stays. It continues on, it’s permanent, it’s ongoing. Okay?

And so when you are thinking about what’s happening with yoyo weight loss, or yoyo dieting, meaning, you’re losing weight and then you’re gaining it again, you’re creating different results. When your weight is going down, you’re taking certain actions. And then for whatever reason, you stop taking those actions and you take different actions and that results in your weight going up. And then you change your mind and say, “You know what, I’m going to take some day for action so my weight can go down.” And so then you do that and you get the result of weight going down. And then you stop taking those actions and you take different actions again and then you create the result of your weight going up. And this just continues on and on. And that is what yoyo weight loss is. Yoyo dieting. Okay?

So there’s a big, big, major component that we are, well, I was going to say ignoring, but in my case, I just literally didn’t know about it for almost the whole time that I was trying to lose weight and get control of my overeating. And that is the thoughts and the feelings that precede your actions and results. So up until now, we’ve just been talking about those actions that you take and the results that they create. Well, when we think about the thinking cycle, what we have to remember is that what drives your actions are your feelings or your emotions, and what creates your feelings are your thoughts and your beliefs. Your beliefs are just thoughts that you think are true that you’ve likely been thinking for a long time.

So there’s thoughts that create feelings. Feelings drive your actions. Actions create your results. So modern medicine and the weight loss industry, largely glosses over how power the brain can contribute to our results. And we just think it’s actions, all actions. This actually came up for me again recently. I went and visited a doctor and it was just totally like, “Here’s the foods you should be eating.” They hadn’t even been asked. I did not bring up the conversation at all. It was just like, “Oh, and by the way, these are the foods you should be eating.” So fascinating. No discussion at about anything besides those foods. Because here’s the thing. You could eat those foods, but if you’re overeating them, it’s still not going to be helpful for you. So, so interesting.

So here is what you need to understand. When you are creating the result of losing weight, you have certain thoughts and feelings that support the actions you need to take in order to create those results. Let me repeat that. When you are losing weight, you have certain thoughts and feelings, certain thoughts and emotions that are driving the actions, fueling the actions that you’re taking, that you need to take in order to create weight loss. When you’re creating the result of your weight going up, so meaning, the weight is yo-yoing back up again, what’s happening is, you have a different set of thoughts and feelings that are driving different actions that create the result of weight gain. Okay? So it’s not like we can blame the diet or blame the eating plan. What has really happened, the true source of the weight going back up again, of the weight loss not being permanent is that we’re thinking and feeling differently. Okay? This is so, so important because it’s not discussed. No one is talking about. It’s. It just we’re not even aware that this is an issue.

So here are some common things that I hear from doctors in particular. And I want to help you to understand how this creates the problem of you not having permanent weight loss. The most common one I hear so often is, I know what to do. I’m just not doing it. I’m not stupid. I’m a doctor. I have plenty of people who work with me who are obesity, medicine certified. They’re fellowship trained. And they’re like, “And I still can’t get this under control.” “I thought if I became fellowship trained, then I can get this under control and they’re still struggling.”

But think about what that statement is, “I know what to do. I’m just not doing it,” it’s all about actions. I know what to do, the actions to take, the actions not to take, but I’m just not doing it. And so what we often think then is, well, something is obviously wrong with me. I’m somehow defective in some way because I’m just not doing it. I’m just not disciplined. I’m weak. If I are a stronger person, if I are a better person, if I are more valuable person, whatever it is, we think that there’s something fundamentally wrong with us. And that’s why we are not doing the thing that we know to do.

And what I want to just… I have some great news for you. What I want to convey to you and help you to understand is that you as a human being are perfect as you are, and that has nothing to do with whether or not you’re doing what you know you should be doing or not. If you know what to do when you’re just not doing it, it’s not a personality flaw or fundamental flaw with who you are. What it means is that you have certain thoughts and feelings that do not drive the action of doing what you know you should be doing. That’s what we need to figure out. If there’s certain things that you know would help you and you’re not doing them, what we want to do is figure out, what your current thoughts and feelings are that are driving you to do the opposite of the thing that you think would be helpful. Those actions that you know to be taking.

We have to understand what’s creating the current situation. What are those thoughts and feelings so that we can change them? Because if you had the thoughts that drove the action of you doing what you know to do, you would have the results that you’re looking for. I know what to do. I’m just not doing it. All that is a reflection of, is that regular old diet industry mentality of focusing on actions and results and not paying any attention or focusing at all on what comes before that, which are your thoughts and your feelings. Okay?

The next one, I can only follow a plan for a while and then I rebel. I think this often just happens. I can do it for a while. I’ve got some momentum. And then I just don’t want to do it anymore. And so this just happens to us. So if you put that on that action line, following your plan. So for a while you follow that plan and why do you follow that plan? Because you have thoughts and feelings that drive the action of you following that plan. And then we think, “Well, and then I just rebel. I just get tired of doing it. I don’t want to do it anymore.” Well, that’s so interesting. Like what are we rebelling against? Who are we rebelling against? Often, usually ourselves, or maybe the person who gave us the plan.

But if you think about what that is, now you’re taking different actions. You’re not follow that plan anymore. And the reason why that’s happening is because you have different feelings and different thoughts. So if you can only follow plan for a while and then you rebel, the only thing that’s happening is you’re changing the way you think and feel as though that just happens to you, which if you’re not aware of this, it does just happen to you. You don’t realize you’re actually in control of this. You don’t realize that this is something that is essentially a choice it’s just being chosen subconsciously without the benefit of your prefrontal cortex actually evaluating and thinking about it.

And another one, going on vacation ends all my progress. I do great, and then I go on vacation. This was the story of my life for I cannot even tell you how long. The number of times that around Easter time, I would go like spring, go back to Weight Watchers and lose weight. And then it would be around July, August or so when we would go on vacation like our next vacation would be and I would be, “Maybe close to goal or at goal.” And that vacation just messed everything up again. And then I would start overeating, again, overeat, overeat, overeat until usually about the end of the year. And then I’d go back and lose weight. The cycle, it just continued and continued.

So what we think is that the action of going on vacation is what’s messing everything up. But instead, what’s happening is, we’re eating a certain weight. We’re taking certain actions that are creating weight loss at first. We’re creating some progress for us on this front that is being driven by certain thoughts and feelings. Then we change things up and we go on vacation and have new and different thoughts and feelings. That create the actions of going off plan. Eating all the things, drinking all the things, all the things. And not driving the action of us going back on plan when we get home.

Because here’s the thing, sometimes that happens if you overeat on vacation. Okay. The most important thing is, what do you do when you get home again? Are you back on plan? Are you jumping right back on track again? In my case, I never ever did. And that’s why I gained the way back again. But it’s not vacation that’s the problem. Even gaining weight on vacation is not the problem. We want to be taking certain actions so that we get certain results. The way to ensure that we continue to take those actions that support us so that we get the results that we want is to be intentional about the way that we think and we feel. We have to know what we’re currently thinking. Then we have to decide, does that actually help support us? Does that help to drive the results we want? If not, then we have the opportunity to change our thinking to create something different. And then once we find something that works, we have to intentionally on purpose continue to think that way.

So often, so often I get the question of, how is the Weight Loss for Doctors Only program different than this podcast? Had so many people say, I’ve lost so much weight listening to your podcast. It helps me. So it’s amazing. How is it any different? I feel like I would just spend a bunch of money and it would be the same thing. Which first of all, in some ways I’m like, “Really you think that I would give you the exact same thing and charge your money for it?” I’m like, “Okay. Give me the benefit of the doubt here that I wouldn’t do that.”

But what I’m doing here is I’m helping you to understand what the problem is. In the program, what we do is we help you to discover what those thoughts and feelings are. Can you do that on your own? I think you can, but I will tell you that it is so much faster and more effective when you have a coach helping you. Okay? When you are in a program where the whole purpose is aimed toward helping you to figure out what you think and feel. What the ramifications are of those thoughts and feelings, i.e, what are the results that you create, helping you to decide if you want to keep those or if you’re ready to make a change, or if you even need to make a change, maybe you’re getting the results that you want in certain things?

But we do this with every area, not just with weight loss. Because very often when our thoughts and feelings are pretty uncomfortable or not exactly what want them to be in other areas of our lives, one of the actions that we take to feel better is we eat, or sometimes we drink alcohol. And so this factors in everywhere. So what we’re doing in the program is we are uncovering and then working through those thoughts and feelings. Of course, in addition to a whole bunch of tools that I’ve never taught you on those podcasts and all sorts of other amazing things, but that is really the gist of it.

I have had more people come into the program who are like, “Listen, I lost 50 pounds, 40 pounds, 60 pounds, however much listening to the podcast, but I know I haven’t really done the brain work and that’s why I’m here now.” And I have plenty of people who are like, “Look, I know I’m not going to do it. So I know I’m not going to do it by myself. So I’m here to lose weight and to work on my brain.” And the cool thing is, by doing all of this work, you get to lose weight and improve your experience of your whole life because your thoughts and your feelings are what creates your experience of your whole life. If your experience of losing weight’s been miserable, it’s because of the way you’ve thought and felt about it.

Now, also, maybe there are some plans that are a little bit more comfortable for you or work a little better for you than others. And we can take that into consideration. But really it’s not the plan that’s creating your experience. It is the way you think and feel about it. And that is your choice. Now, this is not about toxic positivity where it’s something that’s totally uncomfortable and you’re like, “Well, I’m just going to be happy about it. Nothing to complain about here. I should just be whole love and light and good vibes.” You can do that, but I don’t think that that’s very helpful.

It’s really important that we recognize that all of our emotions are just as valid as any other emotion. It’s not like all the positive feeling emotions are the good ones and we want to try to avoid the bad. What we want to do is stop avoiding the bad and actually learn to process them. When we’re overeating and over drinking, what we’re doing is we’re avoiding those emotions and then they just get stuff down and they wait for us for later. And then we have to keep stuffing them down and keep stuffing them down. And we don’t know what to do with them. That’s the main thing. We don’t know how to actually process them. So we have to learn how to do all of that. This is a tool and a skill that vast majority of us have just not learned. So if you’re like, “I don’t really know where I would’ve learned this. Did I miss something?” No, you didn’t miss anything. I’m 45 years old. No one taught me this. No one taught me this.

So that is why most weight loss solutions aren’t permanent. Okay? Because we are not addressing the thoughts and feelings. So I don’t care how you’re losing weight. If you’re not addressing the thoughts and feelings, the chances of it being permanent are incredibly low in my opinion. All you have to do is look around and just see what people do and see the results that they get. It’s literally all you have to do to have the evidence that you need.

So Weight Loss for Doctors Only really is different because we are addressing that part of it, and getting it so that we can keep our weight off ongoing because we know how to manage our minds. Not even just today with the way life is now, but as new challenges and life changes come into your life as they do, which is normal, you know how to handle that as well so you don’t end up losing weight when life is really pretty good, and then there’s a new challenge and you’re right back face first into the ice cream, or the wine bottle, or the margarita or whatever it is.

All right. So there we go. And if you are interested in understanding How Losing Weight is Different For Doctors and What To Do About It, I really want to strongly encourage you to come and join me this Thursday, December 9th and 8:30 PM Eastern, 5:30 PM Pacific so you can really understand why as a doctor things really are a bit different. Now, the good news is, I’ve been doing this for five years and I have never met a doctor that we couldn’t figure out a plan that would work with their life and schedule and all of that.

It’s just… And before that, I couldn’t find anybody who could help me. So I always feel like this is like my superpower. I’m like, “We can figure out something that will work for you.” I don’t care how crazy, irregular your schedule is. There’s something that we can figure out for sure. And we will figure it out. And that’s what we do in Weight Loss for Doctors Only.

So if you’d like more information about the program, make sure that you come and check out that free training. We’ll give you information about the program as well. And the way to register is katrinaubellmd.com/different. All right, my friend, can’t wait to see you in a couple of days. And come and join me live if you can. So fun. Love it. Have a great rest of your day. Have a good one. And I’ll talk to you soon. Bye-bye. Ready to start making progress on your weight loss goals? For lots of free help, go to Katrinaubellmd.com and click on Free Resources.



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