Why All Weight Loss Plans Work (with a few ifs, ands or buts)

Sometimes when I meet with a prospective client, I’m asked if I think a particular diet or weight loss plan works. And my answer is almost always a resounding yes!

Followed by a pause…and a few ifs, ands or buts.

Here’s why. When I first decided to become a wellness coach, I spent a lot of time researching various popular diets or ways of eating. In fact, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where I studied, included this as a core part of our curriculum. We studied more than 80 dietary theories in practice around the world. And what I can say without qualification, is that ANY diet or weight loss plan can help you lose weight.

You can choose The Zone or the South Beach Diet, Atkins or Pritkin, Perricone or Scarsdale. You can do Weight Watchers or Nutrisystem, Jenny Craig or Optifast, Ayurveda or Body for Life or P90X.  And you can always find testimonials from happy followers explaining how well a given program worked for them. But the truth is, there’s no real magic in any of them. In fact, the advice in one theory often directly contradicts the advice in another, yet they all can work.

But there’s an IF. They only work IF they motivate you to burn more calories than you consume.  That’s it. At the end of the day, it’s the one common denominator to weight loss.

AND, not all of these programs will help you lose weight in a healthful way. Some of them, in fact, could be downright destructive to your health. They may lead to weight loss, but not without unwanted side effects.

Finally, all of these diets have worked for some people, BUT they may not work for YOU. Why? Because you are a unique individual with a unique biological makeup and a unique lifestyle that requires a unique plan. If I believed there were a one-size-fits-all approach to eating, I wouldn’t be a coach. We wouldn’t need coaches, in fact,  because we’d have one perfect system which would work for everyone. We’d all recognize that and follow it, and weight loss goals would be a thing of the past.

It would be so much simpler if that were the case, but it’s just not reality. We’re far more complex as individuals than that, so discovering what works for you requires a highly personal journey…no ifs, ands or buts about it.

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