Dec 062015 0 Responses

Why Weight Loss Products Work Sometimes

Weight loss products work…sometimes.

Not always. For every Facebook post boasting of great success there are hundreds of people who don’t post anything because they weigh the same, feel the same, and are disappointed that another attempt at life change didn’t work.

But sometimes products work. People who have tried to lose weight a thousand times find sudden success. The weight falls off, their energy increases, and a variety of other health issues change because of the weight loss.

Why does a product work for one person and not the other? Why does one product work when many others have not? (See: What Einstein Knows About Weight Loss)

Weight loss products work in unexpected ways.

It’s not the product. No matter what they claim, the product is not unique. As one doctor told me, “If a product could really produce lasting weight loss, a drug company would create it and I would prescribe it.” The key to health is not finding the right product, because no product produces the results we are looking for.

It’s the people. Weight loss products occasionally work because they create a community in which change occurs. The product is a gateway to people. It is the community, not the supplement which is doing the work.

Relationships are the most overlooked aspect of our physical health. It’s tricky because relationships and health often have a cause and effect connection with each other. It’s not one way. A person with unhealthy relationships can become depressed, then the depression can hinder other relationships.

However, when it comes to lasting weight loss, we regularly overlook the role our relationships play in our diet and exercise. When products work, they often work because they connect people in a way which creates meaningful change.

At minimum, a product gives the impression that you are joining a larger movement. Something–a before and after picture, testimonial, or friend’s encouragement–has convinced you to try the product. As you do so, you feel as though you are part of a larger movement.

At its best, a product brings you into an actual community for encouragement, endurance, and confidence that change is possible. While an individual may believe it is the product, it is actually the change of other habits which is causing the success. The product may be like a pair of shorts. Putting on the shorts might make it more likely for you to exercise, but the shorts aren’t the reason you got a workout.

Many–not all–of the success stories on social media are true. Peoples’ lives have drastically changed. But in most cases the individuals have confused causation and correlation. They have assumed the product is the cause of their change when actually it’s just correlated that they were taking it when the change took place. The real secret is not a specific product, but a community which leads to change. (See: What Facebook Gets Horribly Wrong)

If you want to change your body, change your community.

This doesn’t mean you have to leave your friends or spouse to lose weight. It does mean you have to create a supportive community to accomplish the goals you desire. Love your friends, but don’t let them influence your eating habits. Instead, create transformative relationships with others.

The average person could see unbelievable results with just two meaningful relationships–a nutritionist and a workout partner. If you can find someone to hold you accountable for what you eat and another person to hold you accountable to exercise, your potential is unlimited.

This is why most diets fail. A person does not take into account the need for a supportive community for success. They try to change their life with nothing more than personal willpower. While it might work for a day or a week or a month, it does not last long enough for meaningful change. While change is up to the individual, we can’t do it on our own. We need others.

Work out alone and you won’t work out for long.

Diet by yourself and soon the diet will be broken.

This is the brilliance of Crossfit, G-Fit, and other workout programs. It’s the genius of Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem, and other weight loss programs. They might make their money off their product, but their success is found in their communities. They know lasting change doesn’t happen in isolation. (See: Beware of the Crossfit Affair)

Consider the times in which you were in the best shape of your life. Chances are, you had a supportive community assisting you.

Consider the times in which you ate in the most healthy ways. Chances are, you weren’t lonely, depressed, or isolated.

In the same ways that others can have a negative influence on us, we can leverage others for our benefit.

Need to lose weight? You can order a product and it might work. But a more effective route would be to build meaningful relationships–either as friends or as with a paid professional–which can lead you toward the change you desire.

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