The Key to Long-Term Weight Loss? It may have very little to do with what you eat and how you exercise.

The key to long-term weight loss? It may have very little to do with what you eat and how you exercise.

Weight Loss – With 70% of Americans overweight and/or obese, it’s an absolute epidemic that is costing us millions upon millions of dollars every year from the diseases related to this lifestyle choice.

And it is a choice. According to many studies, including one from the University of Florida, only about 6% of people who are overweight or obese have any genetic link at all.

So what is the real problem here?

For 28 years, number one best-selling author, counselor and life coach David Essel has helped thousands of people to lose weight and keep it off through his unique weight-loss program that focuses on something much more important in his view than all the emphasis put on exercise and diet.

Here, in David’s words, is the most important component of long term weight loss.

“I remember in 1990, 28 years ago, working with my first individual who desired to lose over 50 pounds… And who had been up to over 100 pounds overweight for most of her life.

She had hired the best personal trainers, she had hired the best nutritionists, and they had outlined incredibly effective exercise and dietary programs that she would follow for a short period of time. But could never stick with it.

So she came to me because she had seen me on the covers of fitness magazines, had read multiple articles I had written on how to stay in shape regardless of how busy your schedule was, and was perplexed as to why she couldn’t keep the weight off even once she lost it.
As we worked together, and I examined her food intake and exercise sessions every day, I came to an early conclusion in my career: the real issue with self sabotage, which is what people who lose weight and gain it back are doing, is not necessarily with what’s going on the physical world but rather what’s going on in the subconscious mind.

And what do I mean by that? The conscious mind is the mind that says I want to lose 50 pounds this year. Or 200 pounds. The conscious mind is the mind of intent that shows up at the gym religiously, or maybe never, in our attempt to get into shape.

The conscious mind is also the mind that looks for the quick fix products, some type of herbal pill that guarantees you’re going to lose 30 pounds in 30 days. But the real key to uncovering the secret to long-term weight loss has to do with the other side of our mind, the subconscious mind.

The subconscious mind can be our greatest ally or greatest foe. In the world of weight loss issues, it’s the subconscious mind that is the saboteur.

Let me explain. The subconscious mind  has one function in life and that is to keep us exactly where we are today. It does not differentiate between habits that are good or habits that are not good for us. All it wants us to do is stay where we are. It’s called “the known.” And the subconscious mind will fight like hell in order to keep us in the same pattern we are today whether it’s healthy or not healthy.

So to the person that’s overweight that cannot bypass a fast food joint on the way home from work, that’s not the conscious mind. Remember what the conscious mind said? “I really am going to lose the weight once for all this time. I am going to lose 50 pounds and keep it off.“

If it was the conscious mind the internal dialogue would look like this, “I know that I want to lose 50 pounds, but I’m going to consciously sabotage myself, pull into this fast food joint, eat a bunch of crap foods so I look like shit, and then I’ll drive out.“

So obviously in 99% of the cases of people who want to lose weight  it’s not the conscious mind making decisions but rather the subconscious mind.

It’s the subconscious mind, remember subconscious equals underneath consciousness, that is sending these little habitual messages… “You deserve to go to this fast food joint, you worked really hard, when you get home the kids are going to be a mess, and you can’t stand your husband or wife.“

So the subconscious mind keeps sending these little messages that we deserve this reward of food, or maybe later in the evening when you’re exhausted and you’re going to go to bed and you look back at the day realize that you have not eaten dinner, so you deserve something special right now.
Have you recognized any of these messages in your own mind?
The three greatest tools the subconscious mind uses to sabotage weight-loss programs is justification, rationalization and denial. We will justify until the cows come home as to why it’s OK to not eat clean today. We will rationalize that today, instead of going to the gym, we’re going to go home and relax but tomorrow will do twice as many minutes on the treadmill. Or we will use denial, and look around and say “you know I’m not really that overweight compared to everyone else in this room, I’m just gonna relax and learn to accept my body as it is today.“
Do you see how tenacious the subconscious mind is? Once it has accepted a pattern of thought and or behavior, especially when it comes to dealing with stress like boredom, resentment, shame, guilt, anger, rage… I think you get the picture, it will fight like hell to keep us in the same patterns whether they are healthy or unhealthy for us.
On the flipside, once you train the subconscious mind to start using healthy coping skills instead of eating food, instead of making excuses of why today you can’t exercise, and you keep at these new coping skills long enough, the subconscious mind can be radically turned around so that you will lose the weight and keep it off for the rest of your life.
I remember number of years ago working with one of my clients Tracy who wanted to lose 80 pounds, and she really needed to lose 80 pounds. Her health is suffering, her self-confidence and self-esteem was at the bottom of the barrel, she was always tired, and she knew something had to change.
Within eight weeks of tapping in to all of the self sabotaging words of her subconscious mind, and writing on them on paper, she was blown away at how many messages a day she was telling herself that was knocking her off track of her weight loss goals.

As I tell all my clients, it’s going to take willpower yes, determination yes, and a recording of every emotion that you’re feeling throughout the day that leads to self sabotaging behavior in order to turn the subconscious around.

Within 10 week she had lost 30 pounds, within a year she had lost 80 pounds, that was 10 years ago and she has never regained 1 ounce.

Did she have to sacrifice her comfort zone in order to achieve this goal? Hell yes. The only time she could get to the gym was 10 PM every evening, and once she did that without missing a day for about 90 days it had sunk into her subconscious mind that there were no other options… That from 10 PM until 11 PM every evening she was going to be in the gym.

I asked her to start packing food for her trips in the car, because she was in the car about eight hours a day going from one job to another, picking up kids from school, the normal things that many moms have to do. So instead of the knee-jerk subconscious reaction of pulling into a fast food joint when she had a healthy food in the car she had no excuses.

90 days later? Fast food experiences were thing of her past.

Tracy is one of thousands of people that we have helped turn their life around in regards to losing weight and keeping it off, once they access the negative, and eventually the positive side of the subconscious mind. You can do the same thing. You need to make a decision today. The odds are you’ll never do it on your own, so get ready to invest more time, effort and money into your weight loss, to increase your self-esteem and confidence and decrease some of the major diseases known to man that are going to catch up with you down the road.“
David Essel is verified by psychology today as one of the top counselors and life coaches in the USA, and is also a verified relationship expert via marriage.com.Every week, David accepts new clients from around the world where he works with them one on one via phone and/or Skype. Go to the website below, under the contact us button, send us an email noting where you read this article and David’s office will set you up with a free 15 minute phone counseling session at www.davidessel.com