Follow this one weird trick for losing belly fat… Now be honest, when you see that little ad on the internet flashing at you, how tempted are you to click on it?
You’re probably in the minority of people if you have resisted the temptation, but for those of us who have clicked on it, we know that the miracle supplement, weird tea or whatever other weight loss cure being promoted by some dodgy company with bad science at its disposal just ain’t gonna cut it…
Use your common sense. If it did, the majority of people in the western world where the numbers of people who are overweight or obese stands at 2.1 billion people (nearly 30 percent of the world’s population) would all be taking it, waving a not so fond farewell to those unwanted pounds and obesity related conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and osteoarthritis.
When I tell the majority of people that I lost more than 30kgs (66 pounds) in just over a year, the first question I’m asked is one question no one should ask a successful dieter. It is the equivalent of that “one weird trick”: What pills did you take? Did you drink some strange tea that tasted vaguely of cat wee? Jaw-dropping.
It saddens me that so many of us still fall for that “one weird trick” promise. That “quick fix, easy way out” mentality whether it’s for weight loss, making money, building a business, or sustaining a loving relationship is ALWAYS detrimental in the long-term. In response to my Facebook post about my 30kg weight loss, one of my friends hit the nail right on the head.
“One thing I know, it’s all about consistency day in day out…in whatever one does and the results will flow in…”
Another commented: “A colleague of mine asked me this morning at work: ‘give me your secret to weight loss’ and I said it’s sports and watching what I eat. I could read disappointment in her face. Guess she wanted me to tell her about my wonder pill or green tea.”
I began my weight loss journey in September 2013, weighing in at 112kg (almost 247 pounds) and I was told by a specialist that my insides made me look like I was 68, twice my actual age of 34 at the time.
That horrifying fact hit me like a train and I decided that an undignified death by my own fork was no longer an option. I immediately embarked on becoming fitter and healthier. I was encouraged, inspired and assisted by the work of Zita Bernice Tiena who runs the blog inspiringhealthylifestyles (and also the Facebook group TakeYaShape), platforms which help African people work on what they eat and how they eat so that they can improve their health, lifestyles and weight.
Zita is a public health associate currently doing a PhD in Public Health Nutrition. She is passionate about helping people to live healthier and happier lives and she believes that it all begins in the kitchen. I also used ‘Bosun Tijani’s truppr.com platform, together with fitness videos and outdoor 5km runs. (In fact, I recently took on the challenge of my life by climbing to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro – not just to challenge my newly acquired fitness, but also to raise funds for children with special needs.)
The (not so sexy) secret of my successful weight loss is the slow and steady method, the method that is not nearly as successful as selling a diet book as the false promise of fast and immediate weight loss, even if that weight loss is completely unsustainable.
As my Facebook friend put it, “They ask about pills… they ask if I did surgery after losing 77 pounds… I say the only surgery I did was zip my mouth to food. It’s a journey and I still got lots of weight to lose”.
Don’t be fooled. Obesity has gone global. It is no longer just a ‘western’ thing. A landmark report by the Overseas Development Institute earlier this year showed that more than one-third of the world’s adults are overweight – and that almost two-thirds of the world’s overweight people are found in low and middle-income nations. The number of obese or overweight people in developing countries rose from 250 million to almost 1 billion in under three decades, and these rates are rising significantly faster than in rich nations. And you think a quick fix will fix all this?
How Did We Get Here? The African pot nutrition put it this way; ” We eat too much (of the wrong things) and exercise very little!”
Quick fixes are the fastest way to failure. A research study that looked at successful weight losers (people who lose significant amounts of weight and keep it off in the long-term) noted some key findings:
- Always adapt. The majority of successful weight loss maintainers have customized a way of living that works for them, using trial and error to find out what works best.
- Be mindful of every mouthful. Again the majority of people with successful weight loss maintenance are not following a branded diet – they’ve studied themselves and worked out what works for them and what doesn’t.
- Incorporate activity. Again, the majority of those successful weight maintainers did some form of activity every day – mostly walking.
My one weird trick for weight loss therefore is that “quick fixes are the quickest way to failure”. Sustainable, successful weight loss is a process not an event and it certainly isn’t something that a miracle supplement delivers all by itself.
Now go out there and take your weight loss journey one day at the time. Because the best time to plant a tree, is now.