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An Alternate Take: Weight Loss is a Skill

Weight loss is a skill that can be trained and developed and takes time to develop. This switch in mindset can be the foundation for permanent weight loss.

When most people start off on weight loss, they start thinking about how fast they need to do it. They try to find a fast-results diet plan or exercise routine to start in order to accomplish their goal. 

Especially if they haven’t had experience losing weight, this is like someone just learning how to ski getting to the top of a mountain, and thinking that the skis they chose are the most important factor in how fast they can go down the hill, and then deciding to go down as fast as possible. If beginner skiers did this, they’d crash and fail, and that’s why people who try crash diets often fail as well. 

Although there are certainly talented (or lucky) people out there who can jump in and lose weight just like that, the odds are low that people will succeed in weight loss using this “go as fast as possible” method. The odds are even lower that they will keep the weight off.

The skiing analogy goes even further. If a person keeps trying to go down the hill as fast as possible without gaining the prerequisite skills, they will keep crashing. Eventually, they will believe that it’s impossible to ski, giving up forever. This happens with weight loss as well. People who absolutely have the ability to lose weight give up, even though they would absolutely have it in them to succeed if given the right support and right coaching.

So how does one learn how to lose weight? Well, the same way as learning how to ski.

Start Slow, on the Bunny Hill

Not too many people in this world have lost 100 pounds. But almost everyone in this world has lost 0.1 pounds at least one day in their lives.

Realizing this, I decided that for my weight loss journey I would aim to lose 0.1 pounds a day. This was basically a 350 calorie deficit per day, or one less snack every day. I could do that! Just doing this alone, setting a slow goal, set me up on the path for success. I was able to see that I was making progress, and I didn’t have to uproot my entire lifestyle.

This is why when Luuze starts off, the recommendation is a weight loss rate that may feel too slow. If you start to succeed and start beating the goal, great! Change the goal. But start out on the bunny hill and go slow first to maximize your odds of success.

0.1 pounds a day for 1000 days is 100 pounds. And that’s what pretty much happened in my journey, give or take.

weight loss graph from luuze tracker
My weight loss journey was pretty linear, and slow.

It was slow but sure. And there was one sentence that made me realize that slow is fine: it took me 30 years to get obese. What’s 3 years to get thin, if I could stay thin for the rest of my life? Sometimes we get so caught up in the necessity to get quick results when what truly matters is permanent results.

Keep It Simple, Especially to Start

When we first start skiing, we don’t jump straight into the carves and the hop turns. Instead, we start with simple snowplough turns. It’s beneficial to do this with weight loss as well.

When I first started, I literally did not change my diet or do exercise. I lost weight largely by tracking my weight daily and being conscientious about my portion sizes. I lost about 40 pounds in this manner when my friend told me that I should do a weight training program. She wasn’t wrong that weight training can support weight loss and muscle gain and health. But I decided to keep losing weight in a simple manner.

Eventually, I did start an exercise routine, but I’m convinced that if I tried to add more weight-related activity to my plate too early, the risk of me burning out would have been high and I may have given up on my weight loss journey too early. Exercise is great, but exercise can actually make you gain weight.

The simpler you keep it, the faster you can discover if a weight loss method you choose is working or not working. It also reduces the odds that you will give up too early.

I designed Luuze to be simple as well: set yourself up with a goal. Weigh yourself in the morning. Reflect on the results with the virtual coach that asks you questions for reflection. No complicated diets or exercise routines, although you can supplement Luuze with exercise as well and accelerate progress.

Get Feedback (and Filter Out Bad Feedback), and Act on the Feedback

Most people who have learned how to ski had a coach that told them what they did well, what they did wrong, and how to adjust. Some people probably also had terrible coaches that gave the wrong advice.

People often use the bathroom scale as their coach. This terrible coach often gives us the wrong feedback and lies to us, telling us that we’ve gained weight even though we have done everything right. Many times, the only reason we gain weight one day is because of water weight.

However, a coach can be invaluable. They just have to be good and tell you the truth. One that does so in a positive manner often helps too. This is another reason why I created Luuze: Luuze does the math to average out the water weight spikes, and also has the virtual coaching component to speed up the feedback process. As the brain takes in feedback and reflects on it, it starts understanding when things have been doing well or when things need adjustment. This slow re-wiring of the brain supports permanent weight loss.

picture of weight loss trend and averaging
The blue line shows true progress, but scale weights (in green and red) imply that I lost two months of progress in a week. I listened to the blue line instead and re-adjusted within a week.

Weight Loss is a Skill That Gets Easier With Time

Finally, a skier becomes a pro if they keep practicing and working on it. Being conscientious about what you eat and how much you eat may feel burdensome to start. Because weight loss is a skill, we can get better at it. If we keep at it, it gets easier. And eventually, our Weight Management Feedback Loop becomes more resilient and things become a lot easier.

Luuze Supports You in Building the Skill of Weight Loss

As was mentioned above, Luuze doesn’t focus on exercise or diet. It instead focuses on building up your skills, such that you can lose weight permanently.

  • Luuze provides reasonable goals for you to track.
  • Luuze keeps it simple, with a focus on weigh-ins instead of complicated calorie counting, dietary rules, or exercise routines.
  • It filters out the lies of the scale and provides feedback in an honest yet positive manner.
  • It provides you with guiding questions that help you reflect and adjust as necessary, helping you build your skill.

Weight loss is a skill, and if you can develop this skill, the odds of you being able to lose weight and keep it off go up immensely. You can use Luuze to support you in doing this.

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