The No. 1 Secret to Losing Weight and Keeping it Off

Recapping Week 2 of Kathie J. and Larry’s weight loss journey

With Holly Wyatt, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine at the CU Anschutz Health and Wellness Center

The No. 1 Secret to Losing Weight and Keeping it OffPhoto of Larry and Kathie J in the recording booth at Jammin 101.5 discussing their weight loss program

Larry and Kathie J. are killing it in Week 2! They’re still focused on the diet because we need those fat burners turned all the way up for just a little bit longer. When Dr. Jim Hill and I designed the State of Slim, we took every food out of Phase I that has ever posed a problem to any of our clients, so that it could work for virtually anyone. And it is! The pounds are quickly coming off for Larry and Kathie J.

During this time of more restricted eating — which is hard, but only lasts for two weeks — they’re becoming experts in the rules of the diet and they are figuring out how to stay on plan. Larry has been really motivated in meal prep, which is critical, and Kathie J. quickly figured out that if you don’t have State of Slim-friendly foods with you outside the home, you’ll go off course.

All of this is setting them up to be successful at the end of the diet. But there’s something else that goes hand-in-hand with this work. While it is super important to have an evidence-based diet and fitness plan, they are not enough.

You Have to Know Your Why

To make weight loss last, you have to find the very personal reason you’re doing this. This is your “why,” or your motivation.

I like to think of motivation as a fire. Sometimes, a fire burns hot and spreads really fast, and other times, a fire simmers, emanating a steady, low heat. With State of Slim, we get that fire burning real hot in Phase I, and then we spend Phase II and III stoking that slower, steadier fire. In all phases, motivation is key.

To keep your fire or your motivation going, we think about external and internal “whys.”

The Quick Burn

You’re probably familiar with the external whys, and there are a million of them. Larry and Kathie J.’s external motivators might be them coming to see me once a week, having to weigh in, being willing to share this with you, and getting vulnerable. They’re staying on plan because other people are keeping them accountable.

I like to think of external motivators like gasoline: if you pour gasoline on a fire, it makes the fire big and bright and hot. But it doesn’t last very long. Similarly, external motivators get us going and give us a lot of energy, but they fade over time because they’re about things outside of ourselves.

Peeling the Onion

That’s where the internal motivation comes in. Your internal motivation is like the coals of the fire: they burn slow and steady, way below the fuel, and they last forever — sometimes even through the rain! Your internal motivation takes over when the excitement of your external motivations burns out.

How do we find our internal motivations? We peel the onion, pulling back the layers to find those deep emotions that are part of who we are. Get emotional. Go into that private place and ask yourself, “Why do I really want this?” It’s the way you want to feel, be and live.

Here are a couple hints: usually it’s not the first thing that comes to mind, and if thinking about your motivation brings tears to your eyes, that’s probably it. It’s something that’s truly important to you.

It’s not easy to figure out your why. But I promise you, without it, your chances of being successful are small. When it comes to holding onto that weight loss 16 weeks from now, six months from now, or six years from now, you’ve got to put just as much effort into the “why” of weight loss as the “what” of weight loss.

Your Takeaway: No matter your life goal, whether it’s weight loss or otherwise, you’ve got to have a good plan and you must create that bed of coals to keep your fire burning for the long-term. If you can’t get there, if you really don’t have an internal why, you probably need to change your goals.

Watch Dr Holly’s recap here:

Follow and support Larry and Kathie J.

Learn more about the State of Slim at the CU Anschutz Health and Wellness Center