How Weight Loss Really Works

Tomorrow I talk to the middle school girls about weight, body image and eating disorders. And it wasn’t until 2 days ago at 3 am the talk finally came to me. I kept asking myself, how do I best influence these girls at such an important age? How do I teach them to stop worrying about their bodies and being thin? And how do I teach them how weight loss really works?

As the answers filled my head at the wee hours of the morning I realized that trying to explain weight loss to kids forced me to simplify my teachings tremendously. And this is obviously beneficial to more than just them.

So here we go… how does weight loss really work?

Well I have to start by saying how weight loss doesn’t work. Currently the method to lose weight is to eat less and move more. At this time, this strategy is effective for long term results about 1-2% of the time. It’s safe to say there must be a better way.

So if weight loss doesn’t happen as a result of eating less and moving more, how does it work long term? It comes down to three major things:



Weight loss happens when you have a healthy relationship with food, exercise and your body. So let’s talk about each one.

In order to have a healthy relationship with food you must understand that the body is responsible for digesting and metabolizing food. It also is responsible for storing and burning fat. And how it chooses what to do with the food is not based on the amount you eat. It’s based on how you interact with food. Your body can burn as much fat as it wants to and is fully capable of releasing weight.

Your body heals wounds, and mends broken bones. Trust me, it can handle weight loss. When you allow food to just be food by removing all the beliefs you have adopted around it, the body can do it’s thing.

It is important to understand hunger and fullness so that you feel your best everyday. And so your work can begin there. And your relationship with food can transform.

Try the Mindful Eating Challenge to help you with that!

Transforming your relationship with exercise is all about understanding that all movement counts. It doesn’t have to be a certain intensity, extremely painful or specifically designed for the gym. It literally all counts.

It’s most effective when it’s fun, or silly. When it’s full of passion. Or when it’s done purely out of self care and self love.

It is not the thing you do because you eat. It is not the thing you do because you’re fat and need to be punished. And it is not the thing you do so you can check a box off your list for the day.

It’s something you do because you’re alive, you can and your body loves it.

Cultivating a healthy relationship with the body is where I like to spend most of my time. This is where you acknowledge the truth behind your body image. Is it healthy? Are you kind and loving towards yourself and your body?

Have you been in a war with the body for days, months or years?

Are you afraid to trust the body? Do you feel the body has punished you?

In order to lose weight for good you must end the war with the body. You don’t have to love your body today, you just have to stop fighting with it.

And that’s it! That’s how you lose weight so that it actually lasts a lifetime.

About The Author

Michelle Hastie

Michelle Hastie Thompson is a recovered binge eater who turned her binge eating around and even got featured in Shape Magazine helping a woman lose weight in “My Weight Loss Diaries". She helps women end the battle of binge and overeating, fall in love with movement, and finally lose the weight permanently. A veteran weight loss coach for almost ten years, she is a Ph.D. student in Health Psychology and has three published books, the most recent titled, "Have Your Cake and Be Happy Too: A Joyful Approach to Weight Loss”.