Obesity is not a math problem

The other day, a young personal trainer told me that the answer to the obesity crisis is merely a matter of scheduling and a little math.

Give him a paying client and a look at that client’s food choices and calendar, and he’ll tell him what to eat and where there’s time to train.

Problem solved.

It seems that all one needs to do is eat the right amount of food and train appropriately to lose weight.



Calories in, calories out

Of course he’s right, eat the right amount of food and burn off the right amount of calories via exercise, and you will lose weight, but since when does the story end there?

How many times have YOU lost weight by eating less?

How many times have YOU lost weight by moving more?

In the discussion, the other trainers and nutrition coaches were discussing the various factors that play into the obesity ‘crisis,” such as food choices, food availability, health, attitude, metabolism, education, and more. This young man piped in to tell us we were all overthinking it.


“All they have to do is eat the right amount and workout,” he said.

Again, duh, but he’s answering a question that no one’s asking. The real question is why are they eating too much and moving too little, and what can we do to get them to change that?  …permanently.

Speaking only for myself, before I was 35 I’d lost hundreds and hundreds of pounds, and later gained them all back. I had all the time in the world on my schedule, but I chose to do other things instead of eating right and exercising (like going back to eating more food and playing more Dungeons & Dragons).

Why did I gain those pounds back each time? From a scientific perspective, the same math and scheduling problems work exactly the same to put the weight back on, of course, but the question is why did I stop eating right, eating the right amounts, and stop exercising? It’s different for everybody, in my case I was tired, hungry, and tired of being hungry. I lacked motivation and seeing no end in sight, I gave up and went back to old habits. …over and over again. …for 35 years.

There’s more to the obesity

problem than calories in, calories out,

even when the math works.

Tweet: There's more to the obesity problem than calories in/calories out, even when the math works http://ctt.ec/O72P5+ @rolanddenzel #jerf

Thanks, Coach!

12 years ago, when I was ready to give up again, my own coach, Andrew, talked me off a ledge. I’ll share my story with Andrew another time, just know that after months of successful dieting, I was tired, hungry, and ready to give up and jump off my dietary ledge. Andrew, my weight loss coach, took me by the virtual hand and led me back inside.

I’ll let you in on a little secret of the weight loss world; most trainers, dietitians, and nutritionists have to be coaches more than they get to be trainers, dietitians, and nutritionists.

Do you know that about 75% of our clients know exactly how to make healthy food choices? Most know exactly how much to eat to lose weight. ALL of them have successfully lost weight before. Many of them have lost weight many times before.

No, they came to us because the needed to be coached, just like I needed it, back in the day.


Have a great one!



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