Lessons Learned From 12 Years of Dieting, Exercising & Managing Emotional Eating

fitness and weight loss

I was a fat kid gowning up. Around 18/19 I decided to do something about it. I started eating healthier and exercising. Over a year or so I lost 60 pounds of weight. However I couldn’t maintain it for long. I kept gaining and losing the same 10-20 pounds for a while. Eventually I became aware of my emotional eating. Once I learned to manage my emotions it became easier to keep the weight off.

I then started a small online business to help others deal with emotional eating. After 3-4 years of running the business I moved on to other business opportunities. However I was still interested in nutrition, fitness and the psychological aspects of weight loss. Over the last 12 years I’ve tried countless diets and exercise plans. I’ve read many books on psychology, human behavior and eating disorders. I’ve gone to several overeating support group meetings. I also learned a lot from former coaching clients.

Here are the lessons I’ve learned…

If you’re constantly losing weight and gaining it back you must seek help. No diet or exercise plan is going to help you long-term. You’re probably dealing with an emotional or a psychological issue. A free option is attending overeating support group meetings like OA. You’ll meet others with eating disorders and hear some recovery stories. Another option is seeing a therapist who specializes in eating disorders. This is more expensive but provides more personalized support.

Your diet/nutrition is more important than exercise. You must prioritize nutrition. It produces consistent results long-term. When making dietary changes, do it slowly. Take baby steps. Start eating a healthier breakfast. Then make your lunch healthier etc. I don’t think there is a single diet that works for everyone. I think it depends on the individual and their goals. For me personally the following diets have worked well: paleo dietprimal blueprint dietketogenic diet. I’m sure there are other good diets out there.

Fitness/exercise is the last thing you should focus on. It only make sense after you’ve optimized your nutrition. As far as fitness goes it’s important to start slowly. Take baby steps. Initially focus on creating the habit then you can worry about the type of activity. If you don’t regularly exercise start with a daily 10-15 minute walk. Once it becomes a habit then you can ramp it up. You can jog, run, bike or lift weights.

I wanted to keep this post brief. I wanted to focus on what you should be prioritizing. If you have any questions let me know in the comments.