not lose weight to get healthy

Being overweight is a sign of metabolic imbalance, just like any other health complaint, such as dry skin, allergies, chronic fatigue, etc. We have observed that when the body chemistry normalizes, weight tends to seek its natural, normal, genetically-programmed level.

Therefore, we recommend that you seek to balance your body chemistry, improve your metabolic efficiency and build good health, rather than attempt to force your body to lose weight. Statistics show that in over 90% of such weight loss cases, excess weight will just come back, along with even more pounds than you lost in the first place, as long as the underlying cause is still there.

All the scientific evidence states that diets do not work in the long-term. This is not staggering new evidence. Over 60 years ago Ancel Keys researched calorie restriction diets and found that when the diet ended not only did participants put back on the weight they had lost but, the majority of participants gained more weight than they were before.

More recently, Professor Traci Mann from the University of Minnesota conducted the most comprehensive diet study to date, studying over 100 clinical studies over the last 30 years. She found that the average weight loss over a two to five year period was under 1kg – yes all that effort for just 1kg! She also found that nearly two thirds of dieters put on more weight than when they started the diet.

Weight Watchers own published research, when independently interpreted, states that they have only a 16% success rate over two years and this is with their most committed clients.

It is pretty clear that diets do not work for weight loss but in spite of this:
– 27 million people were on a diet last year in the UK

– The diet industry is a multi-billion pound industry, Weight Watchers UK alone turned over £130 million in 2011
Why don’t diets work?

Evolutionary biology
Every diet works in the short term but after two years the weight will be back on and more. Professor Jules Hirsch research has found that, even for overweight people, the body ‘panics’ if there is weight loss, thinking it is starving and ‘doing every thing in its power to put the weight back on’.

Biochemical individuality
Dr Roger Williams, world renowned biochemist, identified over 60 years ago that biochemical individuality, the differences in anatomy and metabolism from person to person, influences our health. This means that any food or nutrient can have a virtually opposite biochemical influences on different people. For optimal weight we each have unique nutritional needs.

So, why do we diet?

It appears that the initial euphoric hit when you lose weight has addictive qualities. Endorphins are released giving you a ‘high’, a sense of euphoria and a control over your body, which becomes obsessive.

Are you addicted to dieting?
‘Behavioural addiction consists of a compulsion to repeatedly engage in an action until it causes negative consequences to the person’s physical, mental, social, and/or financial well-being. Behaviour persisting in spite of these consequences can be taken as a sign of addiction.’

Because of the euphoria of weight loss people tell all their friends. Much like a gambler telling you of their wins but never of their losses.

Millions of pounds are spent on marketing saying that diets work. This often includes mis-leading if not, untruthful, celebrity endorsements. Ironically, the fact that the diets do not work is what make them so good for business because ‘the best business is repeat business’.

The diet industry relies on the shame the overweight already feel about themselves so that when the dieter is not able to stick to the diet they blame themselves rather than the diet.

Short-term brain
Our brains have difficulty assessing long-term outcomes, for example, early civilisations did not correlate the act of conception with childbirth, with 9 months being too long a time to put the two together. The same is now being seen with diets. The initial weight loss is blinkering us to the fact that we are actually fatter two years later.

So, exercise instead?

Unfortunately, it is not that simple. Evidence shows that conventional exercise is a very inefficient way of losing weight. The amount of exercise you need to do to burn calories puts most normal people out of the equation. Also, most people exercise at the wrong intensity and the wrong type of exercise for their needs.

So, how do we lose weight?

Ignore calories, they are irrelevant and misleading for weight loss.

You need to focus on holistic health to lose weight and not try to force the body to lose weight to get healthy. Furthermore a focus on health will give you increased energy, vitality, disease prevention, vibrant skin, happiness, wellbeing etc. as well as weight loss.

Holistic or integrated health is important because the body is a system of systems. This means that by addressing one area of concern you will receive benefits in other areas. By addressing as many areas as possible, which is what we do at Take Shape, you get the best possible results.

At Take Shape we focus on five ‘integrated’ areas for your weight loss success:

Correct type and intensity of movement in line with your evolutionary biology, your current stress load & your desired results.

Rest & Repair
Personalised in line with your circadian rhythms, your current stress load & your desired results.

Personalised in line with your biochemical individuality.

Assessment of your current toxic load, how it is affecting your stores of body fat & how to reduce toxic load.

Mental strategies to help you understand your core values to enable you to plan a realistic and attainable strategy.


We look at being overweight not as the problem, but as a symptom of an underlying metabolic imbalance and inefficiency. Forcing the body to lose weight without correcting the underlying cause is similar to taking an antihistamine to stop sneezing during hay fever season. Sneezing is not the problem, but is an expression of the problem. When antihistamines are stopped, the sneezing resumes because the cause was not addressed by the antihistamine.

Similarly, when the forced weight loss regimen is discontinued, excess weight returns, and often with the unhappy new quality of being increasingly difficult to drop with each successive attempt.