When emotion is high, intelligence is low.
This is a topic that I cover in depth with my clients, so I imagine it will remain a fairly constant theme in these columns to touch on, but here is a fairly simplistic example that I use quite a lot.
You want to get a promotion at work, what is the formula?
You turn up on time every day, you hit all your deadlines, you study and carry out extra work where you can. Essentially you put in a level of effort above and beyond what is required to merely stay where you are.
Now, let’s flip this to weight loss, and if you have been following me for any length of time you will know I shudder every time I have to write that phrase – we are after fat loss, not weight loss – but more on that in coming weeks.
There is a variety of rubbish out there but I’m just going to hone in on one type for the sake of my story.
So, the same intelligent person who realises that hard work and study is what is required to achieve the goal of a promotion at work, then stops in a high street store and purchases a ‘skinny coffee’ or ‘detox tea’ to achieve the goal of weight loss.
What has happened here is that they have forgotten the simple premise that they have recently utilised of working hard to get a result, and instead put their trust in a shiny new product that promises that it can provide the results without the work.
How logical is that?
Not very, and I imagine a lot of people reading this will have tried a similar product in the past.
But….. before you want to lynch me, let me sympathise. I get it!
I completely understand why people fall for this stuff, and despite what I used to believe, it has very little to do with their intelligence.
Marketing speaks to peoples’ emotions, not their intelligence
It is because it is marketed to speak to peoples’ emotions, not their intelligence.
These companies, that are essentially selling snake oil, have invested significant funds in marketing research to find the exact way to promote their product that cries out to the emotional vulnerability of the customer.
It speaks to our levels of confidence, self-esteem, attractiveness, etc. And not only do they get customers to believe that a hot drink – in this instance – will improve all these feelings, they also get them to associate success with weight loss, which in this case is worryingly dangerous.
The dangers of these detox coffees and teas are significant as essentially they contain laxative compounds that will put the user’s health at significant risk, just so these companies can make a few pounds – or more than a few.
And they are right, you will lose weight because you will be on the toilet losing the water and electrolytes that are required for your body to run right.
However, when people are at the end of their tether with fat loss struggles they are more likely to make decisions based on emotion. And this is because they haven’t invested the time to understand exercise, nutrition or recovery, or invested in a coach to teach them. They are much more likely to resort to a shiny object that promises the world and ignore the fact that there is zero peer-reviewed evidence to back it up.
- Would you implement the same rationale to get promoted at work?
- Would you sit and wait for a promotion to fall in your lap?
- Would you complain incessantly about not getting promoted, despite not doing what is required?
- Would you scroll the net looking for magic tricks and products to bump you up the corporate ladder?
I doubt it.
So now back to weight loss products, let’s think of it this way. If I gave you a product that made your hair fall out and got you to focus on the scale weight would I be a genius for discovering an all-natural super remedy from the depths of the amazon that makes you lose weight?
No? Why not?
You are lighter on the scales, a full head of hair lighter, mission complete.
However, because you can see the damage it is doing to your body (that you are now bald) you will be less inclined to do it. The scary thing is, people are willingly damaging their bodies but because it is not clearly visible it seems to be worth the risk.
If you focus on weight loss this way you will be just as fat and wobbly even 1, 2 or 3kg lighter.
I lost a stone in a day and was in no better shape – I actually looked far worse.
If you focus on weight only, you won’t look good!
Focus on weight > Emotional > Unsustainable
Focus on body composition > Logical > Sustainable
This article is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians. The reader should regularly consult a physician in matters relating to his/her health and particularly with respect to any symptoms that may require diagnosis or medical attention.