What is holistic weight loss and what makes it so effective

Holistic weight loss is a confusing concept to many. To clear things up, it’s not holy weight loss. It’s not a Christian, or any other denominational, way to lose weight. There’s no praying to make me thinner or deliver me from the sinful temptations of bad food. It’s no guilt weight loss.


In fact, it’s so not religious that there are no moral judgments attached to food choices or habits.

It’s not a diet in the sense that it’s an attempt to eat vastly different to remove weight. Paleo, Optifast, Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem, Medifast, Atkins, Low Carb, Low fat, South Beach, to name a few are not holistic. They are the very definition of diets. They impose rigid rules, including forbidding eating certain foods or even food groups, on the lives of the people who follow them. Some people feel most comfortable with rigid rules, and indeed, are convinced they’re necessary to achieve results. The opposite is true.

If you learn to swim without removing a personal flotation device, or learn to ride a bike without removing the training wheels, you really haven’t learned anything at all. Although you’re floating along in the water or rolling down the street on a bike, you’re not actually swimming or riding because you haven’t actually mastered the skill. Remove the aid and you sink or fall.

A holistic weight loss takes more work to get started at the onset because it’s not a diet; it’s an education. You start by reviewing your current habits and food choices and then begin to learn to adjust them to achieve and eventually maintain your weight-related goals. Your best chance of lasting weight loss is with a holistic approach because it’s highly personal and it’s making positive changes. It’s making changes that do and feel good.

When your life is too busy already, you don’t need a diet that makes you cook two meals every night – 1 for you and 1 for everybody else.

Holistic weight loss takes your weight and health goals and assimilates them with your tastes, preferences, and the realities of your lifestyle. Your family life and responsibilities, your job, your social life, how you spend your leisure time, your physical condition, what you like to eat, and what you don’t like to eat are all important considerations.

A holistic weight loss plan works with your life rather than puts your life on temporary hold. It addresses the whole you.

“It’s characterized by comprehension of the parts of something as intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole.”

Group support isn’t essential with a holistic weight management plan, but it helps. The important element gained by surrounding yourself with like-minded people is the encouragement, confidence and insight you both get and give. It helps to reinforce your desire to get to goal in the way that complements your life.

To sum up holistic weight loss, it’s a way to organize your lifestyle and your eating and exercising habits to support your healthy weight.



Jackie Conn

About Jackie Conn

Jackie Conn is married and has four grown daughters and four grandchildren. She is a Weight Watchers success story. She's a weight loss expert with 25 years of experience guiding women and men to their weight-related goals. Her articles on weight management have been published in health, family and women's magazines. She has been a regular guest on Channel 5 WABI news, FOX network morning program Good Day Maine and 207 on WCSH.