The Diet & Exercise Teeter-Totter vs Weight Loss With Alignment

As the author and founder of Happy Calories Don’t Count™, people often ask me what my program is about. And I love these questions. But I’m surprised by how rarely people ask me how Happy Calories Don’t Count is different. Happy Calories Don’t Count is different because it gets you off the teeter-totter.

Every weight-loss program available – including the more holistic psychological and spiritual approaches – eventually reduce back down to the diet and exercise “teeter-totter”. You know what I’m talking about. It’s the idea that your body’s shape and size is determined by some unique balance of diet and exercise.

On its most basic level, the teeter-totter concept is no more complicated than a balance sheet. There are experts out there who will say that creating and/or maintaining the body you desire is simply a matter of basic math. Eating fewer calories than you burn through exercise will help you lose weight – regardless of the “type” of calories they are. A nutrition professor at Kansas State University investigated this point and lost 27 pounds on a diet comprised of Twinkies and donuts[1].

Then there are those who will argue that they key to your success is to get the most hunger satiation and the most nutritional bang for your “caloric buck.” They also keep you on the diet and exercise teeter-totter, but they are more concerned about your “health” than simple weight-loss.

Speaking of health, if you happen to be consuming fewer calories than you are burning through exercise and you are not seeing the desired results, a “specialist” will want to take a look at you. They will want to check your thyroid. Or perhaps you have some type of food allergy or vitamin deficiency. They will assume that there must be a medical/nutritional reason that the teeter-totter concept is failing, and if they nit pick and manipulate your diet in just the “right” way you will finally see results.

Ok, what if your diet is good and you’re still not seeing results? Well then it’s time for the fitness expert to come in and evaluate your workouts, because obviously the problem must lie at the other end of that teeter-totter. Maybe you need to incorporate more fat-burning cardio. Or maybe the problem is that you don’t have enough lean muscle mass so you need to do more strength training. Maybe your body has reached a plateau and you need to “confuse” your metabolism with interval or circuit training. Never fear! Once that trainer creates the “right” workout for you, you will get the results and that teeter-totter concept is once again validated.

“Oh but this is so hard! I don’t have any will power or discipline,” you might think. Don’t worry – there are plenty of diet and/or exercise programs that offer group support and accountability. There are countless ways to create a cheerleading section for you as you work that teeter-totter. In fact, it’s a billion dollar industry.

But what if your problems are deeper than will power or discipline? What if you are eating to fill an emotional or spiritual void, or you are eating to stuff your anger or to punish yourself somehow? Psychological, emotional and spiritual healing is very important and I will not make light of these processes.  What I would like to point out, however, is that most – if not all – of the time, those of us who have sought out this type of healing to deal with weight-loss, do so in order to be able to deal with that teeter-totter painlessly and successfully. The idea is that if we can heal our issues, we will no longer use food as a coping mechanism and therefore, the weight will come off because the teeter-totter is falling into balance.

These holistic approaches to weight-loss claim to offer more than a teeter-totter – and many do. They try to teach you how to be happy and fulfilled on the teeter-totter.

Every weight-loss method ultimately keeps you on the diet and exercise teeter-totter – and no one questions it.

At Happy Calories Don’t Count, we get you off the teeter-totter entirely. We go and play a different game altogether. We play the game of alignment – a model that integrates the totality of who we are in a complete and harmonious way. We focus on connecting with and listening to our body’s wisdom. We create congruency within ourselves and integrate our thoughts, feelings, beliefs and actions in a consistent manner. Not only is this game more liberating, satisfying and fun, it also gets us the results we ultimately want.