The Secret Strategy Behind Weight Loss and Gain

DR JOHN DEMARTINI   -   Updated 8 months ago

Dr Demartini reveals a powerful reason why you may be gaining weight, finding it challenging to lose weight, or feel stuck in a cycle of losing weight only to gain it back.


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DR JOHN DEMARTINI - Updated 8 months ago

In my nearly five decades focused on human behavior, I have found that every decision an individual makes, whether consciously or unconsciously, is one they believe will give them the most advantage over disadvantage at any moment.

This has the potential to be a gamechanger when it comes to your perceptions about yourself and your journey to self-mastery:

So how does this affect weight loss?

If you claim to be struggling to lose weight, you just may unconsciously be perceiving there to be more advantages than disadvantages to keeping your weight on.

Consciously you may perceive it to be affecting your health, negatively affecting your self-esteem, or damaging your relationships. Despite this conscious awareness of the drawbacks, there are still (in your perception) more advantages than disadvantages to continue the behaviors that result in weight gain or the lack of weight loss.

Now this may be challenging for you to hear at first, especially if you’re in a position where you feel incapable of losing weight or are stuck in a seemingly endless cycle of losing weight only to regain it later.

You may also perceive that you are overweight due to factors outside of your control, including hormonal imbalances, or that you are the victim of circumstances that make it more challenging for you to lose weight.

I've been working with an individual claiming to be struggling with this issue for decades now and have yet to work with a client or have someone attend my signature seminar the Breakthrough Experience who hasn’t successfully uncovered not just one, but many unconscious benefits to keep their weight on or being overweight.

So if you are in a position where you would love to understand your current unconscious weight strategies then it will be fruitful to ask questions to bring your unconscious motives conscious.

A wonderful example is a lady who asked me to help her lose weight. She told me that she had tried every diet, plan, and technique over the years and had yet to find anything that lasted for longer than a few days or weeks.

So I asked her, “What benefit do you get out of eating and keep extra weight on?” There was a very long pause, which made me think this was likely the first time anyone had asked her that question.

She eventually replied that she couldn’t think of a single benefit and that she desperately needed help because she couldn’t control her eating.

I asked again, “Hold yourself accountable. What benefit are you getting out of eating and retaining your current extra weight?”

There was another long pause while she gave it more thought.

She finally replied that her whole family was big and that perhaps unconsciously she was afraid that if she wasn’t big, she wouldn’t fit in and feel like a member of the family.

I encouraged her to keep going. She then mentioned how her sister had always been bigger than her and pushed her around as a child, and that she had made a pact with herself that she would never again be smaller than her sister so she could defend herself.

I asked her to find another benefit, and she immediately became tearful as she related a life-changing event that had happened earlier in her life.

She had embarked on a fasting plan and had lost 45 pounds. For the first time in her life, men began paying attention to her and flirting with her. One evening, she met a guy who was attracted to her and she to him. She slept with him on that one night. She never saw him again, but later discovered she was pregnant and after much agonizing and deliberating, chose to have an abortion.

This was something completely contrary to her Catholic upbringing, and something she felt great guilt and shame about. As she said, a benefit to continuing to be overweight was that she was no longer attractive to men and was unconsciously protecting herself from going through a situation like that again.

We kept going, and she came up with yet another benefit. She worked in the television industry and was often on camera – but only from the waist up. Carrying more weight meant that her skin was smoother, as opposed to when she lost weight and her skin sagged and made her appear older.

We kept going, and eventually ended up with 75 benefits to her overeating and maintaining a heavier body weight. She stared at me with big eyes as the penny dropped. “So I don’t really have an intention to lose weight the way it's structured right now in my mind?”

“No, you don’t,” I replied. “That’s why you’re doing it. It's not some weakness. It's an unconscious motive that’s now conscious.”

As I said earlier, every decision you make, whether consciously or unconsciously, is one you believe will give you the most advantage over disadvantage at any moment.

Her behavior clearly showed that she unconsciously perceived more advantages than disadvantages when it came to overeating – or she wouldn’t do it. I just helped her uncover information she wasn’t conscious of.

I then went on to assist her in finding viable alternative ways of achieving the same benefits but not through eating and keeping weight on. And linking that to her higher values to change the trajectory of her behavior.

Another interesting case involved a lady who had initially been quite slender and attractive when I first met her. However, several months after starting her legal career following her graduation from law school, I noticed a significant weight gain when I saw her again. Not only had she put on quite a few pounds, but she had also cut her long hair and was now wearing glasses. This transformation was quite marked compared to the last time I had seen her.

After debating internally whether or not to say anything about it, I chose to speak up, and asked her what she perceived to be the reasons behind the significant change in her appearance. She mentioned that she was quite perplexed when it came to her weight gain. She said she had a stable marriage and a fulfilling career, and couldn’t understand the reasons why she had picked up so much weight.

After speaking for a while on a deeper level, our conversation gradually revealed that her weight gain was likely linked to her professional environment. The majority of her clients were men, and as word got out about her attractiveness, some wives perceived her as a threat and encouraged their husbands to switch lawyers. Her unconscious strategy seemed to revolve around maintaining a less threatening appearance to avoid losing more clients and to avoid being hit on by colleagues in her law firm.

Another woman that I had known for years caught my attention with her sudden weight gain. On meeting up with her one day, I noticed that she had picked up a significant amount of weight. She asked for my help in uncovering potential reasons as to why she was gaining weight, and we soon uncovered a significant unconscious benefit behind the weight gain.

She was in an unfulfilling marriage and in a vulnerable moment, embarked on an affair. A near discovery during one of their encounters shook her to her core. Fearful of losing her family, she abruptly ended the affair, gained weight, and adjusted her appearance in an unconscious effort to help prevent future infidelities.

Patterns like these are not uncommon, and are ones we often address in the Breakthrough Experience program. I recall a man who gained weight after an affair to deter further attention. Similarly, I've observed individuals gaining weight to avoid competing with a troubled sibling. People's motivations for gaining or losing weight are multifaceted and often deeply rooted.

In one particular case, a woman intentionally undermined her unfulfilling marriage by making herself unattractive to her spouse. Once the divorce was finalized, she rapidly shed weight once she was back on the market and wanted to meet someone new.

In some cases, psychological factors can impact your physical health. I once helped a woman who gained weight from an underactive thyroid. I know from my research into the mind-body connection that when you don’t speak up, it likely results in a thyroid imbalance.

This is a powerful example of how, what happens in the mind can create symptoms in the body that serve as valuable feedback to let you know that you are not being authentic.

In this case, this woman’s weight gain was feedback to help her become conscious of how she minimized herself in her marriage by staying silent in an effort to keep the peace.

If you have gained weight, if you perceive that you have been unable to lose weight, or are stuck in a cycle of gaining and losing, then it is wise to ask:

  • What’s my motive?
  • What unconscious benefits may unconsciously be driving my behavior?

When going through this process, it is wise to avoid stopping at just one, two or three motives. Look for a hundred motives and don't stop until you get them.

I often encourage people to look the closest at motives that are so charged that they result in a tear of awareness when you uncover them. It's these deep-seated realizations that often evoke tears of gratitude and lead to meaningful transformations.

I don’t necessarily go by what people say, but what their life demonstrates.

The majority of people have unconscious motives, which often results in their words and actions not aligning. If you look at what your life demonstrates, that is more likely to be a true reflection of what you unconsciously truly value more than what you perceive you should, ought to or must do.

Once you have uncovered the benefits and motives behind your weight, you can have more command over this area of your life than you may realize.

Contrary to any belief that you may have that you don’t have self-control or mastery over yourself or your actions, I am certain that you do.

The executive center otherwise known as your medial prefrontal cortex holds the power to govern and calm your more primitive and reactive amygdala in your subcortical brain. When your amygdala is online so to speak, instead of your executive center, you are far more likely to overeat and seek instant gratification.

When you live congruently with your highest value, you have the highest probability of bringing yourself into governance. As a result, the extremes of weight gain or loss tend to come back into governance.

When you're attempting to live outside your highest values, or in your lower values, you activate your amygdala and have the highest probability of volatility, weight gain extremes because you’re seeking instant gratification to balance your perceived lack of fulfillment, a pleasure to balance a perceived pain.

It’s one of the reasons I invite people like yourself to come to the Breakthrough Experience program, so I:

  • Help you identify your unique hierarchy of values;
  • Teach you quality questions to help you navigate behaviors and the unconscious motives or benefits behind them.  When those motives have been brought to light, you are then able to address them.

In the case of weight loss, this likely involves looking at how you can receive the same benefits you’ve just uncovered but without the overeating. It also involves identifying the drawbacks of your original eating path versus the new viable alternative ways you had just identified; linking your new behaviors to your highest values; and delinking your original behaviors.

These are all steps I teach and take you through during the Breakthrough Experience, steps that can transform your life when you know to take command of it. I also you how to dissolve emotional baggage you may be carrying, that may underlie, add to and compound your unconscious motives and resulting behavior.

There are only three things you have control over: your perceptions, decisions, and actions.

I firmly believe that transforming your perceptions is the key to lasting change. Your mind tends to attribute external causes to your behaviors, which serves to perpetuate the cycles of blame, playing the victim, and stagnation.

The Breakthrough Experience empowers you to shift these perceptions, thereby influencing your actions and decisions in a way that results in lasting change as you become more authentic and ready to embrace the magnificence of who you are.

To Sum Up

  • In my nearly five decades as a Human Behavior Expert, I have found that every decision an individual makes, whether consciously or unconsciously, is one they believe will give them the most advantage over disadvantage at any moment.
  • I don’t necessarily go by what people say, but what their life demonstrates.
  • If you have gained weight, have been unable to lose weight, or are stuck in a cycle of gaining and losing, then it is wise to ask: what’s my motive? What advantages or benefits are unconsciously driving my behavior?
  • Once you have uncovered the unconscious benefits and motives behind keeping your weight, you can have more command over this area of your life than you may realize.
  • There are only three functions you have control over: your perceptions, decisions, and actions. Gaining mastery over your mind through programs such as the Breakthrough Experience, can completely transform the power and trajectory of your life.
  • I would love you to join me at my next 2-day online Breakthrough Experience to embark on a journey of profound self-discovery so you can gain insight into any unconscious motives that shape your behaviors and decisions. This program provides you with actionable steps, transformative questions, and strategies to take command of your life.
  • Instead of letting any unconscious motives govern your life, I’ll teach you how to harness the power to consciously direct your physiology and psychology.
  • It is inspiring to realize what incredible capacity you possess to effect change and take control of your weight, and your life.



Are you ready for the NEXT STEP?

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You’ll come away with a 3-step action plan and the foundation to empower your life.


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