Why 30-Day Weight Loss Challenges Fail

weight loss for women Oakville

Now that another summer is upon us, reflecting back, did you meet your weight loss goal? You know, the goal you set for New Year?

If you are shaking your head, you’re not the only one. Because you wouldn’t be reading this article, unless (a) you wanted/needed to lose weight, or (b) you are interested in weight loss for personal or professional reasons.

I am going to assume that you had a goal of losing weight, but life, stress, excuses, and a lack of motivation got in the way. And it likely happens year after year.

When January hit, you may have joined a 30-day free challenge. So why is it that this avenue doesn’t work?

Let’s break it down.

It Takes More than Time to Build Weight Loss Habits

2 weeks, 28 days, 30 days. Depending on the research you google, you may hear vastly different views of how long it takes for someone to make genuine changes with their weight. There’s just one problem: despite the research, it’s not all based on a timeline. Simply joining a 30-day challenge, whether it’s healthier eating or a specific exercise challenge, isn’t enough to create lasting weight changes. You must, instead:

Be motivated and invested to make a change. In order to reach a weight loss goal, it’s essential to be motivated and invested. Overall health and wellness challenges need to incorporate much more than a simple daily challenge to be truly effective. If you’re solely focused on meeting the challenge goal, you may have little motivation to maintain the long-term change.

Have the ability to reach the goals in the challenge. Suppose you join a 30-day free challenge that encourages every member to meet a goal of 10,000 steps per day. While that’s a great goal, not everyone is capable of easily reaching it. Some people may struggle to get 5,000 steps on an active day. Asking them to double their efforts may seem impossible.

Find strategies that fit into their schedule. Everyone has different work schedules and responsibilities. Not one weight loss challenge can ever fit every member’s schedule. If it doesn’t work for you, even if you participate in the challenge itself, you’ll be less likely to make lasting change.

Not Everyone Moves at the Same Rate

Many 30-day weight loss challenges are built on the theory that each day needs to add a little more to the challenge. Plank challenges, for example, may start with just 30 seconds, with the hope of building up to a full 5 minutes by the end of the month. While it’s a great challenge, there’s one key problem: not everyone will build strength at the same rate! Some people will find that they can easily meet the early goals in the challenge, motivating them to quickly hurry toward the bigger goals near the end. Others may struggle to meet those early goals and, as the challenge gets harder, they may quickly give up. While challenges are a great way to encourage members to start thinking about fitness goals, not every person will be suited to those challenges. If you want to lose weight, it’s important to look beyond the 30-day challenge to discover a more effective strategy: a wellness program that encourages healthy eating, regular activity, mindset work, support and of course a work/life balance.

Challenges Are Geared Toward Short-Term Results

Most 30-day weight-loss challenges are designed to last for, well, 30 days. That’s great for people who are looking for a little extra motivation to help them kick-start new fitness goals. 30 days is an attainable goal: you assume that you’ll be able to do anything for 30 days. It’s less effective, however, for people who are looking for long-term weight loss changes. Often, at the end of those 30 days, people simply give up and return to their previous habits- packing more pounds on than when they started.

Results Will Vary

“Get the six-pack you’ve always wanted in just 30 days!” “Lift your tush, tone your legs, and feel great about yourself!” “Accomplish more than you ever dreamed you could, with just 30 days of effort!” There’s just one problem: not everyone will get the same level of results from any type of weight loss challenge. Some people will quickly shed extra pounds and build plenty of muscle. Others will struggle to see those same results. Instead of taking a single 30-day round to see incredible toning, they may need two rounds, or three, or four. The truth is, results will vary throughout; and for those who aren’t able to reach their goals, the challenge may ultimately decrease motivation, rather than increase it.

Results Never Last

Even for those high achievers who do quickly get the results they want from a weight loss challenge, the results won’t last once the challenge is over. Sure, you’ve got the toned midsection you’ve always wanted; but once the motivation fades, you probably won’t continue those exercises, which means, in turn, that the results won’t last. 30-day challenges can give subpar results, especially if they target a specific part of the body that may ordinarily receive less attention. At the end of those 30 days, however, results may fall away just as quickly. To see real, lasting change, especially in overall body composition, it’s necessary to keep up with a fitness program, not just throw something together throughout a few days and hope for the best. A solid weight loss program, on the other hand, offers ongoing support to help the person make changes that will last for more than a few weeks, actually improving their overall health.

Many Challenges Are Based on Specific Sales-Worthy Items

Here’s the truth about many 30-day weight loss challenges: they’re based on the desire to sell something. The coach wants to sell a specific piece of workout equipment (i.e. booty band or waist trainer). That coach wants to encourage people to buy its specific supplements. Once people get those great results from their 30-day challenge, they’re more likely to use those items in the future! Unfortunately, if you’re investing in supplements, shakes, and specific diet foods, you’re putting out an expensive up-front investment for those short-term results. Instead, opt to invest in long-term results that will stick with you long after the challenge would have been over: a wellness program.

Failure Sparks Failure

“I couldn’t stick it out for 30 days. What makes you think I’ll ever be able to lose this weight and make real change?” Many 30-day weight loss challenges are designed to be hard. After all, it’s a short-term time investment. Unfortunately, failure can spark a spirit of failure, leading many people to believe that they won’t be able to make the changes that they need to make. As a result, they may struggle with the feeling that they won’t be able to accomplish future goals if they fail one challenge, and they may stop trying altogether.

Family Dynamics and Eating and Weight Problems

food issues and children

It’s no surprise that family dynamics can be a major contributor to eating and weight problems.

Obviously for a young child or teenager, how her parents regulate her food consumption and the eating behaviour they model will be the largest factors, other than genetics, affecting her relationship with food and her body. 

Parents who are “normal” eaters and have a healthy attitude toward weight will likely produce children who are comfortable in their bodies and around food. 

On the other hand, parent’s who are uptight around food, obsessed with calorie and fat gram counting, constantly dieting or monitoring their food intake, pass along to their children distorted, negative messages about the positive role food should play in life. 

The act of feeding is not the only behaviour that leaves an imprint on children’s attitudes toward food and weight, parents who are preoccupied with their own, their parents or their children’s weight are modelling a mindset that says there is not a range of acceptable weights, only one ideal number for each person, which implies that there is something wrong of a body does not achieve it.

People who grow up with parents who overtly or covertly express extreme dissatisfaction with their own or each other’s bodies pick up the attitude that bodies cannot be loved unconditionally, but must be whipped into acceptability. 

It is never too late to change your relationship with food and weight. You are not a lost cause. And if you think you can change your daughter’s mindset on food and the scale without changing yours… you are at risk for some upsetting times ahead. 

Change starts with you. The parent. Be the role model you wish you had. It might feel like one of your best achievements, seeing her grown-up, confident in her body. 

If you would like to start your food freedom journey, please reach out. 

Why Can’t I Stop Eating At Night?

why can't I stop eating at night?

Sound familiar?

You wake up in the morning, gun for the coffee pot, eat a healthy breakfast, and run the kids to school or jet to the office. Mornings have never been a problem for you. The routine is comforting, thoughts about food are faint, and your mind is focused on the overwhelming tasks set ahead. 

Hunger? What hunger. Daytime hunger ques don’t exist. Your brain is a happy camper, stimulated by conversations and important work projects. You’re lucky if you get a minute to go to the bathroom, let alone sit down and have a lunch break. Throughout the day, you get in another coffee (or two), a lunch (if lucky), and a few small snacks such as a piece of fruit, a protein bar, or a handful of stale nuts found in your drawer. 

The day is done before you know it, and you are on your way home. Then, the alarm bells go off. Your mind is screaming at you for food. By the time you get inside, you are in the kitchen finding a snack to eat, so you can start making dinner without food cravings taking over. Only, the thing is, without a thought, you end up eating an equivalent of half a plate of food while cooking dinner for yourself or your family. 

You sit down and eat your portioned dinner, only to feel hungry not even 30 minutes later. So the torment begins. Trying to resist, to no prevail, you end up snacking the rest of the evening. 

And then the cycle continues, day after day, week after week, year after year. And you wonder why you have put on 30lb+. 

I am here to tell you this is one of the most common themes in my practice. I work with intelligent, high-functioning women like yourself. Your brain is on “fire” all day, getting jolts of dopamine and serotonin from being stimulated with tasks and responsibilities. Unfortunately, when the work day ends, your brain doesn’t comprehend it. It still wants to be stimulated. And it knows from previous experiences… food will give it the buzz it’s after.

It’s not your fault though. Your brain has wired its chemicals in a way that seeks stimulation every waking minute you’re up. But it doesn’t have to be this way. You can teach your brain to relax and wind down at night. You can be at peace in the evening without constantly feeling like you need to gorge on food. 

We can re-fuel, re-wire, and re-build your brain to be a food ally instead of a food enemy in just three phases. The only thing you have to do is be willing to try something different! 

Are you ready? Send me a message with the subject It’s Time – and I will send you the 1-to-1 exclusive information package! 

Talk Soon,

Your Weight Loss Coach, Jill Bunny


Understanding her food addiction helped Rose lose 65lbs!

before and after

Understanding her food addiction helped Rose lose 65 pounds and keep it off

By the time I gave birth to my second son, both my husband and I had 50 extra pounds creep upon us. We exercised off and on, but for every 10 pounds we lost we would eventually gain 20.  I never really dieted, knowing that diets don’t work, but ate low-fat dairy, lean skinless chicken breast and turkey, non-fat dressings, diet drinks, etc. I started to exercise, five days a week, but within three months had gained ten more pounds. At the age of 38, I tipped the scales at about 210 pounds, and felt like something must be wrong with my metabolism. I was ready to give up and accept that this was my fate in life.

A breakthrough came when my sister came to visit me.  She was 30 pounds less since I saw her three months prior. She told me about Neuro-Slim. When I first saw she was so much thinner I thought she must be doing something extreme, like starving herself, but that couldn’t have been further from the truth.

Neuro-Slim opened my eyes to a new way of thinking about food and hunger. I understood why all the low-fat meats and grains fed my drive to overeat and why I was always fighting off a desire to consume more food a few hours after eating. I followed Jill’s advice to eat for nutrient density and fill the body with anti-inflammatory nutrients.

The first week I lost eleven pounds and wasn’t hungry anymore. It was a bit of an adjustment at first, but the results were so quick and amazing, that I was motivated to go on. I actually ate much more food than I had eaten before, and the more I ate, the more weight I lost. Looking back, I think my body was starved of nutrients.

When I learned about the concepts of food addiction and toxic brain hunger I realized that they described me. After my bagel and low-fat yogurt in the morning, I could not make it to lunch without a cup of coffee, and a little bit of chocolate as a pick-me-up to help deal with the mild headache or listlessness I felt. I realize now I was in a vicious cycle of shakes and feeling low unless I ate regularly and kept my blood sugar up.

Now my headaches are gone, I don’t feel hungry between meals, and rarely have food cravings, and when I do, it’s for leafy greens. It is so much more pleasurable to eat when you are really hungry, which now occurs much less frequently.

Eight months later, I was 65 pounds lighter. I am content eating pleasurably and healthfully and just feel so much better. I  have the energy to exercise again and enjoy it. Not only do I feel better, but my hair, skin and nails are in the best shape ever.

Greg, my husband, changed his diet too. At first, he was just eating this way to support me and thought it may help his cholesterol. Within four months he lost 40 pounds, his eyesight improved so his eyeglass prescription needed to be adjusted, and he no longer needed Lipitor to lower his cholesterol. My mom dropped 20 pounds and is no longer taking her cholesterol-lowering medication, hormone replacement or anti-depressants. My father also lost weight eating this way and no longer has his “spare tire” around his middle. Our kids have always been slim, but now see the importance of fueling the body with nutrients and understand the reasons we eat to live.


Best Plan of All Time

weight loss oakville

I had tried the Neuro-Slim Solution program in the past but only for one month before I suffered a loss in my family after she had a long-term stay in a care facility. I gave up on myself, and Jill said, take the time to grieve and come back when the time is right. I was grateful for her compassion and for seeing how losing weight isn’t always the number one priority.

Months went by, and I was scared to reach back out to Jill because I had put on 20lbs since we worked together. I had pretty much concluded that my only option was to have bariatric surgery. Then I remembered how much better I felt when working with Jill. I told myself I would give the program a second chance as the first time I got interrupted. Because of my family member being severely ill due to diet, I was concerned even more for myself and my other sister, of which both of us were traveling the same path as the sister we recently lost.

I asked her if she would do the diet with me and that I would pay the cost for her as it is a small price for the life of both of us.

She agreed, and she keeps me inspired, and I do the same for her. She has lost 24lbs, and I have lost 38lbs. We are doing great and have been on the program for twelve weeks so far. We both are so happy and grateful to Jill. This is not a diet. It is a lifestyle change, and we absolutely love the ease of this plan. You have thought of everything from what we can tell.

Healthy food, little to no cravings, in-depth conversations, and completing an exercise regime that doesn’t involve a gym! We are spending less money on food now that we have purchased some of the items we had not used in the past. We feel energetic, and there are plenty of things we enjoy now that our weight and food obsessions aren’t consuming our day-to-day thoughts.

Thank you, Jill, for your guidance, expertise, and programming. It’s true; you really care about our lives and support us in all facets of our lives!

We both thank you for probably saving our lives or at least giving us more time to have each other around for a lot longer.


Do I Have a Food Addiction?

The idea that a person can be addicted to food has recently gained increasing support. I have spent the latter part of my graduate studies learning about food addiction and wanted to spend some time sharing with you some very important information.

For some people, the same reward and pleasure centers of the brain that are triggered by addictive drugs like cocaine are also activated by food, especially highly palatable foods. Highly palatable foods are foods rich in sugar, fat and salt. 

Like addictive drugs, highly palatable foods trigger feel-good brain chemicals like dopamine. Once a person has experienced pleasure associated with increased dopamine from eating certain foods, they quickly feel the need to eat again.

The reward signals from highly palatable foods may override other signals of fullness and satisfaction. As a result, people keep eating, even when they’re not hungry.

Compulsive overeating is a type of behavioural addiction meaning that someone can become preoccupied with behaviour that triggers intense pleasure. People with food addictions lose control over their eating behaviour and find themselves spending excessive amounts of time involved with food and overeating, or anticipating the emotional effects of compulsive overeating.

The following may all be signs that you have developed a food addiction:

  • Unable to stop eating certain foods even when you are not hungry
  • Eating to the point of feeling physically unwell/nauseous
  • Finding that you will go to extreme lengths to obtain ‘junk food’ when this is not available
  • Eating so excessively that it causes you to neglect work, friends, family, and hobbies
  • Experiencing problems at work because of food and eating
  • Finding that you need to eat increasing amounts of food, and more frequently, in order to feel satisfied
  • Finding that you need to eat to reduce negative emotions e.g. to relieve anxiety and stress
  • Eating more quickly than other people
  • Being secretive or dishonest about your eating behaviours
  • Experiencing guilt after overeating
  • Feeling as though food controls your life
  • Feeling as though you are unable to stop overeating despite the negative consequences that this causes

Ask yourself, do you:

  • Do you think about food or your weight constantly?
  • Do you find yourself attempting one diet or food plan after another, with no lasting success?
  • Do you eat to escape from your feelings?
  • Do you eat in secret?
  • Have you ever hidden food to make sure you have “enough”?
  • Do you feel driven to exercise excessively to control your weight?
  • Do you obsessively calculate the calories you’ve burned against the calories you’ve eaten?
  • Do you frequently feel guilty or ashamed about what you’ve eaten?
  • Are you waiting for your life to begin “when you lose the weight”?

If you feel you have a food addiction and would like to resolve this problem, then read up if working together is the right fit!

How To Ditch The Yo-Yo Dieting For Good

Ditch The Yo-Yo Diet

Dieting again? Losing the same weight you’ve already lost before? That’s Yo-Yo Dieting. Been there, done that, too many times over – say the women that come into my practice.

Why Diets Don’t Work

We do what we do based upon the thoughts we think and the emotions we feel. Diets focus only on eating behaviour when the underlying thoughts and emotions are what really make or break success.

I cringe using the word “diet” because it usually represents a very temporary behaviour. We temporarily change eating behaviour until we either reach or abandon a goal.

But Yo-Yo Dieting runs deeper than just the behaviour. With repeated weight fluctuation over the years (and keeping several sizes of clothes in your closet to accommodate this), you set yourself up for perpetual dissatisfaction with yourself.

Diets don’t work because they focus on the behaviour instead of focusing on the root cause of the behaviour: your thoughts and emotions.

Your weight is always driven by what you think, believe and feel.

In working through my own history with fluctuating weight, I’ve developed passion and expertise in counselling women who want to get to the root of old patterns with weight/food, and stop sabotaging themselves.

I help women not only achieve and sustain their goal weight but to feel better about themselves AT ANY WEIGHT. Diets don’t work when you can only be happy if you achieve a certain weight.

Most Common Causes of Yo-Yo Dieting

Body image

Body image is what you think, believe and feel about yourself and your body. Yo-Yo Dieters often think: “If only I lose these __lbs, then I’ll be happy.”

This kind of thinking sets up conditions for self-satisfaction or self-love (i.e. happiness). You need to eliminate the conditions. We all need unconditional self-love.

Love yourself first and the weight will drop off easily and stay off. Why? Your eating behaviour will come from healthy, happy thoughts and feelings, leading to EASY healthy, happy eating behaviours! You gain power and the food loses the power it previously had over you.

According to a recent study, women who had counselling to improve their body image lost a higher percentage of weight than those who did not see a counsellor.

Yo-Yo Dieters often tell me, “But I love food, that’s the problem.” Believe it or not, it is possible to love food AND maintain your ideal healthy weight. So if that’s not happening, it’s a sign that there’s another problem. Usually, it’s a sign that underlying thoughts, beliefs and feelings (about self and about food) need to be changed.

Imagine loving yourself fully and without judgment or regret no matter what the scale says. This is hard for many of us.

Put conditions on loving yourself and your weight will be a Yo-Yo over time. When you come to love yourself as you are now, the food and the weight lose their emotional attachment. What you eat and what you weigh become choices driven by healthy, happy thoughts and feelings.

Comfort eating

Yo-Yo Dieting is associated with emotional eating, or comfort eating. This happens when you’re not eating for hunger, or to fulfill physical needs, but to FEEL better. Ask yourself why you need to feel comforted by food?

I’ve heard countless stories of women reaching their goal weight and then gaining it back when they realize (mostly subconsciously) that life isn’t suddenly perfect, and they aren’t suddenly as happy as they thought they would be. This feels bad. Feeling bad and thinking bad go hand-in-hand, and this is a setup for self-sabotaging eating behaviour.

The vicious cycle: bad thinking and feeling lead to “bad eating,” self-sabotaging eating, then feeling bad about what you weigh or how you look (which feels bad), then eating because you subconsciously think food will get rid of that bad feeling, then feeling guilty or bad about what you ate, leading to more feeling bad about yourself and thinking you SHOULD be able to just get this under control but you can’t, maybe there’s something wrong with you, and on and on…

Comfort eating often comes into play because most of us were never taught healthy coping skills for managing stressful/upsetting emotions.

The Cure for Yo-Yo Dieting

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Neuroscience is designed for this. CBT is a particular form of counselling that targets unhelpful thoughts. You learn to take control of negative body image and emotional eating by gaining understanding and control of your thoughts, beliefs, feelings, and the behaviours that follow.

I’ve found CBT is incredibly effective for my clients, in combination with holistic solutions to managing difficult emotions and stressful situations. It has worked so well, that I even created CBT Meets Fitness level one coaching certification for health and fitness professionals to gain CBT skills to use with their clients.

“I can’t believe how easy it is now to lose the weight!”

It was a joy to hear one of my clients say this the other day. She knows it’s because she now has her thoughts and feelings (about herself and about food) under control. She’s in charge now.

Ready to take your first step to gain control over Yo-Yo Dieting traps? Register for the Neuro-Slim Masterclass!


Guarantee Success With This One Thing…

neuro-slim solution with Jill Bunny

Weekend Neuro-Slim Wake-Up

This weekend, I wanted to bring to light a statement that I heard while enjoying one of my 5am podcast walks.

The statement said, “SUCCESS is guaranteed when you take the RIGHT action.”

Take a listen, as I reflect personally on this statement, and how I think it could be of relevance to helping you lose weight, for good!

P.S. if you would like some more info on how to join the Neuro-Slim Elite coaching program, here is how:

  1. Watch the Neuro-Slim Webinar 
  2. If you have already watched the webinar, then click on that secret link you have access to in your email to book your free Neuro-Slim audit!
  3. Join the Neuro-Slim private FB group

Create a Weight Loss Mindset That Wins!

To lose weight, yes we have to change what we eat. But if we want to make weight loss a permanent change, we also have to understand why we eat.

In this episode we will dive into:

  • How thoughts cause our feelings
  • Why avoiding negative feelings causes a desire to eat
  • How the “child” brain affects the “adult” brain
  • How to begin changing your weight loss story

To join the Neuro-Slim Solution exclusive coaching program, click here! Watch the video to see if you qualify!


Find Your Strong Podcast Interview: Mind Over Mood With Jill Bunny

Episode Summary:
Jenny and Jill’s candid, open conversation uncovers the world of fitness competitions that most dare not talk about. They also discuss why the mind is the key ingredient missing in most health and fitness transformations.

Through the many “aha moments’ leading up to Jill’s path of success and helping so many women do the same, she discovered how CBT can help transform women’s lives – both personally and professionally!

For more information on The Neuro-Slim Solution exclusive coaching program visit: www.neuroslim.caFor more information on how to join an upcoming photoshoot retreat visit: www.reframeyourbiz.com