"Lose 10 lbs in 10 days!"
"30 lbs in a month!"
"Lose 2 sizes in 2 weeks!"
These catchy promises sell us! Fueled by feelings of disgust, frustration, and disappointment with ourselves, we channel our best energies and money into a 2 week, 10 day or 30 day program. And most of us can get the promised results if we have enough willpower to push through these intense and short challenges. And then?
Fast forward one year…research shows us that 95% of us will gain all of that back!* With all the food deprivation, hours in the gym and money spent on products/programs, we could have sat on the couch and had the same results!
These promises are unfinished sentences. Statistically, the phrase should say “Lose 10 pounds in 10 days and gain it all back;” or “lose 30 pounds in a month by this deprivation diet and ruin your metabolism!”
Let’s keep a level head. If we made 2 or 3 sustainable changes to our lifestyles (nutrition and exercise) and lost 1 pound per week, over the course of a year, we would be 52 pounds lighter without restriction, frustration and starvation! Even better, these small changes would become ingrained as habits so that you would actually be living and eating better.
My challenge to you is to readjust your mindset! Slow is sexy!
1. Respect your body! It took years, maybe a decade, for your body to accumulate excess fat and lose muscle. Isn’t it amazing that your body can reverse that in much less time?! The amount of time will be directly proportional to the amount of weight you’ve accumulated (it may take 6 months to lose 20 pounds, or 1 ½ years to lose 100 pounds). Your body is an amazing organism, with the ability to transform itself in 6 months to 1 ½ years! Give it the time that it needs to do so.
2. Enjoy the process. People hate “dieting!” To most people, it means restriction, hunger, temptation, willpower, and eating food you don’t enjoy. These negative feelings kick in when you try to lose weight as fast as possible. You can enjoy the process by focusing on the healthy foods you love that will help you lose weight! Focus on the good stuff you DO want instead of the unhelpful food or drinks you shouldn’t have. Give yourself time to allow your body and taste buds to enjoy that good stuff so that it becomes a natural desire and habit! That will NOT happen in 30 days! Give it time.
3. Adjust your expectations! You can build healthy habits, enjoy life with the occasional treat/alcohol/party/dessert and still look and feel better, wear smaller clothing, and weigh less at the end of the year! But it’s not going to happen on a fad diet, crash diet, cleanse diet, or any other fast weight loss promise! So get on the scale each week and celebrate the one pound or half pound loss! The biggest adjustment to be made is in your perception of success- your “buy-in” to a long term goal. Many people get disappointed or upset if the scale doesn’t move more than 1 pound per week, revealing their lack of long-term perspective. Fast weight loss is exciting, but short-lived and leaves you overweight, discouraged with yourself, and no better than you were when you started. Fast weight loss is exciting; but slow, sustainable weigh loss is SEXY!
*Research found here: https://www.livestrong.com/article/438395-the-percentage-of-people-who-regain-weight-after-rapid-weight-loss-risks/
Author: Coach Angela Myers