This is the prime week for weight loss depression in the United States. Dead of winter, resolutions a thing of the past… reality sets in. Weight loss can feel hard. Goals can seem F…A…R… away.
Needless to day, a weight loss coach hears these things a lot. But, the failure or lack of original gusto for a weight loss resolution doesn’t have to be “hard” or “depressing.” It doesn’t even have to suck the life out of your energy.
It’s all a question of perspective.
What bothers most people about weight loss is that it doesn’t happen quickly enough. And, if we switch perspectives, that’s a fantastic fact.
Quick weight loss comes back. If your weight loss is slow, it’s much more likely to be permanent. I’ve been helping clients lose weight for over 10 years, and I’ve done it myself – I’ve lost almost 100 lbs. and next month will mark 13 years I’ve sustained that weight loss. I’ve been able to see what makes people successful:
1. There is only one way to eat. Food is fuel. Successful losers don’t eat one way to lose weight, then revert to cheating, binges, “slips” or “give-ins.” Catalyst Rule #1 for Permanent Weight Loss is: “Don’t do anything to lose weight you can’t do forever.”
2. Lose slowly. The human body doesn’t “go looking” to regain weight that is lost three pounds per month for women, or 5 pounds per month for men and anyone who is severely overweight. That’s the rate of fat burning possible in the human body. Anything lost over that amount is water, muscle, interstitial tissue, organ tissue… well, you really don’t want me to complete this list.
3. Focus on what you can do now. What you do now is the most important thing. It’s so easy to throw away now and say we’ll fix it tomorrow. But now determines tomorrow. Every 2.5 years, we get a whole new body. Every cell is replaced. And the health and resiliency of those cells is determined by what we eat and how we move today. Right now. Let go of tomorrow. Right now is more important. Never throw it away.
4. Stop worrying about the rate of weight loss. It makes no sense to worry about things we can’t control. The body is the only thing that can determine the pace at which weight is released. Trying to ignore the body got us fat. And some of us who have been dieting stringently may need years to reverse the metabolic rate again. The body may need to “chill” and get its bearings. It may need to trust we are not going to starve and deprive it again. The sooner we give the body understanding, the greater our ultimate reward.
So, when weight loss slows or stops, it’s not time to despair or quit. It’s time to get a new perspective – a long-term perspective that serves the ultimate goal.