Weight loss takes time. I’m often asked to define the best loss rate. My answer is: “The best rate is what your body and mind will allow. It will take as long as it takes YOU.”
There are natural restrictions on what your body will release in terms of weight. If you are careful to burn fat and nothing else (optimal because the body fights back when other elements of the body are threatened), you will release as much as your body can process. The process of burning fat is quite complicated, and doesn’t happen as efficiently as burning some butter on your stove – misunderstanding this is a big reason most people never achieve permanent weight loss.
Did you know that, if you could burn one pound of fat in a day (and you can’t), it would take
10 days for the body to process that fat, cleanse itself of the waste products produced, and actually lose that pound? This is one of the many reasons the scale is pretty useless as a measuring tool and why I had to learn to look beyond it when I was losing my 90+ pounds.
If you have a lowered metabolism due to yo-yo weight patterns, age, hormonal fluctuations or repetitive dieting, your body might release fat very slowly at first. Permanent weight loss occurs when we respect what the body will release now and continue to follow its lead until you are living in a comfortable body.
Those are Physical Sticking Points. There are Mental Sticking Points too. Our minds start procrastinating, sabotaging, confusing, obstructing, pretending, blaming and rewriting.
Procrastinating: “I’ve got a lot going on right now. As soon as [fill in excuse] is over, I’ll get moving again.”
Sabotaging: “When I was losing weight pretty quickly, it was easy. Now, it’s going slower and it’s just too hard.”
Confusing: “This [fill in excuse] is more important right now. It’ll actually help me anyway, once I get this matter settled.”
Obstructing: “I can’t possibly pay attention to my exercise plan with all this going on in my life. It can wait. It won’t be long before I’m back on track.”
Pretending: “I feel a little different but I’m sure I haven’t regained. I’ll wait to weigh in until Monday because it’s easier on Mondays.”
Blaming: “My mother always makes my favorite meal when I visit. Once I’m derailed, it takes forever to get back on track!”
Rewriting: “I don’t understand. I worked out every day last week! Didn’t I? Sure I did.”
Most of us get very frustrated, even angry, at our bodies when they have reached their limits and won’t release more weight on command.
But the mental frustration that follows is more dangerous, because it clouds and confuses the issue. Mental grinding is debilitating because it costs so much energy and depletes morale.
In order to be successful long-term, it’s vitally important to get in touch with what works and doesn’t work for you. If fighting for control, striving for power over the body, and producing extreme stress is helpful, go for it. But realizing you’re in a no-win situation is actually a good thing. That’s where it’s possible to discover what does work.
Think from a long-term perspective. Whatever your methods now, they will have to be maintained at an even higher intensity when you are sustaining weight loss.
If you want to maintain mental grind while you’re losing weight, you’ll have to up the ante and struggle harder later.
Cultivating patience now, then being MORE patient later? Well, that’s not so hard.
Bottom Line: Permanent weight loss requires a different approach.
Bonus: It’s easier.
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