We’re a society that is focused on quick, easy, and overnight solutions. We want a magic pill that makes everything better. There’s nothing wrong with that hope. However, it isn’t usually possible and when it is, it comes with serious and unwanted consequences.
The truth is that in most cases weight gain often happens over time. A pound here, a few pounds there. It adds up and eventually you’re at a point where you know, and maybe your doctor is telling you, it’s time to lose weight and get healthier.
Much of your weight gain over the years is probably due to two key things:
- Your body (By this, I mean that you have certain predispositions to weight gain and metabolism. For example, if you’re over 40 then your metabolism is slowing down. Your habits need to reflect this change or you’ll gain weight.)
It’s so important to lose weight slowly by systematically changing your habits and adopting new ones.
While many health and fitness experts promise you can lose weight quickly, losing it slowly is a much better strategy. Here’s a common scenario that you may be familiar with.
Jane wants to lose weight. She’s about fifty pounds overweight and is starting to notice the effects on her health. She reads about an amazing diet that helps you lose twenty pounds in two weeks. She thinks, “Great! That will get me almost half way there. Then I can follow up the diet and lose the rest. I’ll be down to my goal weight by the time summer rolls around.”
So Jane goes on this fad diet and she loses the twenty pounds that the diet promises. Of course in order to lose that weight she’s been essentially fasting for fourteen days drinking nothing but vegetable broth and hot sauce.
When the diet is over, Jane is so desperate for anything that doesn’t taste like vegetable broth, and who wouldn’t be? She goes out to dinner and eats her favorite foods. We’re talking about pizza, fried chicken and burgers. Within a week Jane has gained most of the weight back. She feels frustrated and defeated. She starts to believe that diets just don’t work.
Of course Jane is a positive person and tries to lose weight several more times during the year. Each time she tries a different fad diet, has moderate success and then gains the weight back. At this point Jane actually weighs more than when she started.
This is a very familiar story to many people, both men and women, who are struggling to lose weight. It becomes a vicious cycle of fad diets. You lose weight, and gain it back, lose it and gain it back again. The result is a body that is exhausted and a mind that is losing hope.
Stay tuned because in my next blog post, I will talk about what happens to your body when you lose weight quickly.