It’s 2019, a new year and the time when so many people make new year’s resolutions. But how likely are you to stick to those goals? Research shows that only 20% of people will continue to get to their resolutions. One of the most common resolutions is weight loss. Gym memberships increase and the gyms are sweaty and filled.
But by March, people wave the white flag. Why is that? People expect too much and don’t see quick results. If you gained 10-15 pounds, it doesn’t mean you will lose them in only a week. We make unrealistic goals for ourselves, and to be honest, change of our behavior doesn’t just happen overnight.
Let’s explore a realistic approach to weight loss; one that gives satisfying results and you can stick to it for longer than a few months.
Set REAL SHORT TERM goals. Expect 1-2 pounds per week weight loss. This is a healthy way to lose weight. Slow and steady wins the race. The slower you lose, the more likely you are to keep it off longer.
Calories in, calories out. Calorie counting is one of the best diets. This way you can focus on eating a variety of foods and not guilt yourself on eating too many carbs one day or too much fat on another. It’s all about finding the right balance with a given amount of calories per day.
Money! Think of calories like cash. What’s going to give you the best bang for your buck. A $300 slice of chocolate cake or a $400 salad with grilled chicken and rice on the side? What’s going to keep you fuller longer and add health benefits? You be the judge there.
Water weight? Yes this is a real thing. Many people see a quick decrease of weight after stopping carbs. Carbs turn to glycogen which is stored in the liver with water. So when you cut back on your carbs, you also lose some water.
It’s been 2 weeks, why haven’t I lost any weight? Most people will start to retain water in the initial phase of cutting back on calories. Some will even see some weight gain. This is because fat cells hold onto water for a while until they shrink. Fat cells never really go away, but after a period of holding on to water, they begin to shrink. It can take days to weeks to experience a good steady weight loss. Don’t rush, be patient, and give your body some time.
Exercise! To gain some extra calories, exercise. But don’t spend too much on gym membership. Studies have shown that people with diet alone without exercise were more successful than those who did diet plus exercise. Exercise is still important in maintaining health but not an absolute in weight loss. It does help give you some more calories for the day.
At the end of the day, you have to do what’s best for yourself. Set easy-to-reach short term goals. Don’t be hard on yourself. There is no magic pill or magic diet for weight loss. Keep trying and, in time, the results will be real.