Probably more times than you care to admit to yourself, but there is a reason for that and you are not alone. Diets fail 95% of the time (you may now pick your jaw up off of the floor because I did the same thing after hearing that number), and here’s the kicker 66% of the time people rebound with a heavier weight. I told you, you are not alone!
Clearly our thinking of “diets” as long term solutions are unrealistic, unless we are in that magical 5% of people.
Most diets focus on exercising more and eating less in order to burn an excess of calories. So calories in and calories out. What calories in and calories out means is that you must exercise enough to burn the amount of calories you are eating, so the thinking is that if you want to lose weight you need to eat less calories than you are burning. That thinking works at first, but it is not a sustainable lifestyle and the weight loss will eventually stop.
It’s not sustainable because you are affecting your metabolism, and essentially your metabolism slows down to counteract the lack of food you are eating. Your body wants to hold onto the calories because it knows you won’t be eating enough food to provide yourself the energy you need. Yes, you will see a quick drop in weight in the beginning and then you will notice yourself plateau and find yourself stuck at place where cutting calories and exercising more no longer works for you.
So, instead of counting calories and wasting away on the elliptical machine waiting for that magic number to appear that says you have finally burned all the calories you need to in order to make up for the Twix bar (or 20) you had from your kid’s Halloween stash, choose to eat healthy on a daily basis because one day or a few indulgences here and there will not affect your outcomes and will keep your metabolism much happier and in balance.
Our bodies don’t like when we yo-yo diet, it sends things out of wack. Our bodies don’t like when we go from diet to diet having our weight constantly going up and down and up and down. As Dr. Jade Teta of Metabolic Effect, Inc. describes our metabolism craves balance so when we “eat less and exercise more this leads to a hormonal imbalance causing increased hunger and cravings”.
By eating less we’re causing our bodies to crave more food which explains why you can see 66% of people will lose weight and then gain it back plus some after the diet is over. Their body wants the food, their body wants the sugar and carbs for the energy they it wasn’t getting because you were cutting calories.
So, now what? We know that eating less and exercising more won’t work, so what do we do?
Well, here are the Top 5 Reminders to help you get on track to a healthy lifestyle where you are losing weight and keeping it off:
- There is no easy way to weight loss – repeat that several times to yourself. There is no easy, quick and fast way to lose weight and keep it off unless you are in the 5%. Losing weight is not meant to be a quick process and it won’t be easy, but you know that saying “They didn’t say it would be easy, but they said it would be worth it”? Well it’s true, the hard work will be worth it and eventually it won’t be hard work because eating right and exercising will become a part of your life, not a chore or something you feel you have to do.
- There is no one size fits all solution to weight loss. What works for one person will not necessarily work for someone else. We are all made differently, our bodies react differently to certain exercises, foods and stressors in our lives. This process is trial and error. You must take your time and find what works best for you. If something doesn’t work, you adjust and try something else.
- Share your goals with those you love. Having support, motivation and accountability are keys to weight loss success. Tell your spouse, best friend, parents, siblings, who ever is close to you and ask for their support. You might be nervous to tell them, but once you do they will be so excited for you and will be happy to support you. You may even inspire them to make a healthy change.
- Start small. Make one small change at a time. Before you go and clear out your cabinets and buy all new organic food. Take a step back and just do something small. Drink more water, eat more veggies, or go to bed earlier. Again, some people are great at making drastic changes, but for the majority of us it’s best to start small and then continue adding on all those small changes.
- Keep a log. Start your journey and write down where you are at the beginning, take a photo and measurements, and list your short term and long term goals. Write down your weekly plan, log your workouts – what are you doing, how do you feel, how much are you lifting. Going back every month or every few months to see your progress will be motivation enough to keep you going some days.
The process to losing weight and keeping it off isn’t easy, but it’s so worth it. What is your why? Why do you want to lose weight? Don’t wait until tomorrow, start today!
Write down your why and keep it in a place where you be reminded of it all the time. This is your motivation, it’s your inspiration and it is the reason all of the hard work will pay off in the end!!
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