5 Brutally Honest Weight Loss Realities
Losing weight is something that many of us want to do.
Unfortunately, just because we want to do something doesn't mean we will. Oftentimes, when someone seeks to lose weight, they don't go at it with the right approach. Whether that's being misinformed or simply not in the right mindset, things just don't seem to work.
Ask any trainer and they will tell you the mindset and information you work with are two vital components to losing body fat and building some muscle.
When you ask a trainer what they wish everyone knew about losing weight, there were five main concepts.
These five brutally honest things you need to know about weight loss are.
The Reality of Weight Loss
1.) "Why" You Are Doing This is as Important as Your "How"
Brian Nguyen, CEO of Elementally Strong, says to ask ourselves why are we doing this. He goes on to say "you know what you should be doing, but to get those lifestyle changes that affect your body composition requires you to have a strong 'why' reason."
- Your why can be anything:
- You want to have a better sex life
- You want to play with your kids without pain
- You want to walk your daughter down the aisle
- You want to be able to serve more people
Of course you want to lose weight... but why? Make your reason meaningful and make sure to remind yourself daily. Defining your why that doesn't have numbers attached like above are great motivators.
2.) You Don't Have to Exercise Yourself Into the Ground
You would think that working yourself into the dirt every day in the gym is the best way to lose weight — but it isn't.
“Don’t sign up for the most challenging boot camp in town with a goal of totally burning off your bad food choices,” says Shana Verstegen, fitness director at Supreme Health and Fitness.
Find fitness activities that you enjoy and have fun with them. Being in shape and living a healthy life involves having something fun that you look forward to. This ensures longevity and long-term weight loss success.
3.) Lifting Weights Makes a Bigger Difference Than Cardio
The first thing most people think of when losing weight is the endless hours on a treadmill. Oerum has been noted saying "by mainly basing your weight loss on lifting weights and eating healthy food — and not just on lots of cardio and a super low-calorie diet — you will permanently increase your base metabolism, meaning that you will burn more calories every second of the day, even when you are not working out."
When you build muscle, that means your body is naturally going to burn more calories. With an increase in your metabolism, you will find it easier to lose weight and maintain that weight loss.
Cardio isn't bad for you, but it doesn't help as much as you think. When doing cardio, have a goal of improving your cardiovascular health and using cardio as active recovery from lifting weights.
4.) The Results Take Time, and That's Good
If you jump into getting healthy and expect things to immediately change — it just won't happen. It takes a while to see the benefits of exercising and eating better.
You probably know this is true, but you aren't accepting it.
“Many clients will join a fitness program only to terminate too soon,” says Michael Piercy, MS, certified strength and conditioning specialist, owner of The LAB and IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year 2017. She goes on to say the weight you want to lose didn't get there in a day, so it certainly won't come off in a day.
Studies show that the quicker the weight comes off, when you stop dieting, it is more likely to come back. You may even gain more than you lose.
This is one reason people from The Biggest Loser don't usually stay in their post-contest physique.
Christel Oerum is a certified personal trainer and diabetes coach. She says “when you lose weight too quickly, you also decrease your body’s metabolism, meaning that you burn fewer calories. When you have reached your weight goal and go back to a normal, healthy diet, you may have decreased your metabolism so much that even a ‘normal’ diet will make you gain weight fast.”
Slow and steady is the goal -- strive for a one to two pound weight loss per week.
5.) Plan Your Exit Strategy
Once you hit your weight loss goals, many people maintain the same diet or they go back to how they used to eat.
“One of the most common weight-loss mistakes is not having a plan for what to do after you reach your goals,” Oerum says. Sticking to your goal weight for at least one month is needed before you start slowly adding healthy food to your diet. “After you reach your weight-loss goal, slowly start adding a little more healthy food into your daily diet.”
Once you start adding healthy foods to your diet, you can see how many calories it takes to maintain your goal weight.
Wrapping It Up
You know what you need to do to get healthy, so why aren't you doing it?
Stop now and find a piece of paper or open a note app on your phone. At the top, write why you want to lose weight.
You know, that girl or guy you've been eyeballing, that wedding dress you want to fit in, that 10-year high school reunion. Whatever it is, write it down.
Find some people who will support you in your journey — not making you feel bad for wanting to improve your life. Losing weight can be hard when you are friends with people who don't care about being healthy.
Weight loss and nutrition is extremely individual. What worked for your friends or family may not work for you. The idea is to find what you enjoy and make it work. Cook the fresh foods, enjoy your sweat sessions, and keep your "why" in the back of your head every day.
Don't let another month go by where you aren't making progress towards your goals. We don't make it out of this life alive.