I can’t believe we’re almost in 2016 already. It feels like yesterday when we rang in 2015 with high hopes and dreams for our lives. In my case, I was getting ready to be a new mom and I was equal parts excited and petrified. My dream for myself in 2015 was to have a healthy baby and to at least move the needle to drop the 19 kg that I happily gained over the course of my pregnancy. Did you have a weight loss goal for 2015? Did you achieve it?
If you didn’t achieve it, I’m here to let in in on the little secret that I used to drop the baby weight and that I encourage as a practice with my clients. So are you ready?
Well the secret is being willing to take it slow.
You see, a lot of us see our weight loss journey as a linear plot that starts from point A and drops down at a steep angle to point B. The engineer in me loves this idea and the woman in me loves it even more. But you know what? A linear plot like this doesn’t exist, at least not in the world of weight loss.
In reality, you start out doing one thing that works great and then it stops working and you hit a plateau. And then you try other things that either work or don’t work. The difference between you succeeding or failing in this real world of weight loss is being willing to ride the uncertainty, experiment and pivot, and take the entire process as slowly as you need to for your mind to catch up to your body.
Here are three reasons why being willing to ride the uncertainty, experiment and make changes as your body changes, and take the process slowly is the winning plan for losing weight regardless of the year it is:
It Took Time to Put On The Weight
No matter how much food you ate or how sedentary you were, the weight you gained and are trying to lose didn’t come on overnight. It took months, or even years, to add the weight to your frame and it will take at least as much time to lose it or even more. Because it took time to gain it, trying to lose the weight overnight is a losing strategy.
“But’, you say, “EJ, I’ll lose the weight fast and then I’ll adopt a healthy lifestyle to keep the weight off. Isn’t that good enough?” Well in theory. In real life, the same habits that will help you lose weight are the same habits that will help you keep it off. So except you’re willing to continue on a modified juice fast to stay slim after using a juice fast to lose weight, you’ll want to think again about your “fast weight loss” strategy.
This brings me to my next point…
Slow Sticks Around
I’m yet to meet a woman who tells me she wants to lose weight and doesn’t mind gaining it all back after she’s lost it. Rather, staying motivated to get all the weight off and having the right strategies to keep it off is on the list of every woman I’ve spoken to who’s interested in losing weight.
Slow sticks around is just my way of saying losing weight slowly will drastically increase your chances of keeping it off. Check out this depressing statistic:
95% of dieters regain the weight they originally lost, and sometimes they gain back more.
The reason this happens is because these dieters choose to do things that they’ll never do again just to drop the weight initially and they regain the weight (plus more) because they go back to their regular way of eating that packs the weight back on.
Taking things slowly will allow you to experiment with eating and exercise habits that are healthy and that can fit into your lifestyle. If it doesn’t fit, it won’t work. And if it doesn’t work, you’ll probably pivot and try something new till you find what works. And when you find what works, you’ll keep dropping the weight and keep it off.
Slow Lets You Have a Life
Finally, slow allows you to enjoy your life. If you’re on a drastic diet, it would be difficult to enjoy meals with family or go to social events that you know don’t have compliant meals.
If you take things slow, you’ll probably have taken the time to learn about what healthy eating is and how you can fit all foods in a healthy diet in moderation. This allows you to make modifications to how you cook for you and your family without sacrificing taste or wholesomeness. It also allows you to pack your plate with healthy options (if available) or use your knowledge of proper portioning to portions of normal party fare that won’t set back your progress.
The bottom line is this, slow will help you adopt habits that will stick with you for the long haul so that you can finally drop the weight and keep it off and enjoy good health for the rest of your life.
If you’re planning to lose weight now and in 2016, vet the program you’re using to lose weight using the slow test and here are the questions that are in that test:
- Will I be able to continue eating or exercising this way after the diet is over?
- Will I be able to continue to eat with my family and the people I socialize with and still lose weight on the diet?
If the answer to any of these questions is no, then you definitely want to reconsider and find something that you can answer yes to.
With that, see you in 2016!