I hear this all the time. It usually follows with an absurd number in a ridiculously short amount of time.
“I need to lose 50 pounds by the end of summer!”
“I need to get rid of this gut by the end of the month!”
“I want a 6-pack for the beach at the end of summer!”
Don’t laugh, these are real statements made by former clients as well as friends and colleagues. Everyone seems to be influenced by the media, Hollywood and just plain ole’ myths. We all want drop-dead gorgeous results in as little time as possible. The problem is, unless losing weight is your full-time job with no family obligations or responsibilities, all of these inflated requests are going to go unanswered and unfulfilled. It’s unrealistic and simply dangerous.
“The Biggest Loser’ did it, why can’t I?”
This infamous show is unrealistic on many levels. I personally have refused to watch the show simply due to the Hollywood-hyped false promises this show perpetuates. Do you have all the resources (personal trainer, team environment motivation, guided meal choices, etc) that the participants have for the same amount of time (isn’t it 3 months?)? Unless you are grossly overweight and obese (like these contestants) you will not shed drastic amounts of weight. Weight loss is predictable and segmental. The heavier you are, the more drastic your results will look and feel. The heavier you are, the easier the weight can come off (yes you read that right). At such a heavy weight, a brisk walk is enough to tax your body. The more activity you do and the more you watch your eating lifestyle the quicker and easier it comes off.
I mean lets be honest here, when you become that heavy, you are eating everything wrong and have a metabolic imbalance that far exceeds safe living.
“I’ve heard and read that Hollywood-types can drop 10 pounds in one week.”
First of all, this is just a flat out lie. It’s almost impossible to do this without paying a visit to your local ER and being admitted to the hospital. Your body’s fluid-balance and electrolyte maintenance just won’t allow it. Second, the Hollywood-types are in a world of their own. They have their own personal trainers that follow them everywhere, persona chefs, they have their own gymnasium and/or pool. These Hollywood-types are basically living the everyday life of those ‘Biggest Loser’ participants. The have all the resources at their fingertips. In fact if they so choose, they don’t even have to think about anything, someone will direct them what to do every step of the way. So their ‘secrets to success’ boil down to how well do they take direction.
Once again if you had all the resources they had, you too could achieve the same ‘amazing’ results.
Realistic and Safe = Healthy
1 lb of body fat roughly = 3500 calories.
With that in mind, you can safely and easily lose 1 lb of body fat weekly by simply eliminating 500 calories a day (500 X 7 =3500).
Sounds easy right? (If it was easy, there wouldn’t be an obesity problem)
Weight loss is accomplished by using more calories than you consume.
Using more calories = burning calories (activity, movement, etc)
Consuming calories = ANYTHING that you eat, drink, digest, etc. (this is the concept that most people forget about)
So you can safely and easily lose 1 lb of fat a week just by monitoring what you eat. Just think what you could accomplish if you incorporate some sort of activity that increases the calories you use (exercising).
With the proper eating habits and gradually increasing your activity you can safely and easily lose 1-4 lbs a week. There are a couple things to keep in mind:
- Initial weight loss is all water loss. You are just squeezing the human sponge
- You’re body will adapt and your weight loss will plateau; This time frame is different for everyone
- It does not matter when you eat, it only matter what you put in the tank (A piece of cake is no more healthy earlier in the day as opposed to late in the day. Unhealthy choices don’t care about the time of day)
- Empty calories will wreck your progress (pop, soda, tea, coffee, energy drinks all contain calories – your body doesn’t know or care where they come from)
- If you incorporate weight training or gradual increased activity you will have some muscle gain; muscle weighs more than fat, but muscle burns more calories
- Drastic results usually yield drastic failure
- Slow gradual weight loss is permanent. The faster it comes off, the faster it will go back on
- Permanent lifestyle changes, not temporary diet restrictions will guarantee long lasting results
- Losing the weight is only half the battle, you have to figure out how to keep it off
In the end you’ll get out of it, what you put into it. It’s all about consistency.