Whether it’s a milestone birthday, your wedding or just a beach vacation, you want to lose weight. One of your goals for the year is to lose two dress sizes and look awesome in that bikini. Now it’s time to jump on the beach-ready diet.
You know the ones; they’re in all the magazines. They promise to help you lose 10lbs in a week. You can shed the 50lbs within two months and be happy and healthier than ever, right? Well, that’s not quite the case.
Before you jump into any diet, you want to make sure it’s good for you and sustainable. There are six truths that people tend to overlook, but you need to accept them when you want to lose weight. They’re not going to be easy to accept for many people, but they’re essential for long-term weight loss.
There Are No Quick Fixes & Fad Diets Don’t Work
Those “lose 10lb a week” diets aren’t healthy for you. They’re fad diets that make it look like you can easily shed the pounds and look great on the beach. The hard truth is that the fad diets just don’t work. There are no quick fixes when it comes to losing weight.
You will need to put a lot of effort into your diet plan. This is something that will take you weeks and months to succeed at. If you’re not willing to put the effort in, you’re wasting your time. This isn’t the diet that isn’t working, but your motivation and willpower.
Skip the cabbage soup diets, the juicing diets, and those questionable maple syrup diets. But they worked last time, I hear you say. Well, maybe, but where are you at right now? You need to lose the weight again.
But that’s because you stopped following the diet, right? Well, the diet wasn’t sustainable, and this is where it’s a fad. While you will lose the weight, it’s only temporary. The minute you go back to eating properly again, you will gain the weight all back and, in many cases, you gain more! Not only that but you will find it harder to lose weight in the future, especially if you keep yo-yoing with the fad diets.
You’re affecting your metabolism with the diets. The calories are cut so much that your metabolism must slow down. It doesn’t know you’re only doing this temporarily and starts to worry that you won’t get the calories later when it needs them. Rather than just burning the stored calories, the metabolism slows down to sustain on less than normal.
When you go back to eating normally, the metabolism doesn’t speed up. It’s used to the lower amount, meaning you store more calories than you used to. Then you end up gaining more weight.
It is hard to be patient, but a change in your lifestyle is essential for sustainable weight loss. This means putting the effort in and thinking carefully about the food you eat.
The good news is that while it’s initially hard, your weight loss journey will become easier. You’ll create habits that just become second nature, allowing you to keep the weight off for the long term without hassle and regret.
Diet Supplements Are a Waste of Time
You may think that taking those diet pills will help you shed the pounds, but the supplements are pointless. This links into the first hard trust, as diet supplements give you this idea there’s a quick fix out there. But remember that there are no quick fixes. The pills become another fad that affects your health.
In fact, diet supplements can be extremely dangerous. They’re not regulated, which means they can include anything and everything! There are plenty of horror stories of people becoming extremely ill or dying from the use of the supplements because they’re full of toxins that affect the heart and organs.
Weight loss isn’t linked to the number of green tea pills or raspberry ketones that you take. Many of the pills offer a placebo effect while causing more damage to your body.
Absolutely nothing replaces a change in your lifestyle and adding more exercise to your life. This leads us to the third hard truth.
It’s About a Lifestyle Change
Losing weight isn’t about following a diet. An actual diet doesn’t work. What you want is a change to your lifestyle. Not only will you shed the pounds, but you can also drop dress sizes, improve your health and create a sustainable eating and exercise plan that keeps the weight off for the long term. With a good lifestyle change, you can prevent yourself from gaining the pounds again.
Of course, this lifestyle change means work. Remember that there are no quick fixes!
Part of the lifestyle change will be linked to your eating plan. You’ll need to make changes to the amount of food you eat, as well as the type of food you eat. Then there’s the exercise plan you’ll need to add in.
The aim is to create a calorie deficit when losing weight and then balancing the in-out calories when maintaining your weight. You want to assess the number of calories your body is likely to burn and then reduce the amount you consume to around 500 calories a day. Your metabolism won’t panic and instead will take the extra calories from those you’ve stored.
With a lifestyle change, you’ll find that the weight loss is slower than a fad diet but more consistent. This is also something you can follow for the long term, as it’s going to offer more variety and be easier to live your life. Lifestyle changes don’t involve banning certain foods. Instead, you’re restricting them to smaller portions, so you can still enjoy your life.
Of course, there’s the exercise. While this helps to burn more calories, there are other benefits. You will find it easier to support your metabolism and trim your body shape. You’ll burn more fat than muscle, helping to get the toned look you crave.
Exercise Is an Essential Part, but Not for Calorie Burning
As mentioned, exercise will help to support your metabolism. Many people who go into a weight loss plan do exercise to burn more calories. They use the exercise as an excuse to eat junk food. This is a mindset to get out of.
The hard trust is that exercise isn’t used for burning more instant calories. It’s used to build muscle and improve your overall health. It’s hard work but totally worth it.
Muscle building should take up three of your five exercise sessions a week. As you build more muscle, your metabolism must work harder. Muscles burn more calories naturally. Plus, you gain a toned look while your body burns the stored fat. When you build muscle, it’s harder for your metabolism to take the easier calories from the muscles.
You will also want to do at least two cardio sessions a week. Don’t run if you’re not interested in it. There are so many other forms of exercise you can get. And the exercise doesn’t need to be in one go. Split it up into five or 10-minute increments throughout the day. You’ll find this sort of exercise plan easier to do and more sustainable for the long term.
This is the part where the hard work really does come into play. It links directly to the first hard truth since there are no miracles to help improve your activity levels. You’re going to need to try to create a plan and then stick to it. Talking isn’t going to get you anywhere.
Not All Approaches Will Work for You
There’s this belief that a weight loss approach must be a scam because it didn’t work for one person. You’ll hear of a friend following something like Weight Watchers, but you never found it a success. Yet your friend says Slimming World doesn’t work for them, but you had success on it in the past.
The hard truth is every person is different. What works for one person isn’t necessarily going to work for another. Even someone from the same family can find a different lifestyle or diet plan works. There are various factors that will affect the plan’s ability to work, including gender, age, and interests.
Try not to get disheartened when something doesn’t work. It doesn’t mean it’s a scam but that it isn’t the right thing for you. Quite simply, the best approach to take is to create a calorie deficit with plenty of varied foods. Eat the foods you like, cut down on the portion sizes and enjoy your meals out. Make sure your eating plan is mostly healthy, rather than worrying about that one bar of chocolate you have every week.
A hard truth like this can be difficult to accept. You can get jealous that a family member is able to shed the pounds quickly. It’s easy to become focused on someone else’s successes and “great finds.” The truth is you’re not made the same, so why would the same eating plan work? Why would the same find work in the same way?
Don’t compare yourself with others on the eating plan. This is a journey for you. While you want them there for support, don’t make it a competition between each of you to lose more weight. Offer extra encouragement when they have a good week and make sure you get the same when you have a good one. You’ll find whatever plan you’re on is more enjoyable and successful.
Your Male Counterpart Needs to Eat More Than You
One of the most annoying hard truths about weight loss is when it comes to men vs. women. When you attend a group like Weight Watchers with your boyfriend or husband, you may learn that he gets to eat more points during a week. Yes, gender plays a major role in weight loss and it is likely that your male counterpart will eat more and still lose weight. In fact, men can find it much easier to lose weight.
There are a few reasons for this, one of those being hormones. Men have more testosterone for building muscles. They find it easier to gain more muscle mass, meaning their metabolism naturally works quicker for them. Women find it much harder to put on the muscle, which makes weight loss a little harder.
On top of that, women are designed to gain more fat than men. The female body needs to store energy for childbirth, and that energy is stored in fat.
This really is one of the hardest things you’ll have to accept. You will get jealous when you see your boyfriend eat more than you. It’s easy to focus on the fact that the men in your support group are having more success in a shorter space of time. Just keep in mind that it’s nothing you or they have done. It’s the unfair nature of hormones and gender expectations.
The good news is while women store fat more than men, the fact they do store tends to be healthier. Most women will store fat around their thighs and hips. Men tend to store their fat around their middle. This is visceral fat that can put extra pressure on the organs and even cause fat stores around the organs. So, while you may have more fat, you’re healthier.
Accept the Truths and Focus on Your Journey
Before you start on any type of weight loss journey, look over the truths and accept them. They’re hard to accept (most definitely), but they are among the most important truths to accept in your life. By keeping them in mind, you can lose weight in a healthy way and find it stays off in the long term. This is something that becomes part of life, making it easier in the long term.