Weight loss is hard. There’s no miracle cure or magic pill. This is something that will take you time and effort.
These are all facts and truths that you hear about weight loss management all the time, right? You’ll have experts telling you that the fad diets don’t work (because, honestly, they don’t) and that the best thing you can do is mix diet and exercise for weight loss.
While many people focus on the initial efforts, there’s also the reminder that weight loss management is long term. This brings up some of the truths that the “gurus” don’t tell you. There are truths that many don’t want to focus on; admit that is the case for the long-term benefits.
So, here’s a look at all the truths about weight loss that you don’t hear often. It’s time to assess the realities of your weight loss efforts and long-term success. Some of these may annoy you, but they will help you set yourself up for success in the future.
Losing Weight Is Hard Work, But Keeping It Off Is Harder
The honest truth is that losing weight is going to be hard work. You’ll need to stick to a diet and exercise plan to see the results. Good weight loss efforts that are sustainable will take months (and in some cases years) to show the results you want. One of the main reasons people will skip a diet is because they don’t have any patience. Without the instant results, they don’t believe that the diet works.
However, while the weight loss is hard, keeping it off is even harder. You still need to think about the food you should eat. You’ll still need to look at your calorie intake and outgoings.
There’s this belief that when you lose weight, you can go back to eating as you did. The diet is just a short-term fix for your goal. However, a good weight loss program will involve the maintenance program afterward. You’ll have steps to take to avoid gaining the weight back. It’s all about making long-term changes for the benefit of your weight.
But the good news is the maintenance program will be realistic. You won’t need to cut out all your favorite foods. In fact, a good diet won’t force you to cut out food groups or specific ingredients. There’s the encouragement of everything in moderation, but nothing to force you to change your whole lifestyle.
When it comes to maintenance, you’ll still have plenty of energy and be able to have fun with friends. A good plan is one that is manageable with your social life.
Weighing Yourself Daily Is Doing You No Favors
You’ll see some diet plans that recommend daily weigh-ins. While some state at the same time each day, others don’t even stipulate this. Daily weigh-ins are not recommended for long-term success for some reasons.
The first is they’re not sustainable. You’re not always going to be around scales, so you can’t just jump on them to see how you’re doing for the day. Plus, all scales will be calibrated differently, so you’ll never get the same results if you keep switching scales throughout the week.
But more importantly, daily weigh-ins will be off-putting. There are days you’ll see big drops and others that you see increases. Our bodies fluctuate every single day. In fact, they can fluctuate by as much as 5lbs throughout the day! Yes, you really can see a 5lb drop or increase at different times of the day, but these drops and increases are not to do with your overall weight.
You’ll see daily changes based on water, time of the month, sodium intake, poor food choices the night before, stress, sleep changes and much more. Your whole body is affected, including the muscle density and retention of water and sodium throughout the body.
These changes can do one of two things:
- Lead you into a false sense of security
- Demotivate your efforts
It’s easy to look at the scales and see a big loss and think you’re doing well. You start to take things for granted and are less likely to track your meals. You’ll consume more calories and soon find that weight loss isn’t as good as it was. Considering the loss may have been a sudden loss of water, you’ll find that it all balances out later. If you’ve consumed too many calories, you’ll end up gaining extra weight and seeing weight gain at the end of the week or month.
On the other hand, a sudden gain when you were good all day can lead to a lack of motivation. You don’t see the diet plan working, so you decide to binge on chocolate to make yourself feel better. This doesn’t end up working, and you end up feeling worse about yourself and your diet efforts. You fall off the wagon and will find it harder to get back on track.
The best thing you can do is weigh yourself weekly. This will give time for daily fluctuations to settle.
But more than that, you need to weigh yourself at the same time each week with the same set of scales as much as possible. The calibration needs to be the same to give you more accurate results.
It’s also worth tracking your waist and chest measurements. You won’t always see the results on the scales due to water retention and time of the month, but you will see your inches drop, especially if you do exercise to help tone.
Water Will Help, but Not the Way You Want
Drinking more water can help you lose weight, but not in the way that you would prefer. It’s not something that makes you shed more fat throughout the day, but it’s good for keeping your whole body healthy. This can then help you find it easier to lose more weight and keep it off in the future.
Likewise, drinking more water is not going to lead to you gaining excess weight. After all, your body will have to get rid of it somewhere! Adding more water to your diet can help solve the issue of water retention, instead of adding to it.
Most of us tend to be dehydrated. Because of this, our bodies start to retain the water to help keep the organs functioning. When you drink more, you will experience less water retention, so you end up feeling less bloated, and you can help to reduce the excess weight on the scales.
At the same time, your weight loss plan will get a helping hand. One of the reasons we eat more is because our bodies give us the feeling that we’re hungry. However, researchers have found that hunger and thirst offer the same feelings and signs. Most of us may be thirsty when we feel hungry, and the general rule now is to have a glass of water before reaching for a snack.
Water also helps to fill up the stomach, so drinking a glass of water before you reach for any meal is a good idea. You’ll start the process of filling up the stomach, so you don’t feel like eating as much. By feeling fuller sooner, you eat fewer calories, but you also won’t feel deprived. This can be an excellent way to stick to an eating plan.
It Doesn’t Matter When You Eat
You’ll hear a lot of “gurus” tell you to stop eating after 8 pm. Some will even say to stop eating after 6 pm. There’s this idea that your metabolism slows down throughout the night, but that’s not the case. How would people possibly survive doing the night shift if that was the case?
The weight loss management truth is that it doesn’t matter when you eat. It’s about the number of calories you consume in a 24-hour period.
That also means you don’t need to track your meals from midnight to midnight. If you do work the night shift, you can track from 9 am to 9 am or opt for noon to noon. Pick a time to get up and start your day, whether it’s in the middle of the night or during the afternoon. From that point, you start counting the number of calories you take in during that 24 hour period.
All calories are worth the same amount throughout the day. There’s no need to double your calorie intake during the night to help counter a slower metabolism. It doesn’t happen! As long as you eat fewer calories throughout the day than your body needs to burn, you will lose the weight.
The way you eat your meals can have a mental effect on your diet. Your body will naturally work with the sun. Being on the night shift can certainly be harder, but it’s not impossible.
Snacking Is Something You Can (and Should) Do
There’s this thought that you shouldn’t need to snack if you get enough food at your meal times, but this just isn’t true. The truth about weight loss management is that you can (and should) snack. It can be extremely good for your body.
The trick is to get the right types of snacks.
Let’s start with why it’s beneficial. Our bodies need food on a regular basis. Despite the western world had plenty of food, our bodies are still in the mind that we could starve. There’s this idea that we won’t get our next meal. If we leave it too long, the body can start to show the signs of hunger, including cravings and mood swings.
This can happen even if you stick to three meals a day. The snacks in between give your body something to digest every 3-4 hours, helping to prevent the fear that you won’t get the right amount of food later.
Because of the need to eat regularly, some diet plans suggest that you change the way that you eat. Rather than consuming three meals and two snacks, many experts now recommend that you eat five or six small meals a day. This helps to keep the good going continually, so you’re always digesting, and you don’t get the cravings—which are usually for sweet foods.
If you want to stick with three small meals, you’ll need the snacks in between. This is where you need to choose the right types of snacks. You want those that are packed with fiber and protein, as they will sustain you for longer. Some of the best options include nuts, fruits, trail mixes, and some whole grains. While the grains are carbs, they’re complex carbs with plenty of fiber to keep you going.
Skip the chocolates and candy bars for your snacks. All they’re doing is adding sugar to your diet, causing your glucose levels to increase. When this happens, you can end up suffering from more sugar cravings. Plus they’re much higher in calories, so you end up gaining weight!
You Need Carbs and Fats in Your Diet
Your diet requires all the food groups. One of the weight loss myths is that carbs and fats are bad; that they make you gain weight. It’s not the case, and by skipping them, you can cause some health problems.
Carbs help to energize the body. Meanwhile, fats help to sustain the organ functions and brain health. Of course, you need to get the right types of carbs and fats, which is where you need to think carefully.
A major problem is getting too many trans fats and added sugars. Simple carbs and saturated fats cause health problems, including diabetes and heart disease. You can end up feeling hungrier in a short space of time and will even gain weight because the calorie intake is much higher than in the healthier varieties. If you want to support your health and your weight loss efforts, you’ll need to ditch them. However, you can opt for complex carbs and unsaturated fats instead.
Look out for omega 3 fatty acids, olive oil, almond oil, fruits, root vegetables, whole grains and more. They will continue other food groups, helping to balance your diet and ensure your whole health is looked after. When you get fiber and protein in with the fats and carbs, you’ll help them break down slowly, so you end up feeling fuller for longer.
The ideal diet is 70% carbs, 20% protein and 10% fats. Yes, really!
Look After Your Diet Today
Weight loss management is more than just finding a diet with promising results. It’s hard work and required dedication. There’s no need to skip all your favorites.
There are many myths about weight loss management, but it’s time to look past them. Once you learn more about the myths and the truths, you can put more focus on losing weight successfully. This isn’t just about dropping inches temporarily, but about keeping the weight off in the long term.
Losing weight is more than just restricting your calories. Look at adding more water, managing your meal plan and looking towards the future. You’ll have a healthier and happier lifestyle for the years to come.