It’s A Marathon, Not A Sprint

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Let’s talk about how to approach weight loss in our minds, shall we?

Being that this is a field of study that I’m all too familiar with (I have lost 100 pounds and kept it off, after all), I know that it’s very discouraging when you don’t see near immediate results. If it’s been a week or two since you last saw progress on the scale, the chances of you maintaining that same level of motivation and doing what you have to do becomes slim to none.

Then, the “Plateau, Yo-Yo and Repeat Cycle” occurs. Due to our discouragement, we cave, eat garbage and become sedentary. Sometimes this happens for just a night, sometimes for a weekend, sometimes for a week. You get the idea.

Eventually, we’ll wake up and try to get back on the horse, but once we lose any of the weight we gained while off track, things still won’t budge.

So many fitness and nutrition programs claim to be your quick fix magic bullet. “The 21 Day Fix! Lose 30 Lbs in 30 Days!” Even if these programs work in the short-term, our bodies are not designed to lose more than an average of 2 pounds per week. Some risky things to consider:

You’ll Retain Everything You Eat As Fat: When we’re deprived of food, our bodies go into starvation mode. When this occurs, it doesn’t matter what or how much we eat. Everything will be stored as fat.

This is our body’s defense mechanism for what it deems as a credible threat to our health, and it acts appropriately. Which is why reducing portions and calories is not a sustainable method of eating. It may work in the short-term, but what are you going to do in the long-term once you’ve reached your short-term goals?

Extra Skin And Stretch Marks: While this may be inevitable depending on how much weight you have to lose, these can greatly be minimized by going about things the right way. The reason contestants on The Biggest Loser and Extreme Weight Loss need skin removal surgery is because they’ve lost over a hundred pounds inside of a few months.

Their bodies can’t change quickly enough to accommodate the leaner versions of themselves, and as a result, much of the skin that was taken up by fat stores at the beginning of the show now just hangs.

Losing weight gradually won’t only provide you with a consistent stream of positive feedback to stay the course, but it will also enable your body to catch up to what you’re looking to do. The chances of extra skin, stretch marks and other unattractive deformities go way down by taking a more methodical approach.

You Won’t Learn Anything: It’s nice to put yourself in somebody’s capable hands, do the bare minimum and ride the wave. The issue with this is that eventually, that program, service or person won’t be there for you anymore.

Yo-yoing with your weight puts a lot of strain on your body’s functions, ranging from impacting hormone levels to metabolism to gut health. If you want to make a healthy, sustainable and permanent change, you need to start learning what you need to do to keep things off once you’ve reached your short-term goals.

Short-term goals can be a month, a quarter (that’s three months for you non-corporate folks), a year or more. In the grand scheme of your life, it’s not a long time. You’ll have much more time after you reach your short-term goals to decide whether you want to keep the weight off and stay healthy, or tempt fate again.

The choice is yours. Choose wisely.

Pete Weintraub is a local permanent weight loss specialist. Visit www.weightlossbypete.com, email pete@weightlossbypete.com or call 516-659-0195 to learn more.

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