Through much research into the effectiveness of dieting and weight loss efforts, it has been found that the majority of people end up at their original weight in a relatively short time after ending or breaking their diet. Are all these dieters just failures? Do they lack the dedication to maintain their weight loss? Maybe they just were never meant to be at that lower weight.
I have heard some "experts" claim that the body has a preset weight that it is programmed for. To a degree genes and hormones do play a crucial role in our body types. However, don't be so quick to throw up your hands in resignation that "this is the body nature intended" for you.
No, I believe this attitude that is so pervasive in society is messing with our minds. There is such a quick fix mindset in everything we endeavor. I love the technology available today as much as the next techie....well almost as much.
But, honestly, it is making us all so impatient! We expect to hear back from our friend immediately via text messages. We want to watch what we want to watch when we want to watch it, and commercial free, with our on demand DVR or Netflix account. We microwave our foods, and we skim our news readers. Who has time to read a book anymore, much less an actual newspaper?
OK, I do know many people who read books, and I encourage you to make time for books if you don't currently. But, that is beside the point. Generally speaking, we want fast results these days. So, when you decide to lose weight, you want to get to your perfect dress size in 6 months if not sooner. Of course, that's if you have over 50 lbs to lose. If its "just" 20 lbs, that should take no time at all. And, in many cases it is possible to do. You either know someone personally who has lost the weight very quickly, or have seen it on a "reality" show.
Here's the question though, how long did they keep it off? What is the point of going down a few sizes only to go back up in the next year? Who needs all those different sizes of clothes in their closet?
Why do so many dieters gain their weight back?
Because they were too impatient to lose the weight through finding enjoyable changes in their lifestyle. They used grueling exercise that they did not enjoy, and restricted their diets of the foods they really love. What kind of a life would that be to maintain? Pretty miserable if you ask me!
Now, if you decide to go cold turkey on the desserts you really love, and you find you don't miss them, you are one in a million. My dad is an example of that, and I am in awe of his willpower. My mom is an amazing cook and baker. Ask any of my cousins!
But, he resists, and with a simple shrug he lets me know that it is no trouble at all. 99% of people are not like my dad. Actually there is no one is like him, but very few have his degree of self-discipline.
So, I maintain that the skill you should really focus on developing in your life is Patience.
This is a marathon, not the 50 yard dash. Losing weight and gaining it back over and over is worse on your health than maintaining the higher weight. Enjoy the process of changing your habits. Don't deny yourself your favorite foods. Limit them, yes, but not by completely removing them. For 99% of people, that is a set up for disappointment.
Make up your mind that you will gradually adjust your lifestyle to incorporate healthy habits. Sign up to follow along with my blog to find out more about what changes are sustainable, and how to do this over the long term. It is my honor to accompany you on your journey to more energy and peace with your body!
Photo credit: THX0477 / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)