Do you ever wonder why your neighbor seemed to drop weight in a few weeks on a fad diet but you are not seeing results as you begin making healthy lifestyle changes? Does this mean that healthy lifestyle changes don’t work? There is a misconception of how weight loss occurs and the diet society we live in makes it seem that if we don’t see the pounds drop each week then the particular routine you have adapted isn’t working. This isn’t exactly true.
Here are the facts. Physiologically we know that it takes 3500 calories to lose one pound of body fat. So in order to lose 2 pounds a week, which is considered slow weight loss in the diet world, you have to make a 1000 calorie deficit every single day. For a few this can happen easily, but for most it really isn’t that easy to make a 1000 calorie deficit and more often than not it means you have to make immediate and drastic changes to your diet and exercise every day. Many diet plans and programs will put you on a very low calorie level, which will most likely result in that 1000 calorie deficit but it also may decrease your metabolism and is often tough to live with long term. We know this is true from looking at the percentage of people who regain their weight after dieting with these types of programs. Additionally, no one ever loses just fat, they lose a combination of fat and muscle. This causes metabolic changes that make everyone’s weight loss progression unique.
We also know that it takes about 6 weeks of consistent exercise before you begin to see changes in your body shape. This is just the starting point – 1 1/2 months.
Think about the rate that you gained weight. We usually don’t gain 50 pounds in 6 months. Instead, we gain weight gradually over time and the process works exactly the same for weight loss. Rest assure, when you don’t see immediate results it doesn’t mean your efforts aren’t working. You may make a 200 calorie deficit each day which will still lead to weight loss but over a longer period of time.
Let’s break this down and look at the true picture of weight loss:
1000 calorie deficit (2 pounds weight loss each week)
100 – 400 calorie deficit
Be less obsessive about food and counting. It doesn’t end up consuming your whole life. There is no right or wrong answer here, but it is important to have awareness around how this works. If you want a better success rate then allow yourself some time to make lifestyle changes that will stick. If you want to see quicker results, you absolutely can. Just be prepared to work a little harder and commit to long term changes. Learning about your body and making healthy lifestyle changes isn’t a diet or plan. It is something that works every time, but you have to be patient and not give up when you don’t see the scale move right away. This is a numbers game and it is all about making changes in your diet and exercise, that you can live with, that result in a calorie deficit.