Whether you’re someone who struggles with obesity or a trained athlete, losing weight can be difficult. It’s a tough journey that requires a lot of discipline, and there are a lot of predatory sales companies trying to sell you the next miracle cure.
When it comes to weight loss, knowledge is power. Here are a few things you need to know about losing weight that will help you prepare for the journey ahead.
Weight Loss Isn’t Linear
The first thing you need to understand about losing weight is that weight loss doesn’t happen in a straight line. It’s this experience that ends up derailing people early on and blocks them from reaching their goals.
The road to losing ten pounds is rarely losing a pound a week until it’s gone, even when you do everything right. It’s more likely to be: lose two pounds the first week, one the second, gain two the third, lose one the fourth, etc.
When you see these fluctuations, don’t get discouraged. There are a lot of environmental factors (fluid retention, for one) that can impact your results. Stay the course, adjust slightly, and you’ll get to your destination eventually.
The Scale Isn’t Everything
The scale can be a valuable tool when trying to lose weight, but it’s not everything. It can be extremely discouraging and cause more harm than good in some cases.
The scale should, and will, fluctuate on any given day. Losing or gaining weight does not mean that you’ve lost or gained fat. One nutritionist proved this point by weighing herself 15 times in one day and recording her activities. Her weight fluctuated nine pounds throughout the day, depending on her activity at the time.
The scale doesn’t consider your body composition or athleticism. It doesn’t differentiate between muscle and fat.
According to a study published by the International Journal of Obesity, ”
From these results we conclude that BMI might be a useful parameter for epidemiological studies: however in the individual pediatric patient, especially from 10 y onwards, it gives only a limited insight to the degree of obesity based on the definition.”
There are shredded elite athletes with six-pack abs that register as obese on the BMI scale as a result of their weight – but that’s a whole other conversation.
Loose Skin Sucks
One of the most disappointing things for people who manage to lose a substantial amount of weight is loose skin. The appearance of stretch marks often compounds this. It’s disheartening to do so much work and still feel lost in your body.
Try to ensure that you’re not losing weight too quickly, aiming for 1-2 pounds per week.
During the weight loss process, drink lots of water to improve skin elasticity. You can also use a recipe from the Argan Oil Shop blog to nourish your skin and promote healing. Along with that, coolsculpting or coolsculpting at home is a unique yet safe procedure which can also help with improving skin laxity and reducing loose skin.
In the meantime, celebrate your success and appreciate your body for what it’s accomplishing.
You Don’t Need to Diet
You don’t need to diet to lose weight. Diet culture creates unrealistic expectations about quick fixes and miracle cures.
According to a research study published in the journal Nursing,
“Promoters of fad diets promise dieters that they can drop weight quickly and easily, but their claims are rarely supported by respectable research.”
If you’ve tried a bunch of fad diets before, there’s no reason for this one to work. Instead, focus on nourishing your body and adding raw, minimally processed food in the quantities you need.
If necessary, work with a nutrition coach to help identify why you eat the way you do, and how you can break the cycle. Losing weight shouldn’t be a completely isolating experience.
Yes, you’ll have to make sacrifices, but you can still enjoy the occasional indulgence when done correctly.
Losing weight is hard, but most people make it harder than it needs to be. Take a habit-focused approach, making one change at a time until it becomes routine. Focus on your actions rather than the outcomes, and you’ll reach your goals in a sustainable way.