Set A Specific Goal You Hope To Achieve By The End Of Your Weight Loss Period
In order to lose weight effectively, one needs to set a specific goal of what they hope to achieve by the end of their weight loss period/program. This goal is usually the “ideal weight” one hopes to attain. The trick is in knowing the correct “ideal weight” because granted; you could be working towards a wrong “ideal weight.”
Being overweight and dieting for a long time has the psychological effect of distorting the concept of the “ideal weight” from what it is supposed to be. What you should aim for is attaining a “set point”, the weight at which the body feels most comfortable. If you have been overweight for long and have suddenly lost weight, the body may respond by lowering its rate of metabolism because it interprets it as starvation. This can be very discouraging for most people and as a result, they end up regaining all or part of the weight they had shed.
Set A Realistic Goal
Aiming for an “ideal weight” is misleading and hardly works. It can take you years before you notice any change in you. Instead, doctors advocate for the setting of short term attainable goals. The average time it takes to shed off weight steadily is 12 weeks. Aim to lose weight within this period of time. Alternatively, you can go for a short period of weight loss followed by one of weight maintenance. Each of these sessions can last between 8 and 12 weeks.
Let the amount of weight you aim to lose in this period be reasonable. On average, 1-2 pounds can be realistically lost in a week. Aiming to shed 30 pounds in 3 months is unrealistic and unattainable. Follow your diet plan until you achieve this weight, then take a break and go on a maintenance program before switching back to dieting.
Don’t Starve Your Body
Why is this important? It gives your body a break from deprivation-eating. This enables the body to adjust to a new “set point” and get into maintenance mode. Giving the body a breather from “starvation” helps in overcoming its resistance towards losing weight.
Doing weight maintenance in stages removes the negative psychological blockage that you will fail, just like before. You will then be able to keep a new weight. Research shows that more than half of the dieters who lose significant weight during the weight loss program do not maintain the new weight once they go off their diet. Overcome this cycle by practicing the outlined system of alternating weight loss and weight maintenance.
Stay Focused and Don’t Give Up
This system works well with any long term weight loss program, regardless of the focus and aim. It will work better and in an easier way too if you use diet plans that have solid phases. In these diet plans, the weight loss and maintenance phases are clearly outlined. All you have to do is follow through. The Atkins diet and the South Beach diet are examples of such diet plans. It shouldn’t matter if you are not using such definitive diet plans. You can set your own weight loss and maintenance phases. This will teach your body and yourself how to maintain a healthy weight.