Treating Your Diet As Race
Another common problem concerns speed of weight loss or (INSTANT GRATIFICATION).
Many dieters expect to lose weight very fast, and are psychologically unprepared when their body refuses to behave in this fashion. If a week passes without any weight reduction, they become dispirited and start to lose interest.
Unfortunately, like it or not, the human body is designed for survival not “appearance”. Therefore it has no interest in shedding body fat, which it sees as an important source of energy during times of famine.
As a result, the maximum amount of fat we can lose in a week is about 3 pounds, while someone who is less than 30 pounds overweight may lose about .5-1 pound.
Anything extra is likely to be a combination of water and muscle weight.
To overcome your impatience and maintain steady weight loss, stop thinking of your diet as a race. Instead, see it as a journey.
This reduces anxiety and gives you more “breathing space” to settle into your new eating habits.
At the same time, avoid jumping on your bathroom scales every day – limit yourself to once a week. Checking your weight more often only encourages you to take a short-term view of things, which is not helpful.
I realize that “steady” weight loss may not sound terribly attractive, but in my experience the slower the weight loss, the longer it stays off.
Furthermore, as stated above, if you lose more than 3 pounds a week it won’t be fat – it will be muscle or water. And while losing water is only temporary – and thus pointless – losing muscle will slow your metabolism and increase the risk of future weight gain.
So when you start your next diet journey, just remember: there’s no rush.
Set yourself a realistic weight loss goal and let Nature take its course. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds and are aiming for 150 pounds, allow yourself 6 months to reach your destination. And if it takes a little longer, so what? I mean, what do you lose?
These three psychological problems account for a huge number of diet failures. Mastering them will definitely enhance your chances of losing weight.
So before you embark with all your customary enthusiasm on yet another “new” diet, set aside some time to think through these issues and then watch the pounds disappear!
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