“People don’t have time to do it right the first time, but they always have time to do it twice.”
– Dr. David Hunnicutt, CEO, Wellness Council of America.
Attacking your weight loss goals like you’re a contestant on NBC’s Biggest Loser may be one of the worst approaches for long-term success. When you dramatically limit calories, sacrifice eating real food for pre-packaged shakes and heat-and-eat meals, and push yourself to lose five to six pounds a week, you’ll see drastic results the first couple of weeks.
After that you burn out and stop losing weight before you reach your goal. Most people gain the weight back, and many put on more than they lost.
You’re Not In A Contest
Unless you stand to win a large sum of money for losing a lot of weight fast, slow down. You’ll have better success at dropping pounds, and keeping them off, if you approach weight-loss as a long-term project that will lead you to better health.
Don Moffitt, a state representative that lives near Peoria, IL, accomplished a personal goal of losing 100 pounds by doing just that. He tackled his 100 pound weight loss goal ten pounds at a time. He lost the weight slowly, established new and healthier habits, and has kept it off for more than a year.
“I never looked at it as losing 100 pounds. I just looked at it as taking off 10, and then repeated it nine more times,” Moffit said.
Don also put some other tried and true practices into play. He tracked calories and tried to not consume more than 1500 a day. He also set a target goal of walking 10,000 steps per day, which is about three miles.
Before losing the weight he was on medications for high blood pressure, cholesterol, and was told by his doctor that he would soon need medications for diabetes.
Not only did he shed pounds, but he is now being phased off of all medications, no longer has sleep apnea and has “kicked diabetes to the curb”.
Setting those small, realistic goals that we discussed in Forget About Lofty Resolutions and Set Achievable Goals applies to losing weight. Whether you have 10 pounds or 100 to lose, a weight-loss goal of one to two pounds a week is realistic.
Take time to establish different eating patterns, find the options for physical activity that work best for you, and allow some wiggle room for an occasional set-back. Do it right the first time and you won’t have to do it twice.
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