How we go about weight loss is a subject of such great variety that confusion, distraction, and uncertainty can join in to make the job harder. So many ways to exercise, so many foods to choose from. The key is choosing a path that we can stick to. Because this is a change we’re making in our lives, not a quick fix.
It can be really motivating to see some pounds drop off fast. Cutting salt and starches can reduce fluid retention and make that first week or two seem even more productive. But it’s not realistic to think that initial pace of loss will keep going unless you take drastic measures. And drastic measures are temporary.
More effective is a whole-person approach that begins with “reflect, replace, and reinforce.” The CDC suggests we reflect on all our eating habits, good and bad; replace our unhealthy eating habits; and reinforce our healthier eating habits, both old and new.
Sounds Like Math
It can sound like simple math – calories in and energy out, diet and exercise – but if it were that easy, then a lot more people would succeed. One reason it’s not that simple is that these are not just calories, they’re food. And food has roots in family and culture and personal experience. And it’s not just exercise. What each of us is ready for on any given day is as different and characteristic as we are. So some counsel from a professional who knows you can make all the difference.
Even though it’s more than math, the math behind weight loss can help you put your pace in perspective. We have to trim 3,500 calories to lose one pound. So eating 500 to 1,000 calories less per day is what it takes to lose one or two pounds a week. You can see what we’re up against. Thirty-five hundred calories sounds like a lot and one or two pounds sounds like a little. Dialing up our exercise can help create this deficit if we do it sensibly and avoid the soreness or injury that can cause people to quit.
But this is the deal. Five hundred to a thousand calories less a day gets us one or two pounds lost per week.
How to Beat the Odds
The stats on dieting can be pretty discouraging. The percentage of people who lose five pounds and keep it off for five years is pretty low. The source of a lot of this dismay is looking for too much weight loss too fast.
One of the suggested steps for getting started is to line up your sources for information and support. Making a commitment that your family and friends are in on can be a help, but sometimes even those close support sources are complicated. The right answer to losing weight and keeping it off varies depending on the person, so some professional advice and planning is behind the successful weight loss of a lot of people.
A professional point of view can make the difference between trying a weight loss program and succeeding. Someone with the medical knowledge behind nutrition and exercise is a powerful ally. We’d be very glad to provide that for you. Just call us at 843-815-6468.