Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Losing Weight Slowly and Gradually

Losing Weight Slowly and Gradually 

            Losing weight is one of the most difficult challenges most people will face. The people who do not need to lose weight are quite lucky; they do not have to worry about how to balance their eating and how to incorporate exercising into their lives – awesome. Unfortunately, people seeking to be healthier need to find ways to change their lifestyles, but also find ways to lose the weight. This is where the big dilemma comes into play – do you lose it slowly and gradually or quick and fast?

            Losing weight too fast is not healthy. Despite the fact that we were probably able to put 2 pounds on a day, does not mean we are going to lose 2 pounds a day. There are methods to which has allowed people to quickly lose the weight – diet pills or special crazy diets. For instance, I once did a shake diet supervised by a physician. They gave me 2 shakes a day (similar to slim fast, but thicker) and I can have any type of meal, but the preference was a healthier meal. Okay, so technically I was only taking in about 900 calories a day under this diet. So, I lost the weight FAST! I was able to lose about 30 pounds in a month – I felt awesome until two things happened:
1.      I saw my body was not looking good. Since I was not exercising, the weight just came off wherever it came off. So, my butt began to sag, and my stomach looked awkward. I wish I had pictures from those days because it is hard to explain.
2.      I quickly hit a plateau. Plateau is when your body stops losing the weight regardless of what you are doing – it remains steady. This happens more when people diet and take extreme measures. This happened to me after I lost the first 35 pounds.

Now that I had hit a plateau and could not afford the shakes anymore, I was forced to go back to my old habits. I tried to maintain a healthy eating habit, but I realized I never had one. The shakes did not help me to understand the dynamics of the body and how it works. So, as quick as the 35 pounds came off, was as quick as it came back on plus more.

When I first started my lifestyle change in October 2012, I had set some extreme goals – “want to lose 20 pounds in a month”. But, after some time researching, I realized my mindset had to change about life and the weight. Once I put into my mind that it did not come on overnight; therefore, it will not come off overnight, the slow and gradual concept became vivid to me. Life consists of challenges and those challenges are supposed to test us on various levels. So, by December 2012, I had lost about 35 pounds, and days before New Year’s Eve, my house was robbed. Since I do not go to the gym, I used my Xbox as my exercising tool, and they stole that. I was not able to get a new one for quite some time, maybe a month. Did I lose weight? Not really, maybe two or three pounds. But, did I gain? NOPE! I was able to maintain my weight because I was not on a diet, but had embraced my lifestyle change. Also, it was necessary for me to give my body a rest and time to adjust to this new lifestyle so I could avoid hitting a plateau and getting frustrated.

So, what do you do to encourage slow and gradual weight loss and avoid plateau?

1.      Understand you are not living healthy to lose weight, but living healthy to live longer
2.      Change up your exercise regime to focus on different parts of your body. Do not dwell too much on doing a lot of cardio or a lot of weights – a nice combination will help with consistent, gradual weight loss
3.      Grasp the mindset that it is okay to stay at the same weight for a few days or week or two – your body is resting and catching up
4.      Trying new foods; do not eat the same things
5.      No diet pills! I cannot stress this. Adding diet pills can increase how much weight you lose, and once you stop taking them, you will not lose as fast anymore. This can be discouraging
6. When you reach major milestones (about ever 25 pounds) give your body a break. Slow down for a while with your exercising for a week or two.

Healthy living is a concept many people have yet to conquer. When you focus on losing the weight only, you will get caught up in the numbers game. This is not about the numbers, but about the fact you want to get it off AND keep it off. Some people will lose maybe 2 pounds a week – that is fine. Once you start losing 5-6 pounds a week, you are going to fast or not eating enough – either way it is not healthy.

Remember the objectives are: (1) be healthy; (2) get the weight off; (3) keep the weight off! Keep this in mind, and you too will be successful!

TW aka Plus Size Health Nut