We’ve all seen those diet ads or infomercials or commercials that make it sound like losing weight is super easy. “Eat whatever you want and still lose weight!”
Here’s a video of an honest diet commercial, the truth about losing weight:
The Lie About Losing Weight
From paying celebrities to endorse their product to making misleading statements, most diet programs have just one goal, to make money!
Now, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to capitalize on a real need that people have but have you ever wondered, if diet programs are so successful, why do we still have a huge problem with obesity?
Ever seen these ridiculous “1 weird trick” advertisements? The real “weird trick” is to stop bullshitting yourself.
The truth is, weight loss takes time and discipline but mentioning that while trying to sell a diet program or exercise product or diet pill will result in loss of sales. We live in a quick fix society. In an age where information on just about anything can be had within seconds, where companies are constantly trying to reduce the time it takes to get their products in your hands, where 30 days is way too long when you can do it in 14 or 7 or 3 days, if companies don’t make it sound easy, people will just look elsewhere.
And this is the problem, people have become impatient due to believing long lasting results can be had in a blink of an eye without much effort. They been accustomed to getting results now, not later and as a result, diet and exercise programs have to promise them those fast results in order to get people to buy their products. It’s to the point where many people skip dieting and exercising completely and opt for stupid diet pills in hopes of losing weight without putting in any work.
The Truth About Losing Weight
Anything worth doing is worth doing right. If you want long lasting results, meaning no more yo-yo dieting where you’re constantly losing weight only to gain it back again only to try to lose it again over and over, where you reach your weight goals and actually stay there for years, you need to take a long term approach.
The reason why most of these fad diets don’t work is because they focus on getting fast results.
Companies know that if their customers don’t see results quickly, they’ll lose interest, won’t tell their friends about it, and even leave back reviews online resulting in loss of business. So what do they do? They promote diets and exercise regimens meant for short term results.
If you ask people who are fit how long it took them to get the body they have, most will tell you it took years and they’re still going to the gym and eating right. Getting to a certain weight is just the first step and can take a few months to a few years depending on how much you need to lose but maintaining that physique will be a lifetime process.
If staying fit is an ongoing process, then it means whatever changes you decide to make in your diet and exercise regimen better be changes you can stick with for a really long time.
And here’s the truth about losing weight long term: Make changes you can stick with.
Those fad diets don’t work simply because the changes you have to make are not sustainable. Some restrict calories way too much. Some have exercise regimens that you won’t be able to keep up with long term. Some diets are so temporary that people go on them knowing they’ll gain the weight back later on.
A recent study has found that the main reason people tend to gain all the weight they lost back is because they get really hungry.
This shouldn’t be too surprising. If you all of the sudden cut 1000 calories out of your diet AND start exercising, you’re going to get hungry, often. You might be able to resist going back to eating what you normally eat for a while but eventually, you’ll cave, especially once you hit your weight goal and your motivation weakens.
Now because you’ve been depriving yourself for a while, you’ll tend to gradually start to over eat and consume more calories than you were consuming even before you went on a diet. This is why many people who go on these quick diets will end up not only gaining that weight back but put on extra weight as well.
Your Motivation Won’t Last
When people start a diet, they’re usually quite determined. They’re pumped up and ready to change their life because they’re sick and tired of being overweight. Whatever crazy diet and exercise program they’re on might seem reasonable at the time since their motivation level is still high.
As time goes on, one of two things usually happens. One, they don’t get the results they were expecting, get discouraged, and quit. They go back to their old eating habits and gain back whatever little weight they lost. Two, they actually lose weight but as they get closer and closer to their weight goal, they tend to lose their motivation because that drive isn’t as strong anymore. Or, they’re still highly motivated until they actually hit their goal, at which point, they’re satisfied and gradually drift back to their old ways, gaining the weight back over a longer period of time.
For this reason, if you want your weight loss to actually stick, you need to find a diet and exercise program you can see yourself easily sticking with for at least a year. Yes, 1 full year. Forget those quick diets where you only have to change your life for a few weeks. If you want long lasting results, you need a life style change, not some fad diet.
How To Get Long Lasting Results
To get long lasting results, the best way to lose weight is to do it gradually. Instead of cutting out a ton of calories and starving yourself, simply eat slightly smaller portions of food. Cut out 100-200 calories a day and start exercising for just 15 minutes a day. Do this for 30 days and see how it feels. If after 30 days, you find sticking to these changes easy, cut another 100-200 calories and increase your exercise time to 20 or 30 minutes. If you find it too hard, back down a bit.
The key is to make small, incremental changes you stick with for at least 30 days. The reason for sticking with it for 30 days is to turn these new changes into habits.
Motivation can only get you so far, habit though, can carry you through even the toughest times.
Losing Weight is All About Making It A Habit
People who consistently go to the gym and eat right and have been doing it for years make it look easy because it IS easy, at least for them. They’ve been doing it for so long that it’s just a part of their everyday life now. It’s no longer a struggle for them. It’s become a habit, something they do without really thinking about it. This is the point you want to get to.
It might be difficult at first. You’ll slip here and there and might feel bad about it, enough to just give up. Don’t. Allow yourself to fall off the wagon every now and then. It’s okay. The important thing is when you fall off, get back on.
The good news is over time, it will become easier as your habits strengthen. The longer you stick with your new lifestyle changes, you easier it becomes. This doesn’t mean it never gets hard, it will occasionally, but if your habits are strong enough, you’ll automatically get right back on track.
What Should You Eat
I think by now, we all know what’s healthy and what’s not healthy but if your goal is solely to lose weight, you can technically get whatever you want as long as you don’t go past a certain amount of calories. There are calculators out there that can help you determine your daily calorie limits in order for you to lose weight. This calculator will give you several percentage options depending on how quickly you want to lose weight. Remember, gradual is better so choose a lower number like 15%.
Once you have your daily calorie limit, what you eat is up to you. Just keep in mind that some foods will give you more energy than others. Foods rich in nutrients will make you feel better than foods loaded with fat. But again, you can still lose weight eating junk food as long as you don’t go over your calorie limits. Do realize though that junk foods tend to have much higher calories per serving than healthier foods which means portion wise, you can eat a lot more healthy foods than you can junk foods while staying under your calorie limit.
If you decide to go the healthy route, make sure you choose foods you can actually stick with for a year. To make it easier, allow yourself a cheat meal once or twice a week where you can eat whatever you want for those meals. Depriving yourself too much will only lead to breaking your diet. Another option is to go half half, half healthy, half less healthy. Choose whatever diet you feel you can actually stick with.
- Diet and Exercise Product Commercials often lie.
- Short term mentality usually leads to failure when trying to lose weight.
- Motivation won’t last forever. Work on forming habits instead.
- Make gradual changes instead of massive changes you can’t stick with long term.
- The longer you stick with your new lifestyle changes, the easier it becomes.
- Stay under your daily calorie limit.