You may have been dieting for a few weeks, started off well, but over the last couple of weeks your weight loss may have slowed down. In fact, you may even have gained a couple of pounds and right now you may be wondering if you can be bothered to continue. You may even be thinking to yourself: “Just one more bad week and I can stop dieting and slip away quietly.”
If this sounds like you, let me ask you a question.
Q. Have you experienced this type of situation before? For example, did your previous diet plan end in similar circumstances – viz. slower weight reduction causing you to feel disillusioned about your progress and then to quit the diet altogether? If so, what happened when you stopped dieting? Did you feel better? Were you happier? What has happened to your weight since that time?
Bearing in mind your answers to these questions, let me try and explain the reality of losing weight. Not the hype, not the false promises, but the reality.
Most of us become overweight as a result of bad eating habits. To reduce weight, we need to change these habits. But this change can only happen over time. Starting a diet won’t erase all your regular cravings for fattening foods overnight. You need at least a couple of months to feel comfortable with your new eating habits.
Unfortunately, most dieters expect miracles! They think that as soon as they start dieting, all their bad eating habits will fly out the window. And when this doesn’t happen, they become unhappy and frustrated and – usually after about three weeks – give up their diet altogether.
As I say to all my clients, the truth is that losing weight requires patience and, above all, realistic expectations. Anyone who expects rapid continuous weight loss is doomed to rapid disappointment. You need to persevere, and be prepared to “bounce back” from the inevitable bad days and bad weeks.
But it’s definitely worth it.
I mean, how does quitting your diet help? Sure, it might take some pressure off you temporarily, but pretty soon you’re going to look in the mirror and think “Ouch!” And all your old negative feelings about yourself are going to come flooding back. Which will probably lead to more comfort-eating and more weight gain.
So quitting a diet is no solution to anything.
The people who succeed at losing weight are not “perfect dieters”. They do not lose weight every week. They do not have a secret store of super-human willpower that stops them from wanting to binge on ice cream, chocolate or pizza. They have bad days and bad weeks, just like any other dieter. The thing that distinguishes them and the thing that helps them succeed, is that THEY DO NOT GIVE UP WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH. They don’t fold if disaster strikes.