Sooner or Lighter

Maybe you wondered why I named my blog Sooner or Lighter or maybe you didn’t. Sooner or Lighter addresses two approaches to weight loss. There’s the sooner which typically results in faster weight loss, in other words you lose more weight sooner. Then there is the lighter approach which increases your odds of keeping off the weight you lost or in other words, staying lighter!

Sooner weight loss involves things like very low calorie diets, crash diets, diets that make you cut out foods and/or entire groups of foods, and intense exercise at a pace and level that is similar to a professional athlete’s. Losing weight the sooner way is easy at the beginning. It can be very satisfying because there are nice big weight jumps downward when you step on the scale.

The Grapefruit Diet is a good example of a SOONER DIET. The woman enticing you to try it is an ectomorph! Her lean body isn't from eating nothing but grapefruit. She looks like that because it's in her genes!

The Grapefruit Diet is a good example of a SOONER DIET. The woman enticing you to try it is an ectomorph! Her lean body isn’t from eating nothing but grapefruit. She looks like that because it’s in her genes!

Never mind that some of that satisfying weight loss is nothing but water and that no appreciable amount of body weight has been lost! Never mind that some of that weight loss isn’t body fat but rather lean muscle tissue. Don’t worry that losing muscle means that you’ll be burning fewer calories at rest. All that matters with sooner is your weight and your measurements taken in inches are all getting smaller!

There are a few problems with sooner. Sooner off usually results in sooner back on again. Other problems include poor health due to poor nutrition, serious injuries caused by aggressive workouts, and if you have a lot of weight to lose, sooner is a very hard way to go all the way to goal. Losing weight the sooner is why there is a prevalent belief that “diets don’t work.” It’s not unusual for somebody to try losing weight that way multiple times and multiple times the sooner diet ends in failure. Diets do work, but not all diets work!

We have all seen Oprah lose and gain and lose again. She is a poster child for trying one sooner diet after another and each time the weight comes back. Liquid diets and training to run a marathon are classic examples of sooner approaches. As soon as Oprah reached goal on her liquid diet she stopped drinking meal replacements. After she successfully ran in the New York Marathon she stopped running 8 miles a day!

We have seen Oprah go up and down and back up again multiple times. She still hasn't learned the difference between SOONER and LIGHTER.

We have seen Oprah go up and down and back up again multiple times. She still hasn’t learned the difference between SOONER and LIGHTER.

Now let’s talk about lighter. The downside is lighter takes longer. It takes more work too. Lighter isn’t a quick fix. It’s not eating diet cuisine delivered fresh, frozen or freeze-dried to your door. To get and stay lighter it’s necessary to understand what needs changing and what doesn’t insofar as eating habits and physical activity. It’s important to live your life and make your eating and exercising habits compatible. Lighter is built on recognizing that the behaviors employed to lose weight need to be sustained to stay lighter. If you are doing things to lose weight that you are looking forward to stopping once you reach goal, then you are not going to stay lighter.

In my blog I encourage readers to chose lighter. I want to help readers understand how sooner undermines their success. I want readers to make their weight loss “loser-friendly.” I hope that readers will make positive changes that are sustainable because they not only support weight goal but they actually make life better by doing them. Imagine liking what you see when you step on the scale not for a day, or a week or even six months, but for the rest of your life!Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 10.27.27 AM

Jackie Conn

About Jackie Conn

Jackie Conn is the general manager of Weight Watchers of Maine. She is married and has four grown daughters and four grandchildren. Her experience with her own weight management journey and raising girls has given her insight into the struggles families face with weight, healthy body image, food and physical activity. She has been a regular guest on Channel 5 WABI news for more than ten years and appears monthly as a guest on FOX network morning program Good Day Maine.