It’s cold but the days go fast and soon we will want to strut around in our bathing suit. People are starting to ask me, “How can I lose weight fast? How much weight can I lose by summer?”
I know my answer isn’t what everybody wants to hear. I typically don’t endorse fast weight loss or weight goal deadlines. The reason is because I’m completely committed to lasting weight loss.
We’re 12 weeks away from June. If you have 60 pounds to lose to feel confident in summer clothes, that’s losing an average of 5 pounds a week. That rate of weight loss is uncommon unless you had bariatric surgery and have literally several hundred pounds to lose. Even under those circumstances it’s not guaranteed. Please don’t think gastric bypass surgery is a quick fix. It is not.
Some people are expecting a more modest and safer rate of weight loss at 2 pounds a week which gets them roughly 24 pounds lighter. It’s possible, but not without a strong commitment.
Seems like nobody wants to hear about the dangers of rapid weight loss or how a weight loss deadline can be more discouraging than motivational! Nobody wants to hear it, but that doesn’t change that rapid weight loss can be dangerous and weight goal deadlines can stand in the way of success!
Losing weight at a rate greater than an average of two pounds per week (after the first few weeks, when you may lose more because you’re shedding water weight) increases your risk of developing health problems. I’m talking about serious problems like dry skin and hair loss.
Actually, dry skin and hair loss are alarming, but you could be putting yourself at risk for heart beat irregularities, anemia, excessive loss of lean body mass (muscle), bowel irregularities and gallstone formation.
Putting a deadline on your goal weight – even a reasonable one – can drive you crazy. It gives all the power to the scale and turns you into a victim. Some people get so controlled by the scale they step on it multiple times of day. Since it’s normal for body weight to fluctuate by several pounds daily (it’s not a loss and gain of pounds of real body weight) it’s possible to get overwrought in what looks like success one hour and utter, dismal failure an hour later.
What happens if the deadline is a week away and you’re twenty pounds away? Do you quit? Do you try something really extreme? Do you come to the conclusion, “diets don’t work! I’ll just stay fat and miserable”?
My job, and my goal, is to help people discover that lasting weight loss is possible. It takes a different mindset, however, than trying to lose weight fast. The reason being fast weight loss is almost always incompatible with the dieter’s lifestyle. That’s what helps it to be fast and promises the weight loss will be temporary.
For people who want to lose weight and enjoy staying at goal a different thought process is needed. They’ll need to consider, “what can I do to lose weight that will be a change with which I can live?” I know this sounds like one of those horrible and lame cliches that you hear all the time, to the point of making you nauseated, but here I go again repeating it:
You can lose weight and keep it off not by being 100% perfect but just with small, sustainable shifts in thinking, eating and moving!
If you’re still with me after you found out this blog fails to deliver the secrets of rapid weight loss and a surefire formula for how much weight you can lose by summer, here is a final bit of advice that can really make a difference in your getting to goal and staying there.
Stop blaming people, food, and circumstances for your current weight and weight loss challenges and put your energy into finding ways to overcome any and every potential obstacle that might stand in your way!