12 Things No One Tells You About Weight Loss
1. It Can Feel Like It Takes Freakin’ Forever
Instant results just don’t happen in the weight loss world despite what all the diet pill, shake maker and meal bar pushers claim. You just can’t follow a healthy eating and workout plan and expect to wake up 20 pounds lighter tomorrow. You can’t expect it in a week and you can’t even in a month. Real results take time (stupid physiology). But what you have to remember is that we spend a long time damaging our bodies and putting the weight on that it’s going to take a long time to take it off.
The good news is that it does happen as long you stay consistent to a meal plan and workout regimen, but it just doesn’t happen quick.
2. You Have to Get Lil’ Bit Sweaty
It’s true that your diet makes up a large part of weight loss – it may even be 90% of the answer. But it’s not the only piece in the puzzle. Even if it’s a small piece, fitness still matters. But too many people think “fitness” and assume walking around the block is sufficient. Or a few bicep curls with those 2 pound weights is good enough.
For lasting weight or fat loss, that’s not gonna cut it. You’ve got to find something that will push you outside of your comfort zone, challenge you to and yes, get you sweaty. You don’t have to pay for a gym or a personal trainer – you can follow an app in your living room if you want – but you’ve got to push to yourself physically. More muscles means faster results, so yes, getting sweaty matters.
3. More Exercise Doesn’t Mean More Weight Loss
For some people ready to see the pounds fly off, they jump on the cardio wagon for hours on hours. Or they try to hit up the gym 3 times a day in search of faster results. Now this plan may work for some, but for most of us, more exercise doesn’t always mean more weight loss.
In fact, it can mean the opposite – if you’re stuck doing only slow and steady cardio, then the more time you spend on the elliptical, the harder it will be for you to lose weight. This kind of slow and steady cardio sends your body into conversation mode, making you hold on to those fat cells like your life depended on it.
Short, effective training is better for your transformation goals. But sometimes, even with the ultimate diet and fitness plan, you still might hit a stall. When that happens, find new ways to change up your routine – shift your diet, eliminate dairy, try a different type of training. Be patient and persistent and it will come.
4. Your Social Life
Might Will Change
People don’t always know the best way to be supportive when you’re working to change your health. It’s pretty much a guarantee that at some point in your weight loss journey, you’ll hear friends or family giving backhanded comments or trying to sabotage you off course.
If you haven’t yet, you’ll probably hear it:
“Why are you trying to change who you are? You looked fine before”
“Come on, a few drinks won’t change anything. How come you just aren’t fun anymore.”
Just know that if anyone tries to sabotage your health, it’s coming from their own insecurities. They aren’t ready to change their lives and your willingness to do something usually makes them feel guilty for not stepping up to their own plate.
Focus on surrounding yourself with people who build you up. The people who encourage you to stay on course and motivate you forward.
5. Sleep is Way More Important Than You Think
It’s easy to see how lack of sleep can lead into a vicious cycle of eating garbage or skipping the gym: You don’t sleep, you yawn all morning at work and those donuts in the break room start calling your name, maybe the couch in the evenings. And the tired you thinks screw the diet or skip the gym, I’m just going to take it easy today.
But sleep does more than just encourage you to reach for the donuts or skip your evening training session. Lack of sleep also makes your hormones wonky. It throws your leptin and ghrelin out of whack – the hormones that tell you when you’re hungry and when you’re full. But it also makes it hard to regulate your metabolism. So not only are you hungry and tired (and probably cranky), you’ve slowed your metabolism down too.
To see real weight or fat loss, you’ve got to rest your body just as consistently as you work it!
6. Your Body Might Change but the Scale May Not
This might be the most important thing to keep in mind – measuring progress by a scale alone is not a good method. Scales can trick us into thinking we’re not making progress when we really might be (or the other way around). If you’re training in the gym, you’re hopefully building muscle at the same time you burn fat. And since that muscle is more dense than fat, your scale could be going up while your body fat drops.
And that flip side? You could drop water weight in a matter of days, but that’s not lasting progress. It comes right back as soon as your diet stops.
To get a better picture of your progress, don’t rely on the scale. Think more about how your clothes are fitting or find a trainer familiar with a caliper and get your body fat measured. We even created a 7-site body fat tracker for you to take to keep a record of your numbers.
7. Cravings Suck Big Time – But They Eventually Go Away
We all have ‘em. Cravings to something: grandma’s spaghetti, homemade brownies or an after work beer. And because we’re more emotionally attached to food than we’d like to admit, these cravings linger for awhile. Longer than you think.
This is usually how it works: when you start a new diet, the first day or 2 are pretty easy to stick to because you’ve got a fresh motivation in your head. By the end of the first week, you’re ready to crumble. And that’s when the cravings start. And they get worse usually for a few more days.
But here’s the deal, the stronger you stick to your guns, the faster those cravings will go away. We’re pretty much like addicts. If we cheat, those cravings keep their hold on us. But if we cut them out and hold strong, they eventually quit trying to call our name.
We have to sober up from the cravings. The more you stay away, the easier it gets.
8. Weight Loss Shows Are Inspiring, But Also Unrealistic
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not hating on the Biggest Loser or Stronger. I’d love to be able to spend all day, erry day training to become a shredded beast. But in the real world, we have lives and kids and jobs. We don’t have access to a 24/7 celebrity trainer, personal chef and camera crews boosting our motivation.
And dare I say, some of those shows do plenty of editing to make their participants’ “end results” a little more appealing.
Go ahead and indulge in the shows if you love ‘em, just don’t judge your own success based on what you see on TV. After all, not everything you see can be trusted!
9. It’s Harder to Climb Back Up on the Wagon
This is my own personal insight, but it’s harder to get back on a moving wagon than to just hang on for dear life.
For me, I find better success if I start a meal plan and fitness program and just hang on as strict as I can. When I’m tempted to cheat or ‘fall off’ the plan, I know that it’s going to take even more willpower and motivation the second time around to get started. And if you do get back started but fall off again, it requires even more motivation to try it a third time.
Instead of always quitting and needing more and more motivation to give it another go, it’s better to just wait until you’re ready and go in will full force. Go all in with no option but to succeed rather than repeating a half-assed effort over and over again.
Now that doesn’t mean you can’t have cheat meals, but it does mean those have to be part of the plan. Start your week knowing exactly when you’ll have cheat meals and what you’ll be having. Don’t stray from the course or you’re likely to stay off course for longer than you want.
10. Weight Loss is Never a Linear Journey
Weight loss never happens exactly how you think. You might be sticking to the plan like a fly in honey and still not see the results your after.
Unfortunately, there is no magic number of bicep curls to have sexy, toned arms. And there is no perfect number of sprints to give you a shapely backside. You may be sticking to a great diet and workout plan and see the weight fly off one week. But the next week…nothing. And that’s totally normal. Our bodies are incredibly resilient and will try to adjust to whatever you throw it’s way – yes, even for weight loss. To keep seeing results, you might have to add in more variety to your workouts, push harder some weeks and go lighter on others, or change your diet plan around to keep you metabolically flexible.
Prepare yourself for a few steps forward and then a few steps back. Just trust that over time, you’re total progress will moving in the right direction.
11. There Really Is No Final Destination
Most people searching for weight loss have magic number in their head of what they want to weigh. Or what pant size they want to fit into. But let me warm you now – once you get started and you start feeling the progress, you get addicted to the journey. And that is an incredible thing! You will hit your goals and then create new ones to be even better than you thought. Don’t wait until you find your magic number to be happy. Be happy now, each day that you make healthy choices for yourself because you’re never going to reach that end point. ‘Fit’ isn’t a destination. It’s a lifestyle.
12. You Are Stronger Then You Think
If you want it, you can make it happen. Over and over again, I see people find success with goals they never thought they’d see outside of their dreams. People are resilient. You are strong and you are capable. You just have to commit.
What do you think? What else have you found from your own weight loss journey that nobody warned you about? Let us know in the comments below!