Quick Weight Loss Programs: Is Fast Really Best?
When you set out to lose weight, you want fast results. It’s only natural, for a number of reasons.
One reason we seek quick weight loss programs is that losing weight requires effort, and it often takes us out of our comfort zone.
As humans, we are predisposed to maximize pleasure. We desire leisure and comfort. So, we are naturally inclined to want anything that takes “work,” like weight loss programs, to be finished as quickly as possible.
Another reason we want weight loss programs to produce quick results is that we live in a world of instant gratification, where everything is sped up ― including our expectations.
We have become accustomed to enjoying instant access to answers on the Internet, instantaneous communication via email and cellphones, instant meals thanks to drive-thru windows and microwaves, etc.
Our attention spans are shorter than ever, and we’re not used to waiting for things. We expect to get whatever we want, fast.
But the truly bad news is that the urge to lose weight quickly actually works against us, making long-term weight loss success harder to accomplish.
Quick weight loss programs don’t work. Here’s why.
There’s really only one way to achieve quick weight loss results ― by radically changing the way you live and dramatically reducing how much you eat.
The drive to lose weight fast often steers us in the wrong direction. We make rash decisions that are unhealthy, such as starving ourselves, and set us on a path that’s unsustainable, such as cutting out entire food groups from our diets.
We make ourselves miserable in the pursuit of quick weight loss programs and end up in an unwinnable battle against our own bodies.
No matter how much willpower you try to summon up, there is no way you are going to overcome your overwhelming psychological need for pleasure and variety, not to mention the uncontrollable hunger your body will inflict on you as a defense mechanism to prevent starvation!
As a result, quick weight loss programs are a waste of time and money that typically end in emotional disaster.
You might be able to keep it up for a month or two, maybe three, and you may even lose a lot of weight … initially. But, in the end, physical needs exhaust willpower, and nature always wins.
Weight loss requires patience ― and persistence.
You may not want to hear this, but the only way to succeed at losing weight and keeping it off is by taking the time to do it in a healthy way that you can live with for the long term. There is no magic bullet, and no quick fix when it comes to weight loss.
Let’s say you want to lose weight. You consult with your doctor who helps you assess your body mass index (BMI), which is a measure of the percent of your body weight that is composed of fat, and, together, you decide that you could stand to lose about 30 pounds.
That’s your ultimate goal: 30 pounds. You want to lose the weight as quickly as possible, so you think, “I can lose 10 pounds a month and reach my goal weight in three months!” It sounds so neat and easy, right?
Breaking this down even further, to lose 10 pounds a month, you’ll have to lose about 2.5 pounds per week. Again, this seems fairly reasonable and doable, on the surface. So, you start looking into a quick weight loss program that promises the fast results you’re hoping for.
But let’s take a closer look at the nitty-gritty details of what it takes to lose 2.5 pounds a week.
You’re probably familiar with the old formula that says a pound of body weight is equal to roughly 3,500 calories and, therefore, if you cut 500 calories a day, times 7 days a week, from your diet, you should lose a pound per week. Likewise, if you cut 1,000 calories per day, you should lose two pounds per week.
That’s a steep number of calories to cut, for sure ― too much for most people to do ― but … it’s within the realm of possibility, if you have a very high threshold for discomfort.
Unfortunately, recent research from the National Institutes of Health shows that our bodies adapt to changes in diet and exercise by slowing down metabolism. As a result, a person has to cut or burn closer to 7,000 calories to produce a pound of weight loss.
So, now you’re talking about having to cut over 2,000 calories a day from your diet to get the quick weight loss results you want!
Hopefully, you can instantly recognize that such a radical reduction in calories would be unhealthy, unpleasant in the extreme, and ultimately unsustainable.
And even if you were to succeed taking such extreme measures, which is highly unlikely, how could you possibly maintain your weight loss once you stop starving yourself? Even a slight increase to your calorie consumption after a prolonged period of deprivation would result in significant weight gain.
Think about how long it took to gain those extra 30 pounds in the first place; it probably happened over the course of a year, or more. Doesn’t it make sense that it will take at least as long to lose the weight?
Forget about quick weight loss programs. What really works is a healthy lifestyle.
Looking once again at the example above, with a goal of losing 30 pounds, let’s approach the challenge with a longer-term view. Let’s see what happens when you stretch that goal out over the course of a year.
Using the NIH’s updated formula that 7,000 calories equals a pound of weight loss, it would take 210,000 calories to lose 30 pounds, or about 4,000 calories per week. That’s about 575 calories a day.
Now, you are in a much more comfortable place. The idea of cutting less than 600 calories per day is less intimidating and far more tolerable than cutting 1,000-2,000 calories per day.
What’s more, doing so won’t subject you body to the shock of a quick weight loss program and will make it easier for you to ease into a healthy and satisfying eating pattern that allows you to keep the weight off after you reach your goal.
It may be a cliché, but the lessons of the old parable of the tortoise and the hare definitely apply when it comes to weight loss. If you try going too fast, you are bound to collapse before you reach the finish line.
When we created our weight loss program, The LOVIDIA Way, we focused on creating a structure that will get you across the finish line with your enthusiasm and sanity intact and the energy to keep going!
If you’re ready to discover a healthy way to lose weight comfortably, and keep it off, you can learn more about The LOVIDIA Way here.