4 reasons why quick weight loss is a better idea

 

Most of us aren’t patient enough to wait for visible results and yet fear losing weight quickly. Probably because you often read about the “dangers” of crash dieting, right?
 
There’s something you need to know about me. I’m a huge promoter of fast weight loss at the beginning of a programme. I know from experience that losing weight at a fast initial rate:
 
a. causes bigger weight reductions
b. doesn’t increase your probability of weight regain, and
c. enhances your long term success.

 

Need more proof? Here’s 4 reasons why the fast losers are the biggest losers – and why you should consider joining their league:
 

1. The reward

Do you know why I help my clients to (healthily) lose a substantial amount of weight in the first 7 days? Because, without this, they won’t instantly see what their bodies are capable of, making it quite hard to stay motivated. But when your brain links the experience with a highly rewarding feeling, you are empowered to go for more. In other words, our brain reward centres are stimulated when we see changes in our bodies earlier. The more immediate your reduction (reward!), the quicker you’ll recondition your brain.
 

2. The brain signal

For your brain to register (and learn) new ways, it needs to receive a robust, continuous signal. Small changes in your eating will go unnoticed. If your behavioural and environmental cues aren’t large enough, your brain won’t pick up any substantial information and will continue with business as usual. This is in fact supported by a study published in the International Journal of Behavioural Medicine which analysed the weight of 262 women for 18 months. The researchers concluded that the fast losers in the initial weeks are the biggest losers and maintain better than the slow losers.
 

3. Weight manipulation

Let me ask you: Do you honestly believe you are capable of eating less forever and ever? Most women believe that they need to be on a weight loss diet until the end of times. This is where it all goes wrong! When you confuse weight manipulation (i.e. dieting to achieve your ideal weight) with weight maintenance, disaster happens.

Weight maintenance strategies are different from the temporary nutritional tactics required to lose weight. Most women fail to understand that maintaining weight doesn’t involve eating in the same way you’ve been eating to lose it! That’s simply unsustainable and exhausting – and one of the main reasons for gaining it back. What I’m trying to say here is that slimming down quickly in the first month or two is 100% “weight manipulation” and has very little to do the new behaviours (and mentality) you need to adopt in order to maintain it.
 

4. Your opportunity window

From my experience, radical dietary changes are unworkable for more than 8 weeks. Longer than that, you start messing it up, regaining some of the weight, manipulating the manipulation, and basically rebelling! This is why these 8 weeks are your “opportunity window.” Get all the drastic weight loss in there, and for the following 18 months focus on maintaining.
 
I’ll talk about maintaining next week because everyone seems to be doing this wrong…
 
Now, let me ask you:
 
1. Are you patient enough to lose weight slowly and steadily?
2. Do you prefer seeing results quicker?
3. What do you fear about a fast weight loss?
 
I’d love to hear from you, so leave a comment!
 
Xoxox,
 
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18 comments:

NicoleFebruary 14, 2014 at 6:17 amReply

Hi Alejandra

In the past, I used to stick to a high protein high fat way of eating, and lose weight super fast. In the last 18 months, my will power is gone. For 7 years I maintained a skinny frame, now I weigh more than I ever have before. I only have 10 kgs to lose, but I lose 3 then I start binging again. I used to be bulimic in my 20′s and I’ve stopped that, so when I binge, naturally I gain weight. I started getting so sick and tired of protein. Granted, I wasn’t very creative with my meals – always eat the same thing pretty much. This feels like a never ending battle. I’m sabotaging all my success. It’s as though I don’t want success. Any ideas? Thank you – these posts are awesome :)

Alejandra RuaniFebruary 15, 2014 at 6:18 pmReply

Ohh Nicole, I hear you, most of us tried every single diet ever printed. Here’s the thing, for women like us, portion control, willpower, restrictive eating aren’t a long-term solution. It’s okay for a little bit, with the right system in place you can shed quite a lot of weight, but after that, you need to concentrate on maintenance and habit forming, and “adding more” rather than taking away. Add more hydration, more nutrition, more veggies, more activities that you love.

By the way, more nutrition doesn’t mean more calories – in fact, the most nutritious foods are very low in calories!

Love having you here!

LornaDecember 14, 2013 at 5:46 pmReply

I really do think there is something to getting that jump start and seeing results quickly. In general our society doesn’t have a lot of patience. This is a way to start down a path and get to the good sooner than later. Otherwise you lose too many people who could benefit from sticking it out.

Alejandra RuaniDecember 16, 2013 at 2:45 pmReply

Our brain primarily seeks instant reward… if an activity is not rewarding enough, it’s unlikely to be continued

Silvia BiancoDecember 14, 2013 at 5:12 pmReply

Love what you said about weight manipulation and lifetime diets – an awful way to live if you ask me and built for failure. it disconnects us from listening to our body and becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. I for one think our minds are our biggest weight loss/management tools. I think you probably do to.

Thank you for setting women straight.

BTW – haven’t owned a scale in over 25 years!
How I feel in my jeans (and in my body) tells me all I need to know.

Alejandra RuaniDecember 16, 2013 at 2:43 pmReply

What an achievement, 25 years! Chef Silvia, you’re a living proof that cooking, being around food all day, eating and maintaining – all are possible

claireDecember 13, 2013 at 12:50 amReply

I love what you write about giving your clients a motivation in the very beginning.
I have been blessed with lucky genes so I’ve never been on a diet, but I can see the benefits behind your philosophy.

Alejandra RuaniDecember 13, 2013 at 5:46 pmReply

awww thank you so much, Claire!! One can learn A LOT from naturally slim women like you, so please stay around!

Lana ShlaferDecember 12, 2013 at 11:15 pmReply

When I am aligned with my goals (have a clear vision and have released self-sabotaging beliefs), results come lighting fast! Glad you are encouraging clients to release at a rate that is natural for them, whatever that may be!

Alejandra RuaniDecember 13, 2013 at 5:43 pmReply

The “Self-sabotaging thoughts” topic is something I’ll cover soon, huge problem for most of us! But there are ways to release them… and yours seems to be pretty special, Lana!

Desiree EastDecember 12, 2013 at 11:01 pmReply

I would love to learn more about this…I’m very stubborn about dieting, never liked it, never have been on diets of any sort, and I am fairly active (surfing, hiking, dancing). But I think my metabolism is simply just slowing down, as I get older. Looking forward to learning more!

Alejandra RuaniDecember 13, 2013 at 5:40 pmReply

A slow metabolism is not a bad thing… Did you know that people with a slow metabolism typically look younger and live longer? :-)

GRACIELA NEGRINIDecember 12, 2013 at 7:54 pmReply

HOLA ALE. ME ENCANTA LEER TUS ARTÍCULOS. Y ME GUSTARÍA TENERTE CERCA PARA QUE ME AYUDES. ESTOY DE ACUERDO CON LA DIETA RÁPIDA Y LUEGO MANTENIMIENTO. ES INCREÍBLE CÓMO TE INCENTIVA A SEGUIR CUANDO VES EL CAMBIO EN EL CUERPO. SOS UNA GRAN PROFESIONAL Y UNA BELLA PERSONA.

Alejandra RuaniDecember 13, 2013 at 6:01 pmReply

Graciela, que emocion leerte!

Viste lo que es la mente? Si no ves el cambio mas rapidito, vuela todo!

La semana que viene voy a estar esperando tu comentario, tu ventaja de entender todo en ingles, sos especial!! :-)

Besotes!

Melissa BurkheimerDecember 12, 2013 at 4:45 amReply

I don’t think I’m patient enough to do it slow and steady. Just being honest. :) I prefer to see results quicker! I fear that doing it isn’t attainable or it won’t last long.

Alejandra RuaniDecember 12, 2013 at 11:30 amReply

thanks for your honesty, Melissa! next week we’ll talk about these issues :-)

Mercedes MaidanaDecember 12, 2013 at 2:29 amReply

Alejandra knows exactly what she’s talking about. With her quick weight loss method I had transformed my body in ways that I could never imagine! Thank you Ale for helping me to achieve my weight loss goals!!! I will keep all the details for later, for a proper testimonial ;)

Alejandra RuaniDecember 12, 2013 at 3:42 amReply

Working with an Elite Athlete like you is one of the biggest honours in my career. You have the drive of a world champion :-)

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