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:
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.
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.
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.
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!