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How much fat would I lose and how long will I sustain it?
This is a question that is always on top of our head when we look at a new program or some kind of weird diet that comes sugar-coated on top of a glossy new magazine cover!!! How many of us will turn to that exact page, on which it promises to “lose 10 pounds in 2 weeks?” Want an honest answer? If it sounds too good to be true, it is too good to be true. And worse? Losing that many pounds in such a few days can have other unhealthy consequences…feeling dizzy, dry mouth, excess sleepiness, total energy drainage, frequent urination, stomach upsets are very common ones!!!!
Anyway while following a sensible diet, in which a person can aim to lose 1 to 2 pounds each week, for each person it is different. No two people can lose same amount of fat or weight, even if they follow same diet from day 1 without any cheating. Some people have tendency to lose weight lot faster than others. Especially people, who live less sedentary lives, are going to lose fat much faster than people who have to sit at desks all day. Men, who have more muscles compared to women as regards to body composition, tend to lose fat much faster. People who have never exercised or dieted before also tend to lose fat much quicker than people who are victims of yo-yo dieting. So please do not compare yourself to anybody else. Worry about the actions now, not the outcome. Think with regards to achieving more energy or fitness or less lethargy rather than focusing solely on losing weight. Focus on smaller steps to improve your lifestyle and stick to your new routine as much as you can.
The key to losing excess body fat and successfully maintaining the fat loss is CONSISTENCY. The efforts to live a fit life should be on a consistent basis. Do not think it of a three-month or six-month plan, think of it as a life-long plan. I have accepted the fact that there will be never an end to this battle. For each great phase of weight-loss there will be a phase of some weight-gain after that, not because I give up or resort to old ways, but because of what life throws to me and to all in general; festivals, parties, weddings, get-to-gathers, illness in the family, family vacations, and much more in the way. I want to enjoy, savor and focus on important moments in my life along with my goal of being healthy, happy and strong. As soon as I can be back on track, I resume the efforts to live a fit lifestyle.
Even enjoying a cup of ice-cream or a serving of fries with a friend occasionally shouldn’t make you feel guilty or stressed! In fact you should do that every once in a while, but going overboard like eating 2-3 servings of junk food at once, eating unhealthy every night in a row, that what sabotages a fitness program and makes you give-up. Accommodate some ups and downs, they are bound to happen, but at the same time, enjoy your new lifestyle by being more active, being more energetic in day to day tasks and eating clean.
My point here is not to feel helpless or frustrated but to work in a way, by which you can enjoy everything, yet in moderation and developing the self-control to know what to put in your body. For instance, I went to my friend’s son’s birthday party yesterday. They had cake and pizza, which is staple party food here in US. I love pizza and I get weak knees just by looking at the hot ooey-gooey cheese with pickled jalapenos on top. I decided I will stop at 1 slice of pizza. And I did. Entire rest of the day, I felt so much better that I made the right decision. I wasn’t stuffed, I wasn’t feeling guilty and I still had my treat! If I had gone for 2nd or 3rd or 4th slice, I would have been miserable afterwards!!! Not only for extra empty calories, but also for the fact that I literally have zero self-control.
Always remember, others who are fit or trying to be, will always encourage your efforts in a positive way. Make them your friends, be in touch with them, and try to be motivated through them. The ones who will be discouraging you, trying to sabotage your goals, will be the ones who are either jealous of your ongoing efforts or they themselves have never “exercised” in life in order for them to enjoy the benefits. Try to stay away from them, run in other direction…lol…or just be plain stubborn if they ask you to indulge despite your repeated “no-no’s”.
Also, consult your doctor before taking on any diet or exercise program. If you haven’t exercised in a long time, are more than 15-20 pounds heavier than your normal weight range (as per weight chart which is generally based on gender, height and age), or if you are suffering from blood pressure, diabetes or any other major health related problem, you should not follow any diets, health tips or exercise routines that are randomly picked from a magazine or a newspaper. It’s always advisable to lose weight with help of a nutritionist or dietician if you have a lot of weight to lose.
Be sensible, be smart, and be nice to yourself and your body.