The Guide to Healthy Living & Weight Loss: Realistic Expectations

Fitness is a billion dollar industry, that comes with pros and cons. The pros are that there is a lot of information out there to help you! The cons are that all the information is either conflicting information, or it’s potentially misinformation. So, what do you do? If you’re someone who doesn’t want to dedicate all their time learning about this stuff, I’m going to try my best to give you a step-by-step guide. I’ll try to keep these blogs as short as a 5-10 minute read, with as much information or trustworthy sources as possible. I’ll try to only hit the important parts, which is “What can I do RIGHT NOW to start making a difference”. With all that being said, let’s get into it:)

This will blog will will be split up into three parts:

1. Who is this blog for?
2. How weight loss works.
3. Realistic expectations.

Who this blog is for.

This blog is made for anyone who:

  1. Struggles with their self esteem because of weight
  2. Yo-Yo diets (loses weight then gains it back quickly)
  3. Doesn’t think their diet is sustainable
  4. Is confused about where to start
  5. Has a “all-or-nothing mentality”
  6. Is scared of eating “bad” foods
  7. Adults that don’t allow themselves time for self-care

What we’re trying to do here is bust any myths that are in the health/fitness industry and steer you in the right direction to make your OWN decisions on what will best fit YOUR life. Most things you see nowadays are too strict and aren’t sustainable. If you’re reading this, you aren’t going to be in a bodybuilding competition with veins popping out everywhere, but you’re going to be able to have a flatter stomach, feel comfortable in your body, and maybe get to show off to your friends a little bit:)

How Weight Loss Works.

This is the boring background stuff that is important moving forward. We have to touch on this in expectations, so you know it’s a process and not a quick fix. I’ll link more information throughout so you can learn more if you’re really interested!

In today’s day and age, we have unlimited resources at our disposal. We have every food known to man at our fingertips, and we don’t have to move more than 10 feet to get it! Back in the good old days, everyone had to hunt or till the land to get what they wanted. You would spend hours or days on end moving around just to eat. In short, technology and our society pushed us to use a lot less energy and consume a lot more.

Weight loss ends up coming down to “Energy IN-Energy OUT”. To get a quick overview, watch the first 2 minutes of the video below! (It’ll be easier to watch this video than to read the information I go over!)

If that wasn’t enough or you want to know more, click on the link below!

https://www.precisionnutrition.com/calories-in-calories-out

Realistic Expectations

I honestly think the hardest part of getting started is understanding what’s realistically going to happen. We see success stories of people losing 20 pounds in a month, and we say “I’m going to do that!”. However, there’s a lot of things wrong with the classic losing 20 pounds in a month method:

  1. Losing mostly water weight/muscle with just a little bit of fat
  2. Gaining it all right back
  3. Marketing schemes using only the hyper successful clients in their ads (average results are less dramatic)
  4. Physiologically it’s hard to lose 20 pounds in a month

 

Realistically, that’s not what happens. Instead, what we want to do is lose FAT, not muscle or water. When you lose mostly fat, your body is going to look a lot better at its new weight. It will take longer than you believe it will, but that’s the reality of the situation.

A realistic goal (which we’ll touch on goal setting more in the next blog) would probably be to lose 5-10% of your bodyweight in your first “diet”. If you weighed 200 pounds, that would be 10-20 pounds in a 6-12 week period. What you want to think about, is how aggressive you want to go. There’s more information in the links below, but I’ll summarize it.

If you want to go aggressively, you could aim to lose 1-1.5% of your bodyweight a week for 6-8 weeks (2-3 pounds/week for 200 pound person). If you don’t want to completely change your lifestyle, then you could go for a more moderate approach with .5-1% of your bodyweight a week (1-2 pounds/week for a 200 pound person). Then there’s always a comfortable option which is anything less than that. This is the option where you could potentially never have to go on a “maintenance” phase, which we’ll talk about briefly at the end.

If you want to know more in depth information from people way smarter than me, you read the links below:
https://renaissance-periodization-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/1table-bestrate.png

https://www.precisionnutrition.com/rates-of-fat-loss-and-muscle-gain

Realistic Journey

Just so you can get a grasp of what it will look like for you, if you’re doing it safely, I’m going to give a brief example of how it could possibly go.

Let’s say we have our 200 pound person (Bob) and their goal weight is 160 pounds (granted that’s in a healthy weight range, etc). Bob spends 2-3 months losing 20 pounds (10%) of his weight. What Bob has to do now is acclimate to his new weight, which is what we call “maintenance”. This is important to prevent continual metabolic adaption and chronic dieting. Now that Bob has acclimated to his new 180 pound body (fluctuating a couple pounds here and there, which is normal), he’s ready to lose some more weight. Because he weighs 180 pounds now, 10% less of his bodyweight is at max 18 pounds. That means he’ll probably want to lose less than 10% and break it up into two more moderate “diet” breaks. Repeat that until he’s at his new weight and BAM, goal achieved.

Realistically, this whole process could take 9 months-1 year, IF he’s consistent with his behaviors. Marketing schemes would have you believe that it would take 2-6 months AND they never talk about how easy the weight would come back on. What we did with Bob, was lose 40 pounds in a way to where he’s developed the behaviors to make it stay off!

Closing Thoughts

Here’s what I want you to take away from this:

  • Weight loss comes down to being in a “negative energy balance” (like this definition more than caloric deficit)
  • Even if you are 100% consistent, it might still take 1-2 years to reach your goal IF you’re trying to look good at your new weight (fat loss vs. muscle+water+fat).
  • Take a mixture of diet interventions (losing weight) and maintenance phases (getting used to your new weight).

While this is still very general and broad, I hope it cleared up a little bit of confusion. I’ll try to make it easier to identify how to personalize each aspect of the journey going forward in these blogs. If you have any specific questions or are interested in talking to us, go ahead and schedule a free consultation below. If you’ve got your share of information, have a great day:)

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Biases

I think this is important to share my personal bias when it comes to fast weight loss, so take everything I say with a grain of salt. I played college soccer in Missouri and we had a game in Tulsa, so my family came to watch (I’m from Oklahoma City). After the game, my dad was waiting for me outside the locker room. We talked and all that fun stuff when he told me “I’ve been taking the stairs and I’ve lost 30 pounds this month”. I gave him a fist bump and said something to the effect of “I’m proud of you that’s incredible!” He was dead 3 weeks later from stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

So when it comes to weight loss, because of my experiences, I always think slower is better. Everyone who loses weight fast in my life tends to be very sick. As long as you’re doing the right behaviors and practices to contribute to your goals, everything will fall into place!

Don’t want to be a downer, but I think it’s important that you know where I come from in my nonchalant approach to specific diet types (as you’ll see in later blogs). Our next blog, we’ll be going over goal setting and how we can make it specific/attainable for you!

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