How to Set Realistic Weight Loss Goals

… and not only realistic, healthy.

It’s March, and with March comes Spring Break. What better time of year to realize that you aren’t where you want to be? That your goals might have been forgotten about, or maybe half-assed the last oh, 6-8 months?

So it’s March, and new weight loss goals are being set. And the fitness industry knows this. Now, I am proud to be apart of, present and past, of organizations that revolve their goals for members around healthy achievement, but I do know that that is not the case for everyone in the “health and fitness industry”.

Nothing. Nothing Makes me cringe more than the weight loss ploys to lose 5-10 lbs A WEEK! Like What?! Have you ever taken a course in nutrition or how the body works?!

Excuse me while I go calm myself down…

 

OKAY. I’m back. Here’s the thing, if you have been victimized by one of those weight loss ploys there are a few different things that could be happening here.

  1. you are shaking your head yes with every passing sentence thinking about the money you spent and the results you did NOT get.
  2. you are shaking your head yes with every passing sentence thinking about the results you did get, and the weight gained back- not to mention how your body hasn’t been the same since.
  3. you are shaking your head yes with every passing sentence just simply because you couldn’t agree more.

I’ve seen it. I’ve seen friends, acquaintances, co-workers, community members, new clients, etc. put money into something that just didn’t measure up. I’ve seen people with such damagemetabolisms that no matter what they do they can’t get it back on track. I’ve seen people with cupboards full of supplements, detoxes, pills, powders, and fridges full of cucumber waters, etc. that aren’t being used because they don’t work.

And here’s why they don’t work

Based on scientific, long-research, mathematical equations, a person should only *healthily and realistically* lose up to 2 LBS per week. TWO POUNDS! Why? Well here’s some math for you…

1 lb of weight loss per week= 3,500 calorie deficit per week = 500 calorie deficit in one day. Double that for 2 lbs.

What does a 500 calorie deficit look like? For most people starting out, who likely eat maybe 3 meals a day, that is essentially cutting each meal in 1/3. But realistically it is cutting your dinner in half, because that is where most overeat.

Sure, this may sound easy, and to some it is. I’m not saying the caloric deficit is hard, I’m saying that a deficit more than that is hard on the body.

What do most of these “lose 30 lbs in a month” or “lose up to 20 lbs in a week” ploys do? They put you on a restricted diet. And for the love of God, don’t get me started on the “CUT OUT CARBS BULLSHIT” like do you even know what your body’s preferred source of energy is? It is NOT 4 servings of green tea a day + 1 bowl of cottage cheese (eye roll). And if these weight loss fixes don’t put you on a restricted diet they are filling your body with chemicals that confuse the heck out of your body.

What happens when you restrict your caloric intake?

You restrict your nutrient intake. You might be eating less and not physically feel starved (but honestly most of the time you will) but instead you will start feeling lethargic, your immune system will suppress and you will be sick more, you might break out with more acne, you might get injured more easily. There could be a lot of “side effects” that you won’t even realize are related.

Not getting enough nutrients in your diet because you are eating 600 calories per day? You’re going to get sick. Or maybe you’re drinking some sore of drink that is “full of nutrients” which it MIGHT be, but chances are your body is only absorbing 10% of those nutrients (this is common among most multivitamins anyway). So if you’re drinking a nutrient rich drink and not absorbing it, where are those nutrients going? You’re peeing them out.

OH and when you lose a lot of weight each week, what kind of weight do you think you’re losing? Fat? Yeah sure, you’re losing some. But you’re also losing muscle. Muscle doesn’t only exist on bodybuilders and gym rats, EVERYONE has muscle. And even if you don’t have muscle definition you still have muscle and that muscle is the support system of your body. It is what keeps you tall with proper posture and supports your core in daily activities. You need muscle, not only for that, but for the fact that you want your body, your bones, your organs, protected.

The jyst here: I could go on and on about why these things don’t work but it all comes down to the fact that health and fitness professionals, along with scientist and people who dedicate their lives to their field have proven that weight loss should not happen in more than 2 lbs per week, and that fact has stayed tried and true for YEARS.

*Side note: if you are BRAND new, to a fitness and health program there is a good chance that you do  lose more than 2 lbs per week, this is called adaptation. It is not something that lasts*

So how to set realistic health and fitness goals

  • Set that goal for 1-2 lbs per week!
  • Incorporate not only a cleaned up diet but also a prescribed fitness routine by a professional
  • Set small goals that lead to a big picture
  • Know that not all goals need to be weight loss related. Make performance goals.
  • Realize that progress is still progress no matter how small. We are not sprinting here, we are running a marathon, and that-that is what makes results that last. Why? Because you are creating not only healthy habits but a healthy lifestyle. You are not falling into a 1 month quick fix only to “bounce back” and relapse as soon as you’re done. No, to be healthy you have to realize that it is a lifetime commitment to yourself

When it comes down to it, trust your gut, but more importanty trust yourself. You are much  more powerful than you think you are. You got this. Go rock the world.

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