So, is that birthday cake the reason why our healthy weight loss efforts do not payoff? The reason instead, is the notion that we can pile on the weight, then expect to simply take it off through some instant, fast fat loss diet. Sorry, it does not work that way.
When those looking to lose the fat have unrealistic weight loss goals, this is known in the industry as the 'false-hope syndrome'. It is unfortunate to discover through studies, that many dieters who temporarily eat less to lose weight, have their expectations set way too high. The studies further the disappointment by noting that this level of unrealistic expectations severely increases the chance of dropping out of whatever program they started.
Study after study, experts agree that the number one pitfall of any weight loss program, is actually starting a program with expectations too high. The best way to achieve your healthy weight loss goals is start smaller and set realistic goals. Okay, I know what you are saying..."How then, do I set realistic goals?"
Here are 4 basic, sensible steps:
Believe it or not, these are not some big, scientific strategies; rather, they are everyday, commonsense tips everyone can relate to, understand and handle.
1. Lose weight slowly.
Understand that this level is different for each one of us. Pending on your present weight and healthy condition, you may actually see a lot of weight drop off immediately, while others will see only gradual loss. Jennifer A. Linde, PhD, assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Minnesota-Minneapolis recommends setting goals of losing 5-10%.
2. Short term goals
In the previous section, we mention 5-10%, but that number does not mean much because that probably is not your long-term goal. These are milestones. Having success along the way is much better than simply trying to watch you lose 25, 30 or more pounds.
3. Track your progress
Make certain to put on paper, or computer journal, your every move...including the bad days. Leaving a trail will do two things for you...keep you motivated by continually witnessing successful days and (2), allow you to see where you need improvement.
4. Set and track progress to your long-term goal
It is okay to think big, just do not have it as your main focus. Start small and work towards the end result. Having an end in mind will keep you on-track.
There is an old saying in the weight loss industry and that is...to keep it off permanently, lose it slowly. This makes sense as it relates to healthy weight loss; losing the fat over time will allow your body to adopt new behaviors, such as eating better and exercising more.