Gaining weight is surprisingly easy.
It happens slowly, but by the time you realize what’s going on, you’re already at a point where you do not want to be.
On the contrary, losing weight is hard. Some estimates show it takes at least twice as long to lose weight as it does to gain the same amount.
Losing weight is hard, and slow, but once we decide we want to do it, we want those results, like, now.
We are ready to go all in, balls to the wall, let’s-do-this-thing already.
This usually translates to extreme low calorie dieting, avoiding all carbs, and working out too much and too hard.
That sets us up to lose weight, yes, and then typically put it right back on, and then some.
If I could talk to every person who wants to lose weight, there are five things I would tell them.
- Start small. If you try to do it all at once, you’re going to end up feeling overwhelmed. Pick one thing you can focus on. It could be getting your workouts in, or giving up soda, or eating another serving of vegetables at each meal. Not all three. Just pick one. Focus solely on that, until it becomes a routine, then move to the next thing on the list.
- Plan your meals. If you want to lose weight you’re going to have to know what foods you’re eating and how much. You can no longer rely on restaurants, packaged meals and drive-throughs. You need to plan ahead and prepare most of your meals. It does take time, but it is so worth it in the long run.
- Move more. Yes, exercise is important. Exercise is a great way to lose weight, but exercise alone is not going to cut it. Get up, walk around, be more active, do things around the house, play with the kids, take your dog for a walk. All of these things are great, wonderful healthy habits, that are going to not only help you lose weight, they’re going to make you feel good, and they don’t take a lot of extra effort once you’re in the habit.
- Sleep better. Sleep first, everything else second. It doesn’t matter how good you are on your diet, or how much you are exercising, if you’re not sleeping well you’re not likely to have good results long-term. Sleep is the step that starts everything else in motion. Sleep is absolutely imperative, so if you want to lose weight you have to be sure you’re getting good quality sleep.
- Be patient. You didn’t put the weight on overnight and it’s not going to come off overnight. So even though you’re ready and you want it like yesterday, you’re going to have to put in time and effort consistently for a long time and probably longer than you maybe thought you would. The time will pass anyway, so you might as well take it slow and be patient.
If you’re trying to lose weight, start small, plan some healthy meals, get moving as much as possible, get to bed on time and stay there for at least seven hours each night.
Do that every day and don’t worry about anything else, then be patient and trust the process.
That’s the secret to long term sustainable weight loss.