Am I Normal? What to expect when losing weight.
"Should I be losing faster?"
"Is this going to come right back on?"
"Is this all water weight?"
"Why am I stuck? Maybe my body won't go any lower than this..."
We have watched a lot of people lose a lot of weight. Men and women of all ages and a with a wide variety of goals. Each time we help someone along the journey we see the same things. So here's a few truths of weight loss to reassure you that yes, you are normal-
Truth #1-No one loses every day. Even if you eat flawlessly, exercise every day, and take every supplement in the book, there will be days and even weeks you don't lose. There will even be days where you randomly bump up for no apparent reason. Digestion, water retention, hormones and stress can all cause random fluctuations that you cannot control. That is NORMAL. What to look for is a downward trend of a one to two pound loss per week on average. Clients with smaller goals will see slower loss and that is normal.
Truth #2- Week One is a Unicorn. Oh the joys of week one! Weight comes off quickly. You see immediate gratification. We are so glad for that, because it really does help people through the beginning of the program. Then week two hits and your progress slows down. Maybe you stay the same for a day or two. Maybe you drop .2. It seems like "oh god, what happened?" but this is normal! You would not want your loss to continue at such a rapid rate, it would wreak havoc on your metabolism and cause your body to fight to put the weight back on.
Look at weekly average instead of each day to understand your progress. We like apps like Happy Scale that smooth your weight over time to account for those random fluctuations. Again, we strive for an average of one to two pounds a week although clients will have flat weeks and weeks with large drops. Yup, it's all normal.
Truth #3- That plateau WILL break. Everyone is always convinced it won't. They want to give up. The think they've hit the weight their body "wants to be". Sometimes it takes a week or two, but once that plateau breaks, it is gone for good.
Truth #4- You may have food sensitivities you are not aware of. When you go through our program, the first phase is very simple- lean proteins, healthy fats and fruits and vegetables. We have you add in different foods slowly so you can see how they affect you. By making such slow and deliberate changes you will find out that certain foods affect you in ways you'd never noticed. Have some chickpeas on your salad and randomly wind up bloated and up a pound the next day? Good to know. Does it mean you'll never have chickpeas again? Not at all! It just means that throughout this process you'll learn how your body reacts to foods and be able to make more informed decisions.
Truth #5- You can't outrun your fork. Studies show that exercise alone will not help you lose much weight. In fact, over exercising can cause inflammation and spikes in cortisol. Weight loss is 80-90% diet, and punishing yourself in the gym will not undo poor food choices. That said, we are firm believers in exercise for many reasons- for cardiovascular health, to tone and strengthen your body, to release endorphins and manage stress. Regular exercise leads to better food choices and helps you feel in control of your health.
Truth #6- People wear weight very differently. Seeing people's number and seeing their progress photos have shown us that people can wear weight very differently. What might sound like a low or high number in abstract can look completely healthy depending on your frame. We ask that our clients have a goal that is within a normal BMI range, but they can determine aesthetically what feels and looks best to them.
Truth #7- Set reasonable expectations. Some clients have very unrealistic goals about weight loss. We've had clients drop 4 pounds in a week and say "shouldn't it be going faster? I'm working so hard!" You didn't put it on in a week and it isn't coming off in a week.
Truth #8- Steady pace wins the race. Do NOT try to crash diet or you will put it right back on. When your body has been at a certain weight for awhile it will work to maintain that weight. This is known an set point theory. The good news is yes, it is still 100% possible to lose weight. You can adjust your set point. Your body can lose up to 10% of it's weight without triggering a metabolic fight. Maintain that loss for a few months and becomes easier to lose again.
Truth #9- Consistency is key, but a mistake here and there won't be your undoing. Our most successful clients plan mindful indulgences. Your health is made up of the habits that you practice daily. Feeding your body nutritious, whole foods on a regular basis will help you reach your goals. Yes, if you adhere to the plan "perfectly" you'll reach your goals more quickly. That said, if you slip up and have an unplanned indulgence, it's not going to negate weeks of hard work. Everyone makes mistakes- but your body will clear out the junk as long as you "right the ship" quickly.
Truth #10- You absolutely CAN succeed and it will be worth it. We see so many clients start determined but skeptical. They've tried and failed before, why should this be any different? Because it's not a "diet" it's a lifestyle. Yes, it is difficult at first, but when you have a coach holding your hand every day you make it through those challenging days. We love supporting clients in their health journey!