I see you, sweet sister. You want the weight gone yesterday. You want to wear those smaller clothes, fit into your skinny jeans, and feel lighter and energetic. I get it. That was me. Today we are going to talk about rapid vs slow weight loss. This is an incredibly important topic, especially for my sweet friends who want this time to be the last time. So, buckle up and get ready to get pumped up and encouraged in your journey.
There is always some amazing program, diet, shake, procedure, or pill that promises a fast weight loss solution. And, I get it, this is something we want so badly. Why can’t we have it now? Studies show that women who lose their weight fast are far more likely to gain it all back. Depending on the research, the percentable that regains is around 90% or higher. For a lot of work and pain, that completely sucks.
But it is hard not to cave and do whatever your best friend is doing to get her hips into a smaller size of pants. So, today I am going to fuel your healthy fight for permanent weight loss with some facts that will help you understand what you are doing and how it affects your future.
Fast weight loss. Depending on the weight you have and need to lose, fast weight loss is anything over 2 lbs per week if you have more than 30lbs to lose and anything over a 1 lb lost weekly if you have less than 30 lbs to lose. I would even argue that if you have less than 15 lbs to lose, fast weight loss is anything over .5 lbs:
What I see in the women I coach is that three things happen when weight loss is too fast.
#1. Burn out: When you ride yourself so hard and have a diet that is so difficult you will find that day when the pressure is just too much and you give up. That burn-out point could slam you straight into binging, letting it go for a weekend or longer, or even have you giving up all together. It will also definitely lead you to stopping whatever healthy choices you were making, the moment you reach your goal.
#2. Brain freak out: God designed part of our brain, the lower part, to go on red alert and get very emotional whenever it feels like you are in danger. When you lose weight fast, typically you are doing things that are very uncomfortable in your body and your brain. So, your lower brain will start to fight you and unless you do some deep thought work, you’ll find that fighting yourself is a losing battle. It takes too much willpower for that moment when your busy life throws other pressures at you, too.
#3 Not much real learning: When you are fighting for permanent weight loss, you have to figure out some things. You need to know what you enjoy eating, what works for your life, and self-care habits benefit you the most. If you throw too much at yourself, anything that you do will start to feel like an overwhelming chore, even if it is a healthy habit that would benefit you long-term. That is one reason I encourage the women I work with to implement changes slowly while evaluating their progress.
Now, let’s talk about slow:
#1. It’s sustainable: When you do things slow, you’ll find that those same practices will be easy to incorporate into your weight maintenance. You are doing things you enjoy and that make you feel good mentally and physically, therefore it is easy to stay committed to them long term.
#2. It is safe: When losing weight is comfortable, you enjoy the changes, and you love the way you feel, you’ll find that your lower brain started fighting with you instead of against you. It learns that going out for a walk boosts your energy or that grabbing your water instead of a soda makes your body feel so much better all day. When your lower brain is on your side, you will get back so much energy, will power, and stamina because you are doing things that truly benefit you every day.
#3. Real learning: When you slow down, you can become very analytical. You can decide if certain practices are worth the effort and how to adjust things to work with your life instead of trying to cram your life into a preset diet or program.
Ready to ask yourself some powerful questions about your weight loss journey right now? Okay, grab a pen and paper if you can or come back to these later. Going through these questions from time to time can help you make the differentiating choice between sustainable weight loss and the road to burn out and freak out.
Questions to ask yourself:
If I had to do this the rest of my life, would I be okay with that? Why or why not?
What practices in my health journey feel really good right now? Why?
Which practices in my health journey are hard for me? Why?
Would I recommend these same practices to my mom, daughter, sister, or close friend? Why?
What feelings fuel these practices?
Before we sign off today I want to tell you a little story from the book of Exodus, chapter 23, verses 30-33. Whenever God promised the land to the Isrealites and set them on their way to conquer the land, He told them he wouldn’t give them the land all at once. Instead, He told them that He would drive out the inhabitants and give them the land little by little so that they would be ready to fully occupy it when they were ready. They didn’t have enough people and resources to retain the land if they were to get it all at one time. It had to be the process.
I hold that truth close to me whenever I’m working on changes in my own life. Permanent change takes time and when I honor that, I find I am so ready to defend who and what I have become.
By the way, before we sign off, I highly encourage you to take the quiz, finding out what your weight loss next steps are. Everyone is so different, finding out what would give you the biggest returns on your investment of time and energy in your weight loss journey is key.
All my love to you, sweet sister. I’ll talk to you next week.
by Lora Armendariz
You Can Do It!
Do you want to fall out of love with a destructive habit? The first 42 episodes of this podcast are a resource for anyone who wants encouragement and information as they take a six week break from a habit in order to fall out of love with it.