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TOPIC: Why does it take so long to lose weight?

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November 16, 2012 9:28 AM
I want to lose weight the healthy way, but it just seems so frustrating and like such a long, drawn out process. I wish I could be at my goal weight YESTERDAY. Anybody else feel this way?
November 16, 2012 9:35 AM
I assume that we all do !!!
November 16, 2012 9:38 AM
I actually don't want to lose weight too quickly because I don't want loose skin. That's why I'm prepared to take as long as possible. It''s fustrating but worth it in my opinion.
Edited by stacibuk On November 16, 2012 9:40 AM
November 16, 2012 9:39 AM
Of course. Everyone does. But you didn't put it all on in one day, you won't take it off in a day either. Try focusing on being healthy, instead of how quickly the scale changes.
November 16, 2012 9:39 AM
It has taken me five months to reach this point... Seems like a long time. Although, that amount of time has made my eating pattern consistant with mfp. I definitely know what 3oz of meat looks like!
November 16, 2012 9:39 AM

I want to lose weight the healthy way, but it just seems so frustrating and like such a long, drawn out process. I wish I could be at my goal weight YESTERDAY. Anybody else feel this way?

I felt this way especially when I started this journey. Amazingly I still feel this way at times even in maintenance when everyone tells me I shouldn't. We are all human. We have good days and bad days, all of our lives. The tools you find and use to get out of a funk will serve you the rest of your life, and you will always need them. I call it sharpening your sword for battle and you will always need to keep your blade sharp for the rest of your life. We may get to relax at times for a few moments, but life is a bit of work until the end.

There is nothing easy about this journey. Don't give up. Keep your eye on the prize. You do not have to be perfect to do this. You just have to have more good days than not. A bad day is not the end of the world. Tomorrow is a new day. Just pick it right up again. Be kind to yourself at all times and never beat yourself up.

Being on a calorie deficit is hard. You can't do this journey on will power alone. You must set up your environment for success. Have a team around you in your real life, not just online. Get trigger foods out of the house. It will take some sacrifice and it's not easy. You might have to say no to some social events sometimes.

Too many changes at once can be hard on some people. I've always eaten healthy so it easy for me to simply eat less. Eating at a calorie deficit is hard on people; even a small deficit puts your body in a state of flux with hormones and such. Everyone is different. Some people can handle a deeper calorie deficit than others, this is not right or wrong, it just is. Stress in your life affects your hunger hormones; lack of sleep, fatigue, job stress, family stress, financial stress, etc. Add in emotional eating issues and it gets even more complicated. Most people can only handle so much change/stress at once, they try to do too much and fail. Sometimes it might be a better strategy to eat at maintenance and make some small changes first, it really depends on how much stress you are taking in at the moment.

For me it's all about a calorie budget. I had less of a budget available when I was losing weight, more to spend now that I'm maintaining and all the tools I used for weight loss come into play for the rest of my life maintaining.

When you have accumulated excess fat, you have accumulated a debt. It is hard to pay off the debt (you have less calories to spend). If you are sitting next to someone your same gender and height and they are not overweight and you are, they get to eat more than you (have more calories to spend) because they are debt free. You have less calories to spend because you are paying off your debt.

There is no mystery to weight loss, everyone thinks something is wrong, their metabolism is broken, they have low thyroid, they have menopause or whatever issue, they are as unique as a snowflake, whatever. I thought a lot of these things once too but once the doctor helped resolve the health issues for me I learned there is still no magic pill. Most people eat more than they need to and are not at good at estimating calories as they think they are. Most people have a lower BMR than they think they do. The only way to know for sure is to go to a lab and have it tested. It doesn't seem fair to have to eat less and feel a little hunger. It's hard to face the truth of it, very hard. It's not fun. It's drudgery at times. But if you learn to enjoy your smaller amounts of food (necessary to lose weight, since the reason we got fat in the first place was eating too much whether we knew it or not), and rejoice in your victories it can be done.

Your body loses weight in chunks, not linear. I have found that you can do everything right and your weight loss seems to plateau but if you are patient and keep exercising and eating at a deficit (however slight) you will lose it, it will suddenly "whoosh". There are so many variables for the scale; water retention, digestion, hormones, allergies, sodium, carbs, water intake, DOMS, inflammation, the list goes on. People mistakenly think they lose or gain weight when they eat more or less because of these fluctuations.

Losing weight requires tremendous patience. You will not lose it when you want it or where you want it. The body does its thing. Some apparent plateaus can last a month or so. You cannot make it happen faster. You must focus on two things; calories and exercise. Nothing else matters. Scales and metrics don't matter. The day in and day out grind of exercise and calories are all that matters. It is not very exciting until things fall into place. You get your victories and you ride one victory to the next.

The scale is a trend tool. The scale is good but put it away and only check once a week and only use it as a trend tool. It will fluctuate, it does not matter. Take front side and back progress pictures at least once a month. You will see differences that the metrics won't tell you and it's that little bit of NSV that will keep you going until the next victory.
November 16, 2012 9:39 AM
Because there's a limit to how much stored fat you can oxidize in a day
November 16, 2012 9:40 AM
I have felt that way in the past time, but this time I appreciate the time it takes to change bad habits because I'm not on a diet that will end. Plus I'm not looking forward to loose skin hanging all over the place, and at my age, that's what I fear is my future.
November 16, 2012 9:40 AM
Its much easier to put weight on than take it off lol. I had that mentality in the begining and i think thats why i never got motivated to start dieting. If i hit my goal i will have lost 58-60lb in a year. thats just by a 1200 calorie diet and working out 5 days a week. Just think of it as a lifetsyle change and not a diet.

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November 16, 2012 9:42 AM
Yeah, I think that's a common sentiment. But I want it to stay gone, not come back. That mantra helps on the 'tough' days.
November 16, 2012 9:45 AM
One of my favorite sayings: "A year from now you'll wish you started today."
November 16, 2012 9:50 AM
I've been stop saying the word diet. I just consider this a healthier life style journey that I'm on. It took me many years to put this weight on so I know it's going to take a while to get it off. But through it all, you realize just how strong you are and just how much will power you actually have. You develop a different level of friendships and you come to learn who your true friends are. Some people like having an overweight person in their lives because it makes them look smaller and more attractive...although I've never had that experience, I have heard about it and read about it.

All in all, if you want the weight to come off, then its up to you to do the work to get it off. I figure in 30 days, if I work out and eat healthier, I should lose a minimal of 5 pounds. Sometimes I make it, sometimes I don't but oh joy...the clothes fit looser. That to me beats the scale every time.

Good luck on your healthier journey.
November 16, 2012 9:51 AM
I don't think there are many people who wouldn't want to be at their goal weight yesterday ;)

Consider this.. I don't know about you but for me I started my BIG weight gain probably close to ten years ago - I gained 90 lbs in about 3 years and slowly added more to it over time. I didn't get fat overnight, it took time - in my case about 4 years to gain @100 lbs. That's 25lbs per year - about 2lbs per month/.5lbs per week (doesn't take much does it?) I am actually losing weight FASTER than I put it on in the first place ;)

Not many people are going to say that they got "fat" in a month. It's the same with losing it, it's not going to happen overnight. Quite honestly it will probably take at least as much time to get rid of as it took to put on. To stay healthy and increase the chance of keeping it off it has to be done a little slower. Most people who are getting enough nutrients will see close to the following:
2lbs / week - over 100 lbs to lose
1.5 lbs / week - over 50lbs to lose
1 lbs / week - under 50lbs to lose
.5 lbs / week - under 20lbs to lose

There are people who will promise 'fast' weight loss but time and again people who have managed to keep weight off will tell you that the slower you go the more likely it is to keep off, and also for your body to adjust - to prevent hanging / sagging skin and other issues associated with losing a large amount of weight. You need to allow your body time to adjust to being smaller ;)
November 16, 2012 9:53 AM
I started this journey by deciding to eat for my goal weight. That way, it wasn't a "diet" it was just the proper way to eat. I knew that it would be slow--about .5 lbs per week but I am now about 1 lb from goal weight and I have completely learned (or re-learned)how to eat like a 130 lb. person. I could have eaten 1200 calories to lose faster but I know I would have been miserable and would have felt deprived. Slow and steady was the best method for me.
November 16, 2012 9:57 AM
i am sooooo bad with wanting results immediately! it'll all be worth the wait! smile
November 16, 2012 9:57 AM
I lost in 6 months what took 5 years to put on. I don't think that's too shabby.


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