It’s Not a Race Part 1: Staying Patient During Weight Loss
Weight Loss What's inside?
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February 4, 2020
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Staying Patient During Weight Loss

It’s hard to be patient during weight loss.  Has a more obvious statement ever been made? When you have pounds to lose, all you want to do is get there. If you can’t reach your goal quickly, then it seems reasonable to at least want to drop as much as you can along the way. Unfortunately, rushing things can be very harmful to our emotional and physical wellness while trying to control our weight whether you’re using diet pills.

Week after week, when you look at the numbers on the scale, dropping far more sluggishly than you’d like, staying patient during weight loss becomes pretty tough.  It can feel like you’re working hard for every waking minute of the year and barely seeing any difference to reward you for your time.

Remind Yourself of the Importance of Staying Patient During Weight Loss

One of the things you need to remind yourself when staying patient during weight loss is feeling difficult is that you are making progress.  Whether or not you’re seeing it on the scale, you are moving toward your goal.  Even if the number you’re recording each week feels like a snail’s pace, you’re still getting there.  What’s more, you’re making other forms of progress that you’re not seeing in that number.

So much of the progress you make while you’re adopting a new and healthier lifestyle isn’t something that will show up on your bathroom scale. The next time you’re tempted to scream into a pillow, remind yourself that you’re building habits that will only become easier over time, you’re treating yourself with respect. You’re honoring your self care. You’re likely moving closer to your goal than you realize. The reason is because your body composition is changing to include new lean muscle as you burn off the unwanted fat.

What if You Really Are Losing Too Slowly?

Have you been sticking to your eating and exercising strategy without a single slip-up and just keep being disappointed by what you see? Have you hit a plateau or never hit your stride in the first place?  It could be that there’s something that needs to be tweaked in what you’re doing. Maybe you’re eating too many – or even too few – calories.  Maybe you’re not counting all your calories.  Remember that you need to include those bites you take while you’re cooking, and the piece of birthday cake that was in the break room.

If it’s not your caloric intake or your fitness program, consider working on your stress control or on improving your sleep.  These factors can also affect your rate of weight loss. If you’ve been sleep starved – or sleeping too much – or if you’ve been going through a stressful time, this can cause your appetite to grow, your metabolism to slow, and to see slower results on the scale.

Don’t Rush! It’s Time for a Change in Perspective

Yes, you want to reach your goal. It’s only natural for you to want it now.  Why would you want to have to wait a long time and work hard when you could have it right now? When you feel like you’re making sacrifices, it can be very difficult to feel that your efforts are rewarding when you’re faced with one disappointing, frustrating, or even depressing result after another.

These are all very normal feelings, especially when it comes to struggles with staying patient when losing weight. That said, they don’t have to be something you carry with you throughout the full length of your weight loss strategy.

It’s time for a shift in perspective

The key to staying patient when losing weight is to step out of the natural inclination toward instant gratification. Yes, we’re used to immediate results with microwaves, high-speed internet, and same-day delivery, but some things are worth the wait. Weight loss just happens to be one of them.

Shift your focus

You’re no longer trying to reach a goal weight.  That will be a side effect of your true goal: adopting a healthy lifestyle over the long term. This will help you to overcome your emotional link with your progress toward a number on the bathroom scale.  Instead, you’ll feel proud of each new healthy step you take toward your overall wellness.  This lifestyle will just happen to help you to achieve a healthier body weight. That said, it will also help you to become fitter, stronger, and enjoy better wellness as a result of improved nutrition.

It isn’t an easy perspective and it’s not something you can simply flip a switch and adopt.  That said, if you work on this perspective over time, you’ll find yourself staying patient during weight loss a little more each day.

As a part of this, check out the second part of our three part It’s Not a Race series, to help you learn some great tips and tools to overcome some of the biggest challenges you may face while adopting a healthy lifestyle over the long term.

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