Slow drop on the scale got you feeling down and struggling to stay patient during weight loss? When you’re trying to lose weight with or without diet pills, crawling numbers can feel like a schoolyard taunt. You’ll never get there, they nag in sing-songy voices. Days tick by, and still, mere fragments of a lb…the fight to stay patient during weight loss is oh so real!
You’re making progress, to be certain. But at a snail’s pace. The once expedient weight loss you experienced early in your weight loss regime have dwindled, giving way to what feels like a waiting game. Any day now!, you internally scream.
If slow progress has you feeling fatigued, you’re not alone: many “losers”, so to speak, experience slow weight loss even after weeks of fast, relatively easy losses. As you move closer and closer to your weight goal, you’re operating in a smaller deficit, and weight loss slows naturally. In order for weight to be lost, a significant deficit in Caloric intake must occur.
However, if you’re already consuming the correct number of Calories to reach and maintain your goal weight, resist the urge to drop any lower just to make the scale sink lower, faster. While it’s tempting to speed things along by manipulating Caloric intake and exercise regime, doing so may cause burnout, or-in the case of exercise-injury. Again- if the scale is still moving, albeit slowly- stay the course and stay patient during weight loss. The weight will come off.
In the meantime? Patience! Naturally, so preach about patience as a virtue is one thing, to practice it is quite another.
Changing Perspective to Stay Patient During Weight Loss
When you want something badly, it’s only natural to want it now. This is especially the case if you’ve made sacrifices and worked hard to achieve a large, emotional goal like weight loss. When the sacrifices suddenly begin to reap deteriorating rewards, the result is disappointment, frustration, anger, and-in some cases- depression. This is all a normal part of the weight loss process, albeit one that’s hard to stomach.
We live in a microwave society, one where we’re used to instant gratification- it’s one of the reasons overweight and obesity have become so prevalent. In a society that’s working overtime, all while balancing family time, school, and recreational activities- large amounts of stress is a given. For many consumers, that means turning to food to relieve stress or experience a much-needed moment of bliss in a frantic day.
Once you’ve kicked the bad food habits, it’s essential that you find ways to gather yourself emotionally in moments of fatigue, stress, or sadness to stay patient during weight loss. Now that the emotional crutch that food once provided is gone, it’s normal to feel vulnerable and emotionally aimless. When the disappointment of a stubborn scale is added to the fray? Total frustration, fear, and sadness.
Whether you’ve lost five, ten, fifty, or one hundred lbs, it’s important to remember that weight loss is a lifelong process. Regardless of whether you’re at your goal weight or still on your way, you’ll need to maintain some level of vigilance around food for the rest of your life. While you needn’t succumb to paranoia, a keen awareness for what it takes to maintain weight is necessary to prevent regain on the scale.
Recognizing that weight loss and maintenance is a lifelong process, grant yourself some mercy, and reflect on the fact that this is simply one part of that weight loss and maintenance process- staying the course. You’re not doing anything wrong- you’re right where you’re supposed to be.
In the meantime, we’ll be breaking down some tips to help you stay patient while the scale does it’s thing. Ready to get started? Head on over to the second part of our three part It’s Not a Race series, which will give you the tools necessary to break out of your emotional rut and come into a new, more patient (not to mention peaceful) way of being.
Morgan Medeiros is a certified nutritionist, holding a both a Bachelor and Master’s Degree in Clinical Nutrition. Morgan completed her undergraduate education at Central Washington University, and her graduate education at Northeastern University. During her time as a graduate student, Morgan focused her area of expertise in health education, weight management, and behavioral change. Morgan has experience working in areas of nutritional neuroscience and disease prevention, obesity prevention, and weight loss. Morgan also works in areas of nutritional analysis and menu labeling for restaurants, where she is able to creatively bridge her interest in food culture and health education. In her free time, Morgan enjoys traveling, reading, writing, running, and spending time with her family and friends (including- most importantly- her dog, Clyde).