When the Weight Loss Honeymoon is Over
You lost five pounds the first week. The enthusiasm got you to the second week and you lost four pounds again. How is it then that now, in the first half of the second month, you’ve lost only three pounds? Nothing’s wrong with you. But, at this point, it’s official: the weight loss honeymoon is over. And now the real work of dieting begins.
While the medical community (and Calorie Count) recommends a loss of no more than two pounds per week, most people disregard the advice. They want to lose weight faster. And many do lose faster in the first few weeks of their weight loss journey but, as time goes by, the pounds are harder and harder to drop.
Initial Weight Loss
Some of you lose weight so quickly in the beginning because your calorie deficit is so extreme. Let’s face it, if you go from eating 2500 calories a day and sitting on the couch for 12 hours to eating 1600 calories a day and with light activity, you’re going to see major results at first. After all, your body is missing more than 1000 of the daily calories it needed to maintain your starting weight.
But, more importantly, your quick weight loss may have been largely due to water weight. Excessive intakes of sodium and carbohydrate cause water retention, and so when you start to eat more nutritionally balanced meals, you may lose pounds of water, not fat. And if you have reason to sweat, we’re talking even more water weight gone.
Take that big first month number in stride. And prepare to have a piece of humble pie.
Because of your quick start, you may have come to expect a repeat performance of those results week after week. But that’s simply not realistic. Still, you’re not alone. Studies show that women almost always set their weight loss goals way too high, and then go on to lose much less weight than they expected. But there's a twist! The well-adjusted women realized they felt better with any amount of weight loss, and so they chose not to be dissatisfied with their below-goal results. They simply adjusted expectations and carried on. What else can a reasonable person do?
Long-term weight loss is just that: a long-term goal. The experts knew what they were talking about when they set the recommendation to an average of ½ to 2 pounds a week. Some weeks you’ll only lose a pound and other weeks you’ll lose three. Relax. This is supposed to be about a lifestyle change, so don’t set your short-term expectations too high.
Read this Calorie Count blog, Realistic Expectations for Weight Loss.
Are you still on your honeymoon? Do your expectations match reality?