Fat loss isn’t easy. Simple, yes. But not easy. Anyone who’s lost fat will tell you that it requires perseverance, determination, and a lifestyle change. Despite not being easy, fat loss can be extremely rewarding. Not only does it improve your general health, but it also makes you feel great about yourself. Sadly, this loss is short-lived for most. Reaching your fat loss goal might feel like a victory, the light at the end of the tunnel, but it’s only half the battle. The toughest part is keeping it off. The biggest misconception about losing weight is that once it’s off, it’ll stay off forever. It takes as much effort, if not more, to not gain it back. We see more and more people achieve the impossible only to find themselves getting fat again. Why does this happen? Why are you vulnerable to getting fat post weight loss?
The word ‘diet’ no longer means the kind of food that a community habitually eats. It now means food restrictions to lose weight. To diet, is to deprive yourself of most food groups. And when you did that, you lost fat. But it’s not easy to sustain forever. This constant deprivation is difficult and it leaves you feeling short-changed and craving junk even more. Eventually, you just gave in and ate all that’s forbidden. This leads to weight gain and puts you back in square one search of the next diet to do it all over again. To diet should be to eat the right kind of food and do it habitually. Do just that.
To put it simply, fat gain is a symptom, a symptom of the food choices made. When you made a change in your choice and ate differently you lost weight. When you go back to eating like you did before, you’ll gain it back. Remember, sustainability is the key. Fat loss is neither a sprint nor a marathon. It’s a journey, and a life long one at that. It should inculcate better eating habits. Instead of just treating the symptom, get to the cause of it and make a permanent and sustainable change.
Perhaps the biggest misconception about losing weight is that once it’s off, it’ll stay off forever. In fact, keeping the weight off takes as much if not more effort. This is exactly why we see more and more people gaining back some or all of the weight lost. You might have gone on a calorie deficit or eaten a 100% clean meal every single day to lose that fat. Once it’s off, even if you can’t eat at a 100% right, it doesn’t mean that you should go to a 0. You need to be at 70-80% for most days.
More often than not, quick-fix fat loss methods that require you to stay on liquids for a month or exercise 2 hours every day are not the healthiest of options. It messes with your system and its unsafe to put your body through it. Anything that promises results in just two weeks will have you gain it back in just 3 if you aren’t careful post that. If you do choose the quick fix, ensure that you don’t go back to your old ways. Also, don’t keep putting your body through these quick fix experiments. Find a mid ground and keep to it.
Most fat loss diets severely restrict your calorie intake. It has you following it for a while, have some success, stop because it’s impractical, regain the weight, feel like a failure, look for another quick-fix solution, and this vicious cycle continues. It makes you develop an unhealthy relationship with food and nutrition. This can lead to binge eating and other eating disorders. You end up in a worse off situation than where you started. Slowly try and build a healthy relationship with food and eating. Understand the joy of choosing and eating right. There are very many great choices that you can make and make them lifelong. Once you discover the joys of eating well and eating right, it’s should be an incredibly exciting journey.
So, what’s the deal then?
To lose fat you have two ways – the slow, simple, and long term approach or the quick, hard, and short term approach. Both are fine. But once you lose the fat, make sure you transition to a sustainable way of eating/diet so you can keep the gains/losses. Again, nutrition shouldn’t be just about fat loss. It’s a lot more than that. Nutrition is what nourishes you, sustains life and it’s important for growth and health. Don’t overindulge or deprive yourself. Find the balance and make it a habit for life. Remember, the goal is to build the body you want and sustain it for life.