The Truth About Weight Loss

Quite a few of the people I encounter are of the mentality, “I want to lose as much weight as possible, as quickly as possible,” and that’s fine, but they don’t understand a lot of what comes with that. Everything that comes with weight loss, let alone extreme weight loss, and remember we really mean fat loss. And I’m not just talking about things like the physical changes to your body. It’s also important to remember that, especially if you’ve done things sensibly, what you’ve done to get yourself where you are, you’ll likely have to keep doing, at least in terms of calorie intake. This will have to become the new standard you work from.

So you’ve probably had to drastically alter your diet, and really most of those alterations are going to have to stick for the weight loss to stick. If you don’t like your new diet, you might be stuck with it, or risk falling back into old habits. What you did to get yourself to this point, isn’t necessarily the only way or the best way for you, but you probably don’t understand that, and you don’t understand how to do anything else, so you think you have no other options. You’ve cut out most of the foods you actually enjoy, thinking that’s the only way to achieve this weight loss. That’s why in most cases weight loss doesn’t last and the individual often ends up putting it all back on, because they believe it’s an either/or situation, and eventually they crack and want their old diet back. You make radical changes over short periods of time, and then think that’s job done. But that’s not sustainable, so make sure it’s something that is.

When you lose body fat, especially rapidly, you might find you end up with a lot of loose skin. And no one is ever really aware of this, certainly not the extent to which it can happen, or how long it takes or can take to regain its shape again. It can take years in some cases, in extreme cases you may very well need surgery to remove some of it. The mental stress during this period can be immense. Exercise might help with loose skin, or at least maintaining muscle mass as you go along might help.

Now those physical changes can and often will result in other changes of mentality. For instance, the way you look at yourself. Hopefully it will always be positive, but the changes to your body for many people might be positive initially, and then once you start to see a more definite shape to your body you fall back into the same pattern of self-loathing, albeit in a different way. Rather than hating yourself for being fat, you might start to nit pick at your body, wanting improvements in various areas. People often forget, or don’t know, that even if you look and feel healthy, that doesn’t necessarily stop you from hating your body or how you look. Maybe, maybe, it becomes a healthier form of hate, but then that can still lead to bulimia or steroid abuse etc in this new pursuit of what you believe to be perfection or being better. It just shifts the focus of hate.

And then it might sound bizarre, but there are aspects such as how other people will start to view you. When you lose a lot of weight, it almost goes without saying, but you’ll look like a totally different person. So you might find that people will start to treat you differently, and more importantly your partner might start to view you in a different light. Again, you hope this a positive change, but it could also negatively affect the relationships around you. We’ve all heard the classic of “you were more fun when you were fat”, because you won’t neck ten pints or go for that late night kebab, or even a partner resenting the new body you have, especially if they now feel self-conscious about theirs. It certainly isn’t unheard of for someone to try and sabotage their partners progress, through jealousy, fear, control.

For most people who want it, I would always encourage healthy weight loss, but I also think it’s very important for you to be aware of the changes other than the number around your waist. You will be a healthier person, but it might not come without its trials. Be aware of that, focus on the positives, and do things in the best and most manageable way for you. See you next week.

Dan Miller

Body Fuel Personal Fitness trainer