Every day, thousands of people, just like you, are struggling to lose weight and achieve their personal goals. They try countless methods in pursuit of the “secret to weight loss.” Despite this desire, any program that has the word “diet” in it immediately turns them off. Instead, they restrict themselves of any food that they deem unhealthy, starve themselves in a desperate attempt to lose weight, and instead of finding results, they relapse back into their old habits.
This becomes a cycle that drains one of hope, as their goals and motivation are lost. However, with some simple education and guidance, this does not have to be the case.
The idea of a diet is regularly associated with struggle and empty sacrifice, but is rarely ever associated with progress and success. Is it deserving of this negative connotation?
The Golden Rule of Weight Loss
When all the confusing concepts and jargon of weight loss are boiled down to their core, they all revolve around the same idea.
One must be in calorie deficit. This simply means the calories’ that one burns must be greater than the calories’ that one gains. That’s it! If Calories burned > Calories eaten, weight loss will be achieved.
This is because a calorie is a unit to measure energy so when one is in calorie deficit, they quite literally are depriving themselves of the amount of energy they need to complete their daily routines. Their body is then forced to draw from another energy source, and this is the energy that is stored in fat cells. When the body resorts to using the energy in excess fat cells, it then “burns” the fat and allows the person to lose weight. However, the inverse is true about weight gain. When one is in calorie surplus, the extra calories’ are stored as fat cells.
It has been proven that for every 3,500 calories’ a person is in calorie deficit (or surplus), they will lose (or gain) 1 pound, but this level of calorie deficit can be difficult to achieve.
This might scare some people, because burning calories’ through exercise can be challenging so how are you supposed to build up enough calories’ deficit to lose weight? It’s actually a lot easier than you may think.
BMR – What is it and Why should You Care?
For every second you are alive you are burning calories’, no matter what you are doing. You could be binge watching Netflix, reading a book, or even sleeping. This is due to your BMR, or basal metabolic rate. Everyone has their own BMR, and it describes the amount of energy (calories) that a certain person will expend while at rest.
What does that mean for you? It simply means that you could lay in bed all day and still burn the amount of calories’ described by your BMR. It also should ease some nerves about weight loss.
You are not fighting to burn off every single calorie you eat on exercise alone, because due to your BMR you are burning a considerable amount of calories’ everyday by just existing. (avg BMR is 1500-1600 calories’/ day, but generally the more one weighs the higher the BMR).
There are many factors that work together to allow a person to lose weight. It is not an impossible feat.
However, there are also many factors that work to keep a person in calorie surplus, and these are just as powerful.
It’s not that simple…
When one decides to begin their journey for weight loss, they are not only setting a goal to lose weight, but also to commit to a healthier way of living. They are breaking their old, harmful habits and replacing them with new, beneficial habits, but habits are extremely difficult to change.
It is our nature as human beings to resist change and desire a consist and routine lifestyle. This is great for someone who has a routine of exercise and healthy eating, because it will be difficult for them to change their ways. But it will also be just as hard, if not harder for the person who doesn’t exercise and eats high calorie foods to break this habit.
This phenomenon can even be compared to Issac Newton’s law of inertia, which says that an object in motion has the tendency to stay in motion unless another force acts to change this, and objects at rest have the same tendency.
In addition, everyone has their own story and personal circumstances that have the potential to keep them slave to their old, unhealthy habits for the guilty pleasure.
It takes a large amount of will power for anyone to simply take their first step towards weight loss, and even more to build their new habit, avoiding relapse.
While the formula for weight loss is very simple, applying it to everyday life is not. It brings many struggles and sacrifices that many people fail to conquer alone.
The Weight Loss Teenager
There are many people will learn of the Golden Rule that I have described and then feel ready to take off on their weight loss journey. For some people this will work and with a bit more research, trial and error, and hard work they will find their way. Yet there are still many people that this method will not work for. These are the people that tend to think that they know enough to start losing weight, but often times fail at achieving their goals.
These are what I call the teenagers of weight loss, because everyone at this stage is inexperienced. Despite this, many feel like they know enough to find success on their own when in reality, most don’t. As a consequence of this, many won’t succeed at achieving their goals, not because of their lack of facilities and determination, but because of their lack of experience and guidance.
Just like a teenager who tries to prematurely take on the rigors of real life, there are inexperienced people that try to take on the rigors of the weight loss journey too soon.
Don’t be the Weight Loss Teenager. I’ve been one. I still know people that I would consider one. Things hardly ever workout for them.
You only have to start your weight loss journey one time if you are able to build new beneficial habits that allow you to achieve your goals. However, there are countless numbers of little mistakes that people with inexperience commit, which ultimately renders their self-appointed program useless. This sense of failure voids hope and motivation, making it much harder to take that first step again.
The simple solution to this is to make sure you do it right the first time so you are able to ride your wave of motivation to progress.
Behind every good weight loss or dieting program is scientific reasoning, experience, and expertise. Even if you only stay on a program for a short period, it is a good idea to gain that experience and look towards a person or organization that will be able to point you in the right direction. This will help you stay on track, and significantly reduce your chances of committing small mistakes.
Furthermore, some people just don’t have the mental strength to produce change in their lives alone, and that is perfectly okay! If anything it is actually normal.
Humans are social creatures. We thrive when we work with each other and our community towards a common goal. Two heads are always better than one. A good program will provide support and guidelines to follow to keep their participants on track and orientated towards their goals. For some, this support is exactly what they need to find success.
Take the Helping Hand
Not everyone needs a weight loss program in their lives depending on their goals and experience. Nevertheless, it is a good idea for those with inexperience or who are stranded in their endeavors to look for guidance.
Everyday people have their hopes and goals squashed by failure and inexperience, further trapping them in their old lifestyle and chaining them to their bad habits.
A diet or weight loss program might be the factor that allows you to follow through with your goals, gain experience, and start a journey towards a better, healthier lifestyle.
The term diet has the wrong connotation attached to it. Failed, inexperienced dieters share their stories of suffering with no return, and this negative response festers in the minds of people who are looking to lose weight. It is unfair to apply this label to all types of dieting, because with knowledge and experience to back the plan, the right diet can produce life changing results.
If you are inexperienced or lost in your pursuit of success, it can be worthwhile to research and commit to a program that will support and guide you to achieving your personal goals.
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns please feel free to paste them on this post. I wish you well on whatever path you choose to explore in your ventures.
All the best,