#1 Quick Results
I’m sure you’ve heard the old mantra – “Don’t lose weight too fast – or you’ll just gain it all back.” Well, I would like to challenge that antiquated way of thinking.
First of all, it is true that most people who lose weight may regain some or all of it in time. However, I don’t believe the relapse was a result of having lost weight too fast in the beginning. Instead, it is a result of not having enough support during the first, and most vulnerable year after the weight was lost.
Studies have shown that once you have made up your mind to make changes (lose weight), the sooner you see measurable results, the better. Why? It’s simple. It keeps you motivated. Sure, you are making some sacrifices while making these lifestyle changes, but if you see results, it’s all worth it. Giving up cookies, ice cream and pizza for a few weeks isn’t so bad if you can lose 10-15 pounds and drop a pant size.
#2 Meal Replacements
Back to the research – there are numerous studies that support the evidence that people simply lose more weight and have better long term results when, for a period of time, they simply eat someone else’s food. That is the premise behind ‘meal replacements’. I’m not exactly sure why they are called meal replacements, because in reality, they are a meal, but that is what they are referred to, so that’s what we’ll call them here too.
The concept is this: First, you pick a day that you are going to start your diet. On that day, you begin eating the pre-packaged – nutritionally balanced and portion controlled meals, and essentially stop or significantly reduce eating “normal food” for a few weeks. The idea here is that you are giving your body just exactly what it needs for nutrients and nothing else. Just the basics. If the program is designed properly, you’ll be comfortable, without hunger or cravings and will enjoy rapid weight loss. Then, after a few weeks, you’ve broken some bad habits, started eating healthier and on your way to a new, healthier lifestyle.
The next step then, is to gradually begin to reintroduce “normal food” in a more controlled way. As you wean off the meal replacements, and start eating healthy grocery items, you can more easily identify the effect that certain foods have on your body. You’ll quickly figure out if certain items trigger more cravings or begin to sabotage your weight loss efforts.
Finally, and probably most important – a person needs to have an accountability partner when working on making life-style changes. As we’ve mentioned previously, some studies have shown that up to 85% of people who have lost weight will regain it, but that is if they don’t have support. Those who have support, be it coaching or just someone to report your progress to, will typically have a much better chance of maintaining their weight loss.