A friend of mine recently informed me she burned 500 calories cycling 10 minutes on her home exercise bike. I read her text with a little pang of anxiety. Should I give her the dose of reality or continue encouraging her in her weight loss journey? I love her dearly and want what’s best for her, but come on, girl, you didn’t burn that much in the half-hearted starter exercise routine. She’s no stranger to dieting, health, and exercise. In fact, just last year she set out on her keto journey, though obviously, she’s not following that routine anymore. So, how could my beautiful, smart friend be so damn wrong about caloric exertion?
Then I realized, if she’s confused about the process, there must be millions of women out there who aren’t doing it right. I consider myself somewhat of an expert with weight loss. Why? Well, I had a damn eating disorder for over a decade. I learned a lot about losing pounds! Looking back on it now from a healthy perspective, I can see how sick I was, but I sure as hell learned a lot about nutrition, dieting, and fitness.
I will never in a million years share all the unhealthy habits with you in attempts to help you lose weight because they’re temporary solutions that don’t work. Plus, a lot of them are just gross things. But, I can share the brilliant things I learned that continually help me keep fit and healthy.
1. Stop F***ing Up Your Metabolism
You might think fasting for more extended periods, or lowering calories dramatically will help you lose weight quicker, but you’re just setting yourself a beautiful, warm bed of failure. Do you know how long it took me to get my metabolism to semi-normal after all the fasting, drastically low-calorie consumption, and “diet hacks”? Years. Yes, it took me years, and my body kept gaining weight in those years, even though I ate within my normal range. When you deprive your body, it kicks into survival mode. Aka, it holds on to every single calorie it can get its hands on.
2. Weight Loss Isn’t an Overnight Sensation
It takes a long time to lose weight and keep it off sustainably. The key here is keeping that weight off! I’m not going to lie to you. You can definitely quickly shed some pounds with extreme dieting methods. You’ll also regain it all back and then some. I didn’t think it would happen to me because I am a disciplined machine when it comes to my life, and it did. Because I lied to myself and for some odd reason, assumed the rule doesn’t apply to me. The rule will apply to you too. Stick to losing a maximum of 2 lbs a week which will ease you into the habits and a sustainable lifestyle. That means you’re losing a maximum of 8lbs a month. That’s still VERY quick, and you should consider slowing that rate down unless you have a lot of weight to lose. The less you have to lose, the longer you should spread it out for.
3. Stop Lying to Yourself
Look, you’re a smart girl (or boy), so you know that your carrot cake slice isn’t 90 calories. If MyFitnessPal, or whatever tracking software, gives you 100 options for your slice of carrot cake and one of them is 90 calories, why in the world would you pick that low option? Because you want to feel good about yourself. Ultimately, that’s a lie that keeps you from making any meaningful process. Always overestimate by 5-10% when it comes to logging what you consume and underestimate 5-10% logging what you expend through exercise. You’re not doing anyone favors by trying to fit your caloric consumption into your 1,200 calorie plan.
4. Pick Realistic Goals
OMG, how are you eating 1000-1200 calories a day, and human children around you are still alive!? I would be ravenous! Stop fooling yourself. You will not spend the rest of your life on 1,200 calories. And when you up the caloric consumption, your metabolism will still be storing all it can get, and you’ll gain weight rapidly. Track what you’re consuming now and start slowing cutting down. Start by consuming 150-200 calories less a day. That’s one snack and totally realistic.
5. Whatever You Do, Do it Consistently
The goal here is making your weight loss into something permanent. That means whatever road you pick must be your lifestyle. If you think you’re going to do it for a few months, stop, and keep all your progress, you might be very confused about life, and I’m sorry about that. Think long term!
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