Do you feel pressured to lose weight? More and more Americans have given up trying – but that doesn’t mean you have to.
A recent Journal of the American Medical Association study found that while there are higher rates of overweight and obesity in the United States, fewer adults are trying to lose weight.
Researchers have yet to look into why this is the case, but predict it could partly be because of a lack of urgency. If someone is overweight or obese, but otherwise healthy, they might not feel the need to make losing weight a priority.
Still, weight loss can have major physical and psychological benefits when it comes to working out. Even though it might be hard – and you might be mostly healthy – it’s still possible, and totally worth it.
WHY IS IT SO HARD TO LOSE WEIGHT?
Mostly, it’s because of diet and exercise misconceptions. People still think calories in, calories out is an effective way to lose weight. They start eating the right foods, but still eat more than they need to. They keep doing the same two workouts over and over again. They also expect instant gratification when it comes to weight loss – which is the exact opposite of what you get.
Losing weight is hard because you have to gradually change your habits. It’s a lifestyle change, not just something temporary you can stick with for a few weeks before going back to what you used to do before. Some people just aren’t able to make that kind of long-term commitment – yet.
The above JAMA study looked at whether or not people were losing weight in just one year, and compared that to previous years. Someone who reported they weren’t trying to lose weight at the time of the study might be trying now – everyone’s weight loss timeline is different.
HOW WEIGHT LOSS CAN BENEFIT YOUR TRAINING
Losing weight isn’t only about how you look, but also changes how you feel. Carrying around extra weight just puts a lot of unwanted stress on your body, which can make it harder to sleep and make you more susceptible to illness.
None of this is helpful when you’re trying to make it to the gym when you say you’re going to – and actually accomplish something once you’re actually there.
Dropping even a few pounds can get you in better shape to train harder and better.
You’ll generally be in a better mood
You’ll feel less physically and emotionally stressed
You’re less likely to get sick
You’ll sleep better
Your hormones will do a better job of regulating your metabolism
All this to say, you’ll feel much more motivated and energized to hit the gym consistently, no matter what. And you’ll have a much easier time training once you get there.
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO LOSE WEIGHT FAST?
“Fast” is the most problematic term you can use when thinking about losing weight. Because losing weight is anything but a fast and linear process. Some people who have just started trying to lose weight actually gain weight before they start dropping pounds. Some hit plateaus. Besides, losing weight too fast can also make you lose muscle – no thanks!
The best way to lose weight is to understand upfront that it’s going to take awhile – but if you’re ready to commit, now’s the perfect time to get started.
Keep these three things in mind when starting to lose weight:
Variety. Vary your workouts from day to day and vary your meals. Boredom is the most effective way to stop trying to change your habits. Keep things interesting and you’re much more likely to stick with it.
Gains. Focus on building muscle mass. It requires a combination of endurance and strength training, plus making sure you’re balancing out your protein and quality carbs. Lean muscle mass is the end goal.
Goals. Doesn’t matter if you want to change the way you look or change the number on a scale. Whatever keeps you motivated to push through every craving and plateau, keep your eye on it. Know the result you want to see before trying to get there.