When we ask our clients about their health, fitness, and nutrition goals, there is one goal that we hear over and over again—I want to lose weight.
This may come as no surprise. As fitness and nutrition professionals, we are in the business of helping clients achieve their weight loss goals. What we have found is that, while there are many people who say they want to lose weight, not everyone is ready to commit to doing what it takes to make it happen.
What does it take?
Weight loss is fundamentally simple, but not easy. It takes a level of daily commitment unlike that of other health goals, and consistency is key. Consistency means keeping a focus on the dozens of “in-the-moment” eating decisions that you make each day, and making sure that the accumulation of these decisions is leading you down the right path.
While there are several contributing factors that affect the weight loss process, creating a caloric deficit is essential. Being in a caloric deficit means expending more calories in a day than you consume. Take a look at the table below to understand this simple equation:
To put it simply, weight loss is a function of increased physical activity and decreased food intake. To set yourself up for the most weight loss success, it is important that you keep this goal at the front of your mind and take action to create this deficit daily. If you are only meeting your caloric deficit 50% of the time, and are otherwise inactive and/or overeating, then you are likely missing out on the weight loss results you are looking for.
So, are you ready?
When it comes to losing weight, you must understand the level of commitment required to be successful. This way, you can make an informed choice and assess your readiness to make the necessary behavioral changes. Consider asking yourself the following questions in order to gauge your readiness for change:
- Why do I want to lose weight? Is this reason meaningful enough to impact my behavior on a daily basis?
- Is my weight loss goal more important to me than my historical roadblocks? Am I willing to accept the fact that I always have choices?
- Am I willing to make long-term habit changes in order to accomplish my long-term weight loss goals? Am I willing to approach these habit changes with an attitude of gratitude rather than deprivation?
If you have a powerful motive behind why you want to lose weight, and you were able to answer the above questions with a resounding “yes”, then now may be the time for you to create a weight loss goal for yourself and start chipping away at it. If not, that is okay too. Accept that this may not be the right time for you to commit to weight loss, and rest assured that there are a number of other great things you can be doing for your overall health and nutrition. Whatever you do, don’t allow yourself to become unhappy as a result of treading water in what we call “no man’s land”. Don’t tell yourself that you “should” or “need” to lose weight if you are not really ready to do so. This only serves to erode your serenity and self-esteem. Simply accept where you are and enjoy each day as it comes.
There is no better time than now to ask yourself—Are you really ready to lose weight?
Haley Golich is a Registered Dietitian and Director of Nutrition Services at One on One. Contact her at Haley@oneononefit.com