If you are like most overweight or obese people, you will experience the effects of yo-yo dieting. When you put on weight, you never get so fat that you can’t leave the house, but when you lose weight you never quite get to your “normal weight”. Over time, you will see a series of weight loss patches, followed by regression back to where you started.
Have you ever wondered why?
It could be that you are putting in an artificial “floor” and a “ceiling” into your self perception of your body weight range.
Do you know what body fat percentage you are starting from?
If you want to lose weight then you need to know exactly what position you are starting from. You also need to know your target weight.
This might, at first glance, seem obvious.
With every renewed weight loss endeavor we need to plan and know what result we are looking for don’t we?
The main issue in the realms of weight loss is that we can fool ourselves about exactly how overweight we are, and how fat much we need to lose.
For example, many overweight people tell themselves that whilst they do need to lose weight, they might only need to lose 20 pounds because they have a “large build”. Or perhaps because they haven’t been lighter than that since high school, and any more than 20 pounds seems unrealistic…
Lets say you are 6’ tall and weigh 230 pounds. You would appear “stocky” to other people, it is unlikely that anyone will call you fat.
(As long as you keep your clothes on!)
Maybe you played football, hockey or rugby at school and have always been a “little on the heavy side…”
It is easy to set a low fat loss target for ourselves…
At 6 feet and 230 pounds, you decide that you ought to lose some weight, 20 pounds seems like a good target because 210 and 6’ would mean that you are “well built” and you wouldn’t want to be too skinny right?
Here is the problem, you end up putting in a “body weight floor” at 210 pounds and an “action ceiling” of 230 pounds.
You are likely to ease off your dietary efforts at around 210, then drift back to 230 over the following year.
What you have done is put a false finish line to your challenge.
You have stopped way before the finish line.
You were winning the marathon but then stopped and sat down at the 10 mile mark, “hare and tortoise” style. Unless you are pumping a lot of iron, at 210 pounds you will still be overweight.
Around 30 to 40 pounds overweight!
Weight loss patches can be avoided with sensible long-term eating habits
No exercise or weight loss patches. Persistent efforts and lifestyle changes are needed.
If you fool yourself, you will only have weight loss patches.
By fooling yourself on your weight target, you will never hit your goal of health and vitality.
You can’t hit a goal if you do not know what it is!.. Or if you are fooling yourself!
So, if you doubt these words, and have phrases like “well built” or “stocky” or “heavy build” in your mind then you need to test your body fat percentage. This is very easy, you can find weigh scales that will give you a body fat reading.
So, if you get on these scales and your body fat percentage is 20%, 25%, 30% even 35% or more…
…Then forget about the “stocky” self-sabotage phrases.
Look at an ideal weight chart and find out what your ideal body weight is. WRITE THIS DOWN. Resist dismissing this figure until you get to your 210 weight and then check your body fat percentage again.
The chances are that if you are 230 now, you ought to be 170. This is 60 pounds of life and energy sapping blubber that is a blight on your health and happiness. Understand exactly where you are and where you need to aim for.
Do not aim your arrow at the ground, half way between you and the target. Aim for the bull’s-eye.
If you get to 210 and find that your body fat percentage is at 10% then that is great. You will be the exception to the rule. If you are part of the large majority who still has 30 or 40 more pounds to lose, then pat yourself on the back for 2 things
- Hitting the original goal of 20 pounds lost.
- having the honesty and grip of reality to know that you are only around half way to your true target weight.