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7 Harsh Truths About Weight Loss Nobody Wants to Hear

7 Harsh Truths About Weight Loss Nobody Wants to Hear

The National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) is the largest database in the world that tracks people who have lost weight and managed to keep it off. They have tracked over 10,000 people and the average person has lost 66 pounds and kept it off for five and a half years.

The NWCR, along with the latest and greatest research studies, reveal many truths about what it takes to lose weight and keep it off.

Here are 7 of them, and you may find some of them quite harsh (but don’t worry, because there’s a silver lining at the end).

Losing weight is painstakingly difficult.

Everyone wants a quick fix these days. But when it comes to weight loss, there’s no such thing. We’re inundated with companies that peddle pills and potions that promise to help us “Torch fat fast!”

Don’t be naive though.

Losing weight takes good old fashioned hard work. Period. There are no shortcuts.

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Diets don’t work for most people.

50 million people in the United States will go on a diet this year.

Guess how many of them will fail to keep the weight off?

40 million.

You read that correctly–a full 80 percent of people fail on diets, according to research from the National Weight Control Registry.

So what’s the solution?

I call it the “real food diet.” Eat more whole, unprocessed foods that come from nature. And stop using the word “diet”. Losing weight requires a lifestyle change, and this means morphing your bad eating habits into good ones permanently.

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Your body’s biological response makes losing weight even more difficult for you.

When you lose a lot of weight at once, your body go into self-preservation mode, something it has been biologically programmed to do over years of evolution.

For example, let’s say you recently lost 80 pounds on Jenny Craig over the course of 6 months. Your body will respond to this rapid weight loss by burning 20 to 25 percent fewer calories during exercise and everyday activities compared to someone who weighs the same as you who didn’t lose weight.

This puts overweight and obese people at a huge disadvantage when trying to maintain weight loss.

So how can you overcome this? By making small, gradual changes that allow your body the time it needs to adjust. More on that to come.

The scale is your ally, not your enemy.

Plenty of health experts will tell you to “forget about the scale” and focus on healthy behaviors instead. While I understand the reasons behind this approach, research shows that 75 percent of people who lose weight and keep it off weigh themselves at least once a week and over 33 percent of these weight loss success stories weigh themselves every day. Just some food for thought.

Your mind works against you too.

If you’re overweight or obese, there’s a good chance there is a deep emotional or stressful trigger that drives a lot of your unhealthy behaviors. Many obese people suffer from depression and self esteem issues, or were abused at some point in their past.

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This can lead to deep emotional scars and a head full of negative thoughts about yourself. This is problematic when you want to lose weight. In fact, research proves you’re more likely to stick with a behavior change like weight loss when it’s rooted in positive thinking.

Working with an experienced health care provider can help you turn these mental roadblocks into motivation to lose weight and keep it off.

You make excuses for the reasons you gained weight in the first place.

Listen, I know certain people have thyroid conditions … or genetics working against them … or a traumatic childhood experience that leads to major self esteem issues. But here’s the deal: the main reason you gain a lot of weight is because you ate too much and didn’t exercise enough.

Don’t make excuses. Don’t dwell on the circumstances that were beyond your control.

If you want to lose weight and keep it off, accept responsibility for your actions, and think about what you will do different starting now.

You will need to drastically change your habits to maintain weight loss in the long run.

Research from the National Weight Control Registry shows that these are the habits that are common among people who have lost large amounts of weight and kept it off:

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  • 78 percent of people eat breakfast every day.
  • 62 percent of people watch less than 10 hours of TV per week.
  • 90 percent of people exercise, on average, about 1 hour per day.

If there’s one thing I want you to take away from this article it’s this: your habits will largely determine your long-term weight loss success.

And to form a habit, I recommend this simple approach:

  1. Pick one specific habit you want to change. For example, “stop drinking soda.”
  2. Start with just one tiny step. Order a small soda instead of a medium or replace one soda with a water this week. That’s it.
  3. Focus on the journey. Commit to the process, not the goal. Take small, daily steps and you will transform any bad habit.
  4. Track your progress. Write down the steps you take every day. It’ll take you 30 seconds. The rewards will be worth it.

Losing weight is a marathon, not a sprint. So take it slow. Focus on one habit at a time. And above all, believe in yourself and your ability to take control of your health and your future.

Because the real truth about weight loss is this: whether you think you will or you think you won’t, you’re probably right.

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Scott Christ

Scott Christ is a writer, entrepreneur, and founder of Pure Food Company.

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Last Updated on September 28, 2020

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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Con #2: Less Human Interaction

One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

Con #4: Unique Distractions

Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

Final Thoughts

Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

More About Working From Home

Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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