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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.

More by this author

Scott Christ

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

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Last Updated on June 19, 2019

How to Invest in Yourself: 3 Valuable Ways to Change Your Life

How to Invest in Yourself: 3 Valuable Ways to Change Your Life

Investing in yourself may be the most profitable investment you ever make. It yields not only future returns, but often a current pay-off as well.

The surest way to achieve a better quality life, to be successful, productive, and satisfied is to place a priority on investing in both personal and professional growth. The effort you put into consistently investing in yourself plays a large role in determining the quality of your life now and in the future.

1. Develop Your Skills

Improving your skills doesn’t always mean investing in higher education, though that’s surely an option, and perhaps a necessary one depending upon your career field. Investing in your knowledge and skills can take many forms.

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In addition, expanding your level of knowledge and skill isn’t limited to the business arena and doesn’t necessarily need to be formal. There are many “skill investment” avenues.

  • Advance your education –  extra classes, advanced degrees, relevant certifications, are all valuable investments. Take classes, either in person or online. (Lifehack also offers this Masterclass that helps you to break free from limitations.)
  • Utilize available training – enroll in workshops, attend conferences or participate in webinars.
  • Expand your knowledge – there’s a lot of information available on nearly any subject imaginable. Read books, articles, white papers, anything related to the talent or skill you want to work on.
  • Keep current – stay abreast of the latest trends or advancements. Subscribe to publications, read blogs of experts, and follow the latest news.

2. Explore Your Creative Side

There is a fountain of creativity within most of us that has never been tapped or certainly hasn’t been used to its highest potential. We may need to unearth, and hone our individual creativity.

Creativity, in any form, helps us to grow personally and professionally, to view problems and solutions in different ways and to utilize other parts of our mind that may have been previously untapped. It’s important to keep in mind that creativity has many faces. It’s far broader than being a painter or sculptor; it’s also about trying new things.

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  • Learn a new language –  take a class or use language training software.
  • Try gourmet cooking – enroll in a formal class, by a new cookbook, or ask someone you know who enjoys cooking in a different way.
  • Write something – a book, short stories, poetry, anything.
  • Explore the outside world – try gardening, bird watching, or landscape photography.
  • Enjoy music – play an instrument, learn a new one or join a music group of some kind.
  • Create something tangible – paint, sculpt, make pottery, make jewelry or design your own clothes.

Choose some form of activity that you have never tried, haven’t practiced in years, or have never explored fully.

3. Nurture Your Mind and Body

Nurturing both your mind and body allows you to have more to give now and in the future — more energy, more knowledge, more compassion, more ideas, greater strength, physical and mental endurance.

Expand your mind. Learning new things and keeping your mind active even in simple ways helps to grow and maintain your mental ability.

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  • Read – anything and everything.
  • Explore culture – attend performances, listen to different style of music, travel, or join an organization or group comprised of people from different backgrounds.
  • Open your mind – engage in conversations with those who disagree with you. Look at an argument and try to make a case for the opposing point of view.
  • Keep your mind active – play word games, (yes, even Words with Friends counts,) board games that include strategy, or try using your brain to perform simple calculations rather than relying on a calculator.

Care for your body. Your body is like a well-oiled machine. If you care for it in the way that you might maintain an expensive car, it will perform marvelously and last for a very long time. Remember the basics:

  • Give it high quality fuel – meaning to make healthy food choices as often as possible. What you eat does play a large role in your energy and ability to perform. You truly are what you eat.
  • Don’t push it too hard – meaning to rest and relax often, slow down and don’t overload your system. Also, don’t shift gears too quickly; it causes stress and damage to “your machine,” A.K.A. your body.
  • Get regular and necessary maintenance – meaning to go to the doctor when you’re sick – don’t put it off until you totally break down. Better yet, use preventative maintenance; get check-ups, take appropriate vitamins and pay attention to irregular or erratic behavior.
  • Polish the exterior – meaning to take care of the outside too. Many people dismiss this as frivolous and self-indulgent, but it’s not as long as you don’t go overboard. We’re not talking about facelifts and Botox, we’re talking about getting a fabulous haircut, and wearing clothes that make you feel confident and attractive.

The Bottom Line

Investing in yourself truly makes a difference in your life, your well-being, and your ability to thrive and perform to the best of your ability. The extent to which you invest in yourself, mind and body, not only shapes the way you interact with the outside world, it often reflects the opinion you have of yourself.

Your future is in large part determined by your willingness and ability to invest in yourself now.

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Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

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