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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 July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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