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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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