One of the hardest aspects of starting a healthy lifestyle, fitness program, or new way of eating is not seeing instant results. When you were just starting, you might have found yourself stepping on the scale or looking in the mirror just days into your new routine. The failure to see results right away is too often an excuse to give up or fail to prioritize consistency. When you’re anxious to see results, every day you have to wait can feel like an eternity.
So how long do you have to work before you begin to see results?
- Healthy weight loss means losing less than two pounds per week. A slow, steady and consistent approach to healthy eating and fitness should allow for a slow, steady weight loss that’s easier to maintain for the long haul. Experts agree that to maintain good health and wellness while you strive for a healthier body, you should lose no more than two pounds each week. That’s not to say that you won’t see changes to your body more quickly, though. Cutting out excessive salt, sugar, and processed foods will allow your body to “de-bloat” and retain less water, resulting in your clothes fitting better. Look for non-scale victories and progress instead of rapid results.
- There’s a reason it’s a slow, gradual process.When you dramatically reduce your calorie intake, your body tries to preserve itself by going into starvation mode. Starvation mode causes your body to hold onto the few calories it has in order to keep you alive. Weight loss slows or becomes impossible as your body flat out refuses to give up the stores it is saving for emergencies. Instead, slowly, decrease your calorie intake while your body adapts to its new circumstances.
- Consistency is the key. If you’re looking for immediate results and huge scale-related victories, you’re likely to find yourself disappointed and quickly burning out. Instead, striving to make consistent, healthy food choices and workouts part of your new lifestyle and routine is the most effective way to see the results you want to see. Reward yourself for consistency instead of waiting to see a particular number on the scale. Look for non-scale victories every day. Better sleep, a more positive outlook, and increased energy when completing day to day tasks are all reasons to prioritize your health.
- The rate at which you lose weight or gain fitness is personal. Don’t compare your gains (or losses) to your friends or family. Age, gender, and current level of fitness all impact how quickly you see progress. Owning your circumstances and accepting yourself where you are will allow you to have more pride in your early-stage results.
- Keep moving forward. Once you start to see results, no matter how small, consider increasing your intensity, repetitions, or weight load. Your body quickly acclimatesto the demands you place upon it. The key to seeing continued success is to keep your muscles guessing and prevent complacency. Trying a new group exercise class or checking in with a personal trainer are good ways to mix it up and challenge yourself safely. Complacency is the enemy of continued progress.
When did you first notice personal progress? Share it with your fellow FitClub members in the comment section!