Have you ever tried intermittent fasting?”
“I’m on the Keto diet.”
“OMG, I haven’t had a carb in forever.”
“I’ve been eating nothing but salad and I GAINED a pound.”
These are the types of comments that I’ve heard in the break room at work, waiting in line at the store…literally everywhere. The first thought that comes to my mind is that I’m in the wrong business. I should create a new diet plan and sell it for $50…I bet people would pay that. The second thought? Y’all have got it all wrong.
If you really want to lose weight and be healthy, there are two things you need to do: Keep your expectations in check and stay committed. (This is going to be one of those times where the answer to a problem is so simple, it seems unreal, but stick with me).
After almost a year of trying to be an active Beachbody coach (yes, I thought I could quit my teaching job and be a fitness coach online full time…don’t judge me and my dreams!) I figured out the reason why people are unhappy with the diet/exercise programs they try: they’re expectations are unrealistic. People really expect to be able to go from a size 12 to a 4 after a week of eating more vegetables and working out 30 minutes a day. (yes, really). If that doesn’t happen, they’re ready to quit. Suddenly the program they were so excited to try is a “waste of time” and they convince themselves that the next thing they try will be the thing that works. Well, I’ve got news for them: no, it won’t. Why? Because they’re expecting miracles and wishing for the body they want instead of being willing to work for it.
Is that harsh? Probably, but it’s real. If you want to make a real change in your life, you have to work for it. Realistically, it takes at least 4 weeks for you to notice a change in your body, 8 weeks for your closest friends to notice, and 12 weeks for the rest of the world. 12 weeks! (For my kindred spirits who are bad at math, that’s 3 months!) You have to wait a full 3 months before any program you’ve started will show dramatically noticeable results. And that’s not just 3 months of half-ass-ing it, it’s 3 months of focused commitment to the plan you’re on.
Now, it’s not completely your fault that you expect a small change to lead to drastic results. I blame advertisers for that. You know those infomercials, the ones that show the chunky girl magically fitting into skinny jeans with the snap of a finger, all because she took a tiny Green Tea pill before every meal for 3 days (I exaggerate a bit). We are so used to seeing immediate results on TV, Instagram, Facebook, that we expect it can happen for us too. But the reality is, real results take time, effort and commitment. Anything less will only end in disappointment.
Y’all, if you’ve tried different things to lose weight and find that nothing is working, I’ve got to politely ask you to check yourself. Are you keeping your expectations in check? Are you committed? Or did you eat salad all day and work out and then eat an entire pack of Oreos right before bed? Being healthy doesn’t have to be a struggle, just pick what works for you and stick to it.