Girl on scaleIt’s the same every time you try to drop the unwanted pounds; you’re starving, exercise is tedious and worst of all – losing weight is such an agonizingly slow process!

Changing old habits and improving yourself is an uncomfortable process. Why bother?

I’ll answer that question for you. I’ll explain the incredible rewards of success, and I’ll do my best to convince you with concrete facts while showing you just how important achieving your healthy weight is to you and the people who love you.
Read on, and discover the reasons why you should persevere until you reach your ideal weight, some tips and tricks to prevent backsliding, and just what could happen to you if you fail.

Why is Losing Weight so Hard?

Everyone who’s ever dieted has asked themselves this question.

The first week goes by smoothly enough, but by the end of the first month, old habits start to reassert themselves as you’ve lost so little weight compared to how far you’ve yet to go to reach your target weight.

You start asking yourself: Why bother?

It really is hard to lose excess weight once you’ve put it on – let’s take a look at some of the reasons why, what you can do about it, and why you should do your best to succeed anyway.

Homeostasis

Homeostasis is your body’s way to maintain internal stability regardless any external influence that disturbs its normal functioning; like dieting.

Essentially, your body wants to store fat “just in case” and will even move it to other areas of the body rather than burn it as energy – even if you’re exercising and eating right.

Homeostasis is our built in survival mechanism that helps us survive during times of famine; which is what your body thinks is happening when you start cutting calories.
Although there’s no way to fight your body’s tendency to hold on to its fat stores – habitually consuming fewer calories than you burn while keeping active, will gradually whittle away that extra padding.

Muscle Loss Slows Your Metabolism

muscle loss slows your metabolismUnfortunately, when we diet we lose muscle as well as fat; the critical muscle that helps us burn calories even when we’re sitting still. Add the natural tendency of our bodies to hold on to fat when our calories get reduced, and you have a perfect storm of frustration.

The best solution to this problem is to make some form of strength training an intrinsic part of your weight loss efforts, and stay away from ‘crash’ diets that will gradually shrivel your muscles and radically slow your metabolism.

You’ll keep the metabolic fires burning hot by also:

  • Making sure you eat high-protein foods while going low-cal
  • Short, intense training sessions rather than long, exhausting workouts
  • Be patient – even under the best conditions; real fat loss happens at a snail’s pace

Carbs

Contrary to what many people believe; all calories are not created equal.

Even when people consume the same number of calories every day, the ones who eat a greater amount of sugar calories are consistently fatter than those who eat more of their calories as fat and protein.

This is both the easiest and the most difficult dietary change you can make for fat loss.

Console yourself with the knowledge that low-carb dieters had a much easier time staying on course than people who tried a high-carb/low-fat calorie restricted meal plan.

It’s difficult to give up bread, pasta, cereal, and many other refined carbohydrate foods, so try slowly cutting back, and give your body a chance to acclimate to your new dietary habits while going into fat burning mode.

But, It’s Still Hard!

man climbing a large rock faceAny accomplishment worth achieving is going to be difficult – or it wouldn’t be much of an accomplishment!

See your weight loss journey all the way to your ideal weight and enjoy the benefits of:

Self-esteem: Let’s be brutally honest – no one enjoys being overweight. Being physically unattractive destroys your self-esteem and puts you at a disadvantage socially, romantically, and has grave consequences for your mental health.

Lose that weight and enjoy an incredible improvement in your emotional state, discover new social opportunities, and preen in the respect that your transformation will win you from family, friends, and coworkers. All that positive energy will make long-term success easy as you keep up health and diet habits that keep the compliments rolling in!

Money: According to a study conducted at Vanderbilt University; being as little as 13lbs overweight can cost a woman $9000 per year.

Fat discrimination is a real phenomenon in the workplace, and wishing it away won’t change human nature; it’s human nature to prefer to be around attractive people. Burn off that excess fat to reveal the beauty within you and enjoy career advancement, professional success, and the income that you’re worth.

Long-term Health: There’s a laundry list of diseases that are directly attributed to being overweight.

The complications from diabetes include; cardiovascular problems, stroke, blindness, amputation, and dementia. Your joints will wear until you suffer from painful and crippling osteoarthritis. Obesity is also directly correlated with cancers such as:

  • Breast
  • Prostate
  • Bowel
  • Liver
  • Pancreatic

And many other forms of cancer; check out the list at the World Cancer Fund International website.

Few can win a battle with cancer, and the fight destroys the family and friends who love you as they watch you waste away under the ravages of both the disease and the treatment. Win your personal battle against obesity and look forward to a long life full of health and wonderful possibilities – rather than the prospect of painful disease and an early death.

It’s all in How You Look at It

girl measuring her waistThe fact of the matter is: You won’t succeed (at least not long-term) if you think of your weight loss effort as a journey that ends when you reach your ideal weight. Without a continuous effort to maintain your new healthy habits; you’ll backslide and ride that yo-yo diet back to your old measurements.

Focus on the unbelievable benefits you’ll enjoy from your transformation, and remember that the trick isn’t to change your body, but to change how you think.

You need to make a concerted effort to force yourself to see food as something you need to stay alive – not something you have to eat to feel better when you’re bored, sad or frustrated.

Burst from Your Cocoon

Throughout human history, the butterfly has been our ultimate symbol of transformation. That lowly, unappealing worm suddenly wraps itself up into a mysterious package only to burst forth utterly transformed into one of the most beautiful creatures in nature.

Only when you succeed in changing yourself, will you be able to enjoy permanently going from chubby caterpillar to a gorgeous and inspiring butterfly that delights everyone who sees it.

Look at your weight loss journey the same way you see your journey through life; you don’t know anything about the end – but you know you’d better keep putting one foot in front of the other for as long as you’re on it.

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George Citroner

GW Citroner is a Hudson Valley, NY based writer whose work has appeared in over 20 publications and on an incredible range of Health & Wellness topics.

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