In my profession I hear people's weight goals ranging form losing 20-40 lbs and greater! Most people just see the number on the scale and think of a specific number but not many people really know what it means or even looks like!
The number on the scale reflects so many things varying from bone and muscle mass, meals that are being digested, water weight, organ weight, and of course, fat storage. But the thing that most people focus on is the fat storage part and completely disregard the other factors that play such a big part of what we weigh! This can lead to obsessiveness with the number on the scale, discontentment with ourselves, and lowered self esteem. So, next time you step on the scale don't be so harsh on yourself! Be realistic but allow yourself time and a patient love for your goals as well as your successes in your weight loss journey!
I've had so many clients tell me "I've only lost 1-5 lbs". Immediately I know they are discouraged that results aren't coming faster and that they truly have no idea what that "only 1-5lbs" really are or what their body had to do in order to give them those results. Shedding 1lb of weight, specifically body fat, requires so much! Lets take a look at what that means.
*In order for us to lose 1 LB of fat we need to burn 3,500 calories
*Not only do we need to burn 3,500 calories, but it has to be a caloric deficit of 3,500 calories. What does this mean??
Lets say in a week you burn about 2,000 calories per day by doing your daily activities and just your body working to survive. You eat 1,500 calories each day, which would create a caloric deficit of -500 calories. This means you ate 500 less calories than what you burned. If you multiply the amount of extra calories that you burned daily (500 calories) by 7 days (1 week) you'd get 3,500 calories extra that were burned each day! This would equal 1 LB! That's how caloric deficit and weight loss work! You don't have to starve yourself in order to lose weight, however, you do have to be in a caloric deficit. As we can see, it seems simple, but it does require a lot from our bodies!
So if you lost 5 lbs in a month and feel like that's so little, then lets look at it!
* 3,500 calories (1 lb) x 5 = 17,500 calories that needed to be burned in a caloric deficit!!
If that's not enough, lets see what 5 lbs of fat truly looks like!
So if 5 lbs of fat is basically the size of my thigh, why is it so hard to notice any changes in our appearance?
Remember that fat loss is not targeted to just one area of the body! Its kind of like a glass a of water. We can't choose to take water from the left side of the cup without the right going down as well. the water will go down as an even unit.
Each person's body is different. Some people lose fat from their bellies more, others are more noticeable in their face or arms and legs. But your whole body is losing fat as one unit. Not as individual parts. If you were to put those 5 lbs of fat in a jar you'd see how incredible it is to "just lose 5 lbs".
So next time you want to down play your weight loss, remember how much work your body had to do and calories had to be burned to get where you are! And if you haven't yet started your weight loss journey, don't get overwhelmed by this, rather get empowered. Start today and look back a month, 3 months, or a year form now to see how truly incredible your journey was! Love yourself for your progress and thank your body for everything its done!!