Your expectations can make or break your weight loss efforts.
I’ve seen it time and time again over the years, people come in with misguided expectations about how fast they should be losing weight and when the result doesn’t match those expectations they throw in the towel.
Speaking of, throwing in the towel after not losing as much weight as you’d expected is the equivalent of setting your car on fire after taking a wrong turn, but that’s a topic for another post.
Let’s talk about Jane’s misguided weight loss expectations.
Jane was starting out weighing 75kg’s and was wanting to get back down to around 63-65kg where she had previously felt most comfortable in her own skin.
Jane had read an article about a diet that helps you lose up to 3+kg in the first week alone, so she thought perfect! I’ll be back to 65kg in 4-5 weeks.
Week 1 - Jane lost 1kg but she’d expected to lose 3kg.
Week 2 - Jane lost another 1kg but she’d expected to lose at least 2-3kg
Week 3 - Jane’s clothes are feeling looser and she’s sleeping better and she’s lost another 0.75kg but she’d expected to lose at least another 1-2 kg
Week 4 - Jane lost another 1kg, she needs a belt for her work pants now, but she’d expected to be at least 5kg’s down by now, even though she’s lost 3.75kg in just 4 weeks, instead of continuing, she assumes her metabolism is broken, says no matter what she does, she can’t lose weight and quits the diet and goes back to eating how she was previously.
This happens way too often and every time it does, it makes it even harder to lose weight the next time around.
The fact of the matter is that there is nothing wrong with Jane’s metabolism and she can lose weight, she’d lost 3.75kg in 4 weeks, which is nothing to sneeze at.
The only thing that was faulty or broken were her expectations.
How much weight should you expect to lose per week?
Even though you can lose weight at a faster rate than the numbers I’m about to suggest, it’s been shown numerous times that losing weight at rapid rates is not sustainable and when doing so there’s a higher likelihood of regaining all the weight lost plus an additional few kg’s.
Instead of expecting to see an arbitrary number lost each week you need to know that you should be aiming to lose between 0.5% to 1.5% of your bodyweight per week.
Now for Jane starting at 75kg’s, that would be anything from 350grams to 1.12kg per week and as so can see from the information above she was losing 1 kilo per week on average, which is spot on for her.
If she had of continued what she was doing for another 6-7 weeks she most likely would’ve been another 5-6kg’s lighter again, which when combined with the 3.75kg she’d already lost would’ve put her almost at her goal of 65kg.
You see, in order to lose weight you need to be in what’s called a calorie deficit. This means you need to be burning more calories than you consume on a consistent basis.
Where most people go wrong is by making drastic diet restrictions in the hopes of rapid weight loss but this doesn’t work for very long and the instant they go off track with their diet it’s the end of the world because the weight seems to come back almost overnight.
Instead, I recommend a more mild approach for the simple reason that it is sustainable for the long term and the changes you need to make to achieve this are changes that become apart of your lifestyle.
Having the right expectations can make all the difference in your motivation, adherence and effort.
Imagine how well Jane could have done if he had the mindset of “oh wow, I’m losing 1 kilo per week, this is great!” instead of “Oh wow, I’m only losing 1 kilo per week, this sucks!”.