I’ve done a lot of thinking lately about when people have a weigh-in and then post the words “I only lost x pounds this week”. I can’t help but feel folks are setting themselves up for failure when I read those words. So I posted this on my Ideal Protein Diet SparkTeam and thought I would post it here too.
Have you noticed that we sometimes end up with unrealistic weightloss expectations and it ends up causing us problems? We have a big loss that first week and sometimes even the second week and then we expect to continue to lose our weight at those same rates. We sit down and use those figures to extrapolate how long we will need to stay on the diet to reach our goal. Oh, we are so happy that we will be done with this diet in x weeks and can get back to eating all those foods we are giving up for now. Only x weeks, then back to “normal”!
Then BAM! We lose 1 pound for a week or two and become totally unglued because we didn’t lose what we expected to lose. We say “OK, this week will be better! I will stop eating all the restricted items I am allowed to eat and maybe even cut back on the amount of protein I will eat because that will save calories.” We do this for a week and lose a larger amount of weight. We follow the same regimen for another week and…BAM! We only lose 1/2 of a pound or even GAIN weight! WHAT?!?! How can this be?!?! Then we start with the negative thinking and beating ourselves up for not doing better and then finally justifying that off-protocol food in a feeding frenzy or stopping the diet altogether.
The promotional material says the average weightloss is 3-7 pounds per week with women at the lower range and men at the higher range. Those initial gigantic losses are fairly normal when someone begins dieting using any type of diet. But the IP stats are for a whole lot of people over a very long period of time. And we just cannot use those initial losses as what our “normal” loss rate will be. There are so many variables that will affect how much weight we will lose in a given week because we are not machines. We can plan all we want but, in the end, we will lose the weight at the rate our individual bodies will release it. Sometimes it will let go of a lot and sometimes it just will not budge for an extended period of time.
The key is to stay true to the protocol and possibly adjust our expectations. Don’t withhold foods that are allowed thinking it will make the losses happen faster. They probably won’t. The IP Diet is a finely-tuned protocol made to work for the majority of people and by denying ourselves some part of it we may actually be hindering our weightloss rate. We will also feel more deprived. And the more deprived we feel, the higher the chances of failing to lose the weight because we will be more tempted to cheat or stop the diet altogether.
Let’s not get all caught up in the numbers. It isn’t like we are suffering through each day being famished and then only losing 1 or 2 pounds, but rather it is losing 1 or 2 pounds of fat and nothing more which is a good thing! If we are continuing to lose any weight at all, then we are succeeding! Celebrate every pound gone! We can jump up and down and be extremely happy when those big numbers appear but we also need to celebrate just as fervently the smaller numbers because they represent getting one step closer to our goals. Let’s not let those unrealistic expectations de-rail us! Instead, let’s truly celebrate the fact that we can finally rid ourselves of this excess weight on a protocol that allows us to not feel deprived while we do it. A small step forward toward our goal is so-o-o-o much better than stepping backwards towards obesity again!
Let’s do this folks, one step at a time!!!