Having grounded expectations helps manage risk, which prevents you from making emotional decisions due to natural weight fluctuations.
We’ve all been frustrated after putting in so much effort and not getting the expected result. Either we’re not losing any weight or we’re not losing it fast enough.
What’s interesting is the number of times I’ve worked with clients who have been upset by a “measly” 2lb weight loss each week for 4 straight weeks, while other clients are absolutely thrilled at their 1lb loss this week.
It just goes to show you how perspective and expectations are individual. How we see the world, or in this case our weight loss journey, influences the actions we take (or don’t take).
How Fast Should You Lose Weight?
There seems to be a standard floating around of 1-2lbs per week. Wouldn’t it be great if this benchmark played out in reality?
That would be 52-104lbs of weight loss each year. Possible? Absolutely. Probable? Likely not. These types of losses tend to only work out on paper using calorie calculations.
So what can you expect then? Here are a few of the things I’ve noticed after coaching clients for close to a decade:
- Most people are doing extremely well if they lose an average of 1lb/week over a period of months.
- Many times you won’t lose any weight that first month (and might even gain some), especially if you’re coming from a sedentary lifestyle. (read more: Working Out But Gaining Weight? Here’s Why)
- You might have several weeks of no weight loss even though you’re doing everything right. Then you’ll suddenly start losing again without making any changes.
- The average person will lose between .5 and 1lb every 1-2 weeks.
- People who weigh more have the potential to lose weight faster, but this is far from a guarantee, and assumes there are no psychological forces at play (there are).
- You will fall off track more than a dozen times on your journey. It’s what you do after that happens that matters most.
- You will struggle through difficult situations and your life will never be perfect for losing weight.
- Other people doing the same thing as you will get different and sometimes better results. Others doing something different could also get better results. That doesn’t mean you’re doing anything wrong.
Now, if any of the above information is upsetting to you, there is a very good chance you have unrealistic expectations. And those expectations are going to lead to you doing drastic things to your program that actually take you away from your long-term goals.
Staying Grounded On An Emotional Ride
Weight loss is an emotional journey. Emotions drive our behaviors – not rational thought. If rational thought were in the driver’s seat we’d all be able to pick up a meal plan and exercise program and follow through to eternity.
But we don’t. Because we’re emotionally invested in our journey.
The key is to take as much emotion out of the equation as possible. That’s where a good coach comes in, as they can be the grounded voice when you feel the urge to fiddle with your program.
I always tell people my main job is to protect people from themselves. We are our own worst enemy when it comes to our weight loss.
Not carbs. Not exercise. Not your friends. Us. Our perspective. Our mindset. Our expectations. And how you react to the situations that are sure to happen.
The best way for you to take emotions out of your weight loss journey is to adjust your expectations. When you do this you improve your risk profile.
Then when a higher weigh-in happens after a good day of eating and exercise, you don’t panic and do something you’ll later regret.
Instead, you’ll come to expect that. You’ll understand that it’s part of the process. You’ll stick with the healthy eating and physical activity that you know is good for you.
And the longer you stay engaged with those good habits, the more transformation you’re going to experience.