When you first start a weight loss plan, you’re feeling excited, motivated, and ready to see some changes. After a few weeks, though, you might begin to wonder, “how long does it take for this plan to start working?”
It can be discouraging if you don’t see the results you wanted, as quickly as you’d hoped. But when should you see results? When evaluating that question, consider the following factors:
Is your goal realistic? If you’re hoping to lose forty pounds before your high school reunion next month, that is probably an unattainable goal. So, what happens next is that you feel disengaged from your goal when you don’t see enough progress within a week or two. You know that that forty-pound goal is looking less and less likely to happen, and now all of the effort you’ve put into nutrition and exercise feels like wasted time.
On the other hand, if you set a long-term goal of losing one pound per week, that is definitely attainable for most people! And you will see actual progress, and feel motivated to continue. So, the first step to evaluating your progress it to actually evaluate your goal. Is it realistic?
Be honest with yourself. You can’t expect a plan to “work” if you haven’t stuck with it 100 percent. So before you throw in the towel, ask yourself honestly if you’ve cheated on the nutrition plan or skipped any workouts. Remember, no one has to know but you.
If you realize that you haven’t followed your weight loss plan completely, ask yourself why. If cheating on the diet or skipping workouts is a response to stress, then address your stress responses. If you’re tired, work on getting more sleep. In other words, address the reasons for the “cheating”, rather than throwing away the whole plan!
Are you charting your progress? If you’re just gauging progress on how you look in a mirror, that’s not a very scientific approach! And even weight can be tricky, since replacing fat tissue with lean muscle is actually part of the process. So along with regular weigh-ins, consider taking measurements or using a tight-fitting pair of jeans to gauge your progress.
Are you adjusting the plan as you go? It’s normal and common to hit weight loss “plateaus”, where you’re putting forth plenty of effort but get “stuck” at a particular weight. This is the time to change up your plan a bit, to motivate your metabolism to continue doing its work.
We can help with that last part. Give us a call, and we’ll make an appointment to review your weight loss plan. Together we’ll figure out why you aren’t making the progress you desire, and adjust your plan to keep things moving along.