I read this article called: “End-of-summer weight loss: Can I lose 10 pounds before Halloween?”:
When we have advertisements promising to help you “Lose 30 pounds in 30 days”, endeavouring to lose 10 pounds in 60 days seems quite sensible. Indeed, I’m sure the author of this piece felt like she was being quite reasonable.
But, I have a real problem with deadlines for losing weight.
1. If you are working to a deadline, and you have one week when your weight doesn’t budge, then how are you going to react? Most likely panic. And then what? You are either going to try and deprive yourself to force faster results, or you are going to feel so despondent that you give up. The pressure of the deadline makes a weight loss plateau unacceptable.
The fact is almost everyone trying to lose weight will have a week or two, where the weight doesn’t go downwards. And part of being successful, is learning to cope with that. A deadline makes this much harder.
2. Deadlines encourage unrealistic goals. As soon as people start setting deadlines, there is a tendency to over-estimate how quickly they can lose weight. The fact is, it’s harder to lose weight after 40. So, what may have seemed a reasonable rate of weight loss when you were younger is unachievable now.
The woman who wrote that article was 35. She can still expect to lose 10 pounds in 60 days. With some of my clients in their 60s, this is not realistic at all.
3. No one knows how fast you will lose weight. There are so many factors involved. So why set yourself up for pressure by imagining how fast you should lose weight.
4. What’s more important than the rate of weight loss, is whether you are going to be able to maintain it.
I am all for setting goals. But they should be reasonable. And when you are focussed on changing habits (as we are with a behavioural approach) the pressure of a deadline will discourage you from making long-term changes.
Dr. Khandee Ahnaimugan (Dr. K) is a medical doctor, weight loss expert and author of the best-selling book, “Slim and Healthy without Dieting”. He provides individual consulting programmes for people wanting to lose weight without dieting. Try his 7 Day “How to Lose Weight without Dieting” Email Course for FREE at www.doctorkweightloss.com