Weight loss is just like driving

How do you get from out of the garage onto the motorway?

Wouldn’t it be so awesome if we could get to every destination by driving at 100 kms per hour the entire way?  Awesome, but not possible.

In the same way, it would be great if we could get to our goal weight (and keep it off) simply by doing a restrictive diet and getting quick results on the scales.

While you may be able to get quick results, keeping those results is another story.

Think of weight loss like driving....

Restrictive dieting, quick weight loss and rapid results are like driving on the motorway at 100kmph.  Exciting and motivating in the short term….but unsustainable in the long term.

In weight loss, people are so obsessed with the fast results – driving in 5th gear – that they never learn what 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th gear looks and feels like.

If you stay in 5th gear, eventually you will run out of gas.  Worse still, if you hit a bump on the road, you have no way of changing gears, so you blow out and end up in a heap on the side of the road.

In weight loss, you don’t stay at the side of the road for long though. Pretty soon you will be in reverse and all the weight will come back on.

Treat weight loss like driving....

Start off in neutral and then move through the gears when needed. You can put your foot on the accelerator for a temporary burst of speed. Then go back to cruise mode.

Neutral is your maintenance plan.  Being able to maintain your weight is an achievement in itself if you have a history of constant yo-yoing on the scales. Neutral means having a delicious food plan that is easy to follow and enjoyable.  Real food, easy meals, getting in tune with your hunger signals and learning which foods work best for you so your blood sugar levels and weight remain stable.

When you are ready, move to first/second gear.  This means changing up your food plan and doing something different.  If you are having snacks, cut them out.  Don’t eat after dinner.  Drop back on portion sizes (especially at dinner).  Change your level of protein with meals.  Whatever you decide to do, the key is that you do something different to start challenging your metabolism.

To move to gears three and four, a different plan is required.  Adjust your levels of protein, carbohydrate and fat. You will  need to look carefully at all the other lifestyle factors that are impacting your fat burning engine.  Are you drinking enough water?  Getting enough sleep?  Keeping your stress levels in check?  These are all things that – if not done correctly – will put the brake on your momentum.

From here, it is time to really put your foot on the accelerator and get in the fast lane.  This is where you can start experimenting with meal timings and intermittent fasting.  Cutting back on your meals and (therefore) reducing calories.  You can also achieve this result by a strict food plan that reduces all carbohydrates.

The key thing is that you can’t stay here forever! It is simply unsustainable.  Do it for brief periods of time – when you have a clear social calendar and know you can really give it your best shot.  Then, you can come back to first gear and cruise for a while, until you are ready to put your foot on the gas again.

What you need to avoid – at all costs – is going into reverse.

In my experience, this is exactly what happens when people push too hard and simply don’t understand (or want to understand) the rhythm of weight loss.

If you want to get out of the garage or put your foot on the gas, simply decide on the key actions to move you to the next gear and go for it!

Make it easy to move gears with a plan to suit

  • First gear: Join Why Weight Academy. This will give you all the resources you need to get started and you get to check in with my monthly to ensure you stay on the road! Find out more here.
  • Second/third gear:  My 5/2 Strategy is a great plan you can use when you are ready to start shaking it up.  Find out more here.
  • Fourth gear:  The 21-day Guided Fasting Plan is designed for metabolic stimulation and rapid results.  Find out more here.
  • Fifth gear:  The 5-day Reset is a short, sharp plan, designed for quick weight loss.  Find out more here.

What can you do this week to move up a gear?