The beginning of summer is full of high expectations. We want to enjoy every second but also be on the top of our fitness game.
The end of the summer often leaves us with “well there's always next year” or ‘I’ll address this in the fall”. When in reality we could have just set ourselves up better in the beginning and had a better outcome.
These are five reasons why we often don't lose the weight we wanted to in the summer.
Under-eating. You may be thinking that I’m off my rocker. Or maybe you have also heard this before. That if you’re not eating enough you won’t be able to lose weight. This is a common symptom I’ve seen in people and often it stems from the fact that people don’t eat enough. We get busy with work, kids or things going on around the house. We forget to eat and then we eat a lot or maybe not at all. This is way more common than you think. What happens here is our body acclimates to eating fewer calories. Then our body goes into starvation mode. It thinks "oh my gosh this lady is not feeding me so I need to hold onto whatever I’ve got". It ends up holding onto your fat so it does not burn it up. It holds onto it.
You’ve been dieting too long, time to reverse. After 12 to 16 weeks our body acclimates to a low amount of calories. So sometimes people will then decrease their calories again or increase their exercise. but eventually find their weight loss is at a standstill. This is because our body acclimates to that amount of calories. Something that is important to understand is that we can’t continue to cut calories. Our body needs a baseline amount to function so if you go any less than that you will definitely not lose weight. This is when reverse dieting comes in. where we take a period of time to increase our calories . So if you’ve gone through a season of dieting and now you’re unable to lose the weight and you’re unsure why. It's because you need to take yourself through a period of increasing your calories. This will rev up your metabolism getting your body acclimated to more calories. You can then cut and do it again. I go over this in a reverse dieting blog that I have. This is a crucial component when wanting to see a long term sustainable weight loss.
You gave 50% effort. Something that is common in the summer is that people want to diet and want to lose weight. But the barbecues and summer events aren’t put on pause for that time. There’s often a lot more events to attend. And we want to enjoy all the things we want: the ice cream and the burgers And the chips! But we also want to be able to rock the bathing suit at the beach. Unfortunately what tends to happen is we diet for some of the day, week or month. Then the rest is out the window because we want to be able to enjoy ourselves. And I agree with that! But what is happening is we don’t actually have a specific goal. We're hoping that we can do what we want mixed with a little bit of fitness misery. Then hope and pray that results in a nice outcome for us. What usually ends up happening is that at the end of the summer we are irritated that none of our efforts did anything for us. We’re left feeling blah or if anything went back a few steps. And that’s OK if you don’t make progress in summer. What's annoying is if you spend time wasted in the wrong places. Tricking yourself into thinking you did put effort in. The root of that problem is that one we don’t know how to balance our enjoyment in the summer and we don’t have a specific goal. You can have the goal of wanting to enjoy your summer and take a step back from any strict regimen you were on. But you can’t do 50-50 or else you’ll get a 50-50 result.
No guidance. You put your effort in where it didn't matter. This can kind of stem off of my last point but sometimes we put our effort in the wrong place. Maybe you didn’t have to restrict so many calories and instead added in an extra walk. Or you could’ve kept everything the same and increased your protein a little bit. A lot of times we make things harder than they need to be. You could’ve reached out for guidance on how you could put minimal effort in but still get maximal results. This summer I chose to dial in on my nutrition because I had slacked for months beforehand. That was my choice, that's what I wanted to do. Now for the fall I may dial it back a little bit, not track as much and reset a little bit in that way. That is my specific goal so I will strategize for that. I will not lose all my progress but I may not make drastic progress forward. And that’s OK with me.
Setting unrealistic expectations. This one may trump the rest. So many times we start the new year, summer or fall with these insane expectations of ourselves. To work out every day or to walk every day or eat no sugar for the entire summer. All of those sound things sound horrible. What seems to be a common theme is that people think if they tighten the reins more. Their body will respond to that? When in fact we should learn from being a teenager when our parents tighten the reins that did not work. We needed some freedom, we needed some trust and flexibility. The same is with our fitness journey and with the expectations we give ourselves. We need to loosen the reins sometimes. We need to set realistic goals and expectations for ourselves so that we can hit those goals. Not beat ourselves up when we don’t meet them, again. Something to keep in mind when you’re setting goals for the fall or eventually the new year. Let them because that you actually want to hit and then let them be goals that are actually realistic for you.
These are five reasons why you may not have made the progress you wanted this summer. Or lost the weight you wanted too. Be sure to be realistic with your expectations. Also don't be all down if you know deep down you didn't put that much effort in. That's okay that you didn't but don't be shocked by the lack of results. That's all the tough love I have for today. Keep these in mind when creating your fall goals