I've been having a friendly banter with my friend Austin who's also on a weight loss program of his own called "Pounds & Inches". To be honest, I haven't read the manual he sent me about it (yet), so I can't legitimately comment on it. It seems to be working for him and I'm always a strong advocate for doing whatever works for you.
Nevertheless, I remain skeptical whenever I hear of a sudden weight loss (17.5 lbs) in such a short amount of time (less than 2 weeks). As I understand it, a sharp weight loss—though instantly and enormously gratifying—is a shortcut to long-term weight loss and statistically not sustainable, i.e., without realistic expectations, people stop seeing results fast enough and tend to relapse into their old eating and sedentary lifestyle.
In my opinion, baby steps work better. Small, nearly imperceptible changes to eating and exercise stand a better long-term chance of becoming permanent because you have time to adopt them into your life. For example, when I first went to the gym, it was only twice a week for 15 minutes. Now I go 6-7 days every week, for an hour or more. Had you told me back in January that I would end up wanting to go to the gym for as much and as long as I do now, not only would I not have believed you, but I'd have only focussed on the down sides: ...but that's so much time "wasted" at the gym... and I'll probably be so tired all the time from going so much... and what do I think about when I'm on the treadmill for an hour? and so on and so on. Instead, I limited my goals to something simple which I knew I could handle. And sometime after that, I raised the bar a little, and then a little more...
It got me thinking, though. What exactly has been my experience with weight loss? Haven't I also lost a ton of weight in the first few weeks? What's my average weight loss per week? At Day 50, my average weekly weight loss was 2.45 lbs. That seemed like a lot, but maybe there was more than one pattern at work... so I plotted out my weight loss since January 19:
If you look carefully, there are two trends on this chart—the first goes from January 19th to February 9th, where I lose a lot of weight in only 3 weeks. The next trend is everything after that. Here's how the two trends break down:
|Total Weight Loss||-13.5||-5.60|
It's typical in the early stage of any new eating program to drop a lot of water weight, so an initial weight loss of 4.5 lbs / week was expected. Though sometimes frustrating, the comparatively "slow" weight loss of 1.31 lbs/week starting on February 10 is exactly the rate I want to maintain until August... because by August, all my new eating and exercise habits will have forever become solidified as part of my new lifestyle.