Be a hare, not a tortoise.
Advice spouted by most coaches is that slow and steady wins the weight loss race. That, however, isn’t true.
A study in 2010 shattered the tortoise’s shell.
262 middle-aged obese women were split into 3 groups – fast, moderate and slow weight loss – and dieted for 6 months. Afterwards, they completed a 1-year aftercare programme and the amount of weight loss the ladies maintained was measured.
The results might surprise you.
After 18 months, the slow group maintained a 3.7kg drop in weight. The moderate group – 7.1kg. And the fast group – 10.9kg.
This means the fast group was 5.1 times more likely to achieve 10% weight loss at 18 months than the slow group!
The message is clear: To lose weight and keep it off requires your game face.
My experience working with hundreds of clients has shown me that early results boosts motivation and fosters feelings of ‘I can do this!’
You’d be the same, right?
But there’s a catch.
Your fast initial results have to be counterbalanced with realistic long-term expectations.
You can’t sprint like a hare forever (in my experience, a sprint can usually last around six weeks).
Therefore, after a big initial sprint, we recommend a (very unsexy) period of weight loss maintenance.
At Improve Glasgow, we describe this phase as ‘living life at your new weight’.
You can spend a few days or weeks (or even forever if you’ve achieved your goals) eating more food or moving a little less.
After your period of maintenance, you’re in a position to decide on what avenue to explore next: hare, tortoise, or maybe some Frankenstein harey tortoise.
Whatever avenue you choose next is up to you.
I want to reinforce the main point of my animal ramblings: rapid initial weight loss is a powerful tool to help you lose weight and keep it off forever.
But it is equally – if not even more – important to plan how you’ll maintain your results…
Or, eventually, the tortoise will leave you in the dust.