When it comes to setting weight loss goals, most dieters are unrealistic. Medical experts, concerned with adequate nutrition and physical and psychological health, recommend an average weight loss of a half to one pound per week. But dieters want nothing to do with that. They expect to lose at a rate twice as high, at a minimum.
Scientists have studied, at length, dieters’ expectations about losing weight. Dr. Thomas Wadden, Director of the Center for Weight and Eating Disorders at the University of Pennsylvania, found that even when patients were “informed repeatedly” that their weight loss goals were unrealistic, they still wanted to lose more than was recommended.
In another study, a group of women expected to lose 22 to 34 percent of their weight in six months, and when told that average weight loss is 8 to 10 percent during the first six months of dieting, they said that number was “unacceptable” and “disappointing.”
Patients undergoing gastric lap band surgery were no different. They expected to lose almost 100 percent of their excess weight when typical results are 20 to 25 percent.
But does it matter if a dieter’s weight loss goals are realistic? Apparently not.
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“Your body is not your masterpiece— your life is.”
This comment from Huffington Post offered some great food for thought.
How often are we bombarded with messages to treat our bodies like a temple because they are all we have? Well they’re not all we have. We have our whole lives: our relationships, our spirituality, ourselves as a whole being, not just a pretty form with thighs that may or may not touch. It is too common to see women, and men too, constantly obsessing over every square centimeter of their body like it’s the only thing they’ve got to offer the world. It’s not.
Aren’t you tired of comparing yourself to every woman you pass on the street or see on TV? Wouldn’t it be nice not to hate yourself a little bit more every time you see someone who has a flatter stomach than you?
Aren’t you tired?
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We’ve all lost motivation from time to time. We’ve all hit the wall. We’ve all wanted to stop mid-mountain climber and lay down on the cool gym floor.
But then THAT SONG comes up on our playlist and somehow we find the strength to push on. That song has become known as the POWER SONG.
Perhaps it’s a line that brings back a memory of a past struggle overcome. Maybe the message in the lyrics helps you remember what you’re really working for. It may be nothing more than a driving beat. Something about our Power Song makes us push on, push forward and push over the top. We know we can count on it to drag us through the last mile or help us get through the last set of deadlifts.
I’ve got a couple Power Songs I keep on my iPhone for just such occasions. I’m sure you do too. But are you curious what the most “powerful” Power Songs are? I’ve done a little research to find the top Power Songs from around the fitness world.
1. Eye of the Tiger by Survivor. At the FuelBand launch at SXSW in 2012 one of the Nike executives challenged the audience with a trivia question: What is the top Power Song on Nike+? This was the answer (and the winner was rewarded with a FuelBand)
2. Welcome to the Jungle by Guns and Roses. The team at Muscle and Fitness named this 80s anthem the Top Power Song of All Time. I wonder what Axl Rose would think of that?
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So you’ve been exercising for years and still aren’t losing as much weight as you’d expect? Get this: Science is now telling you to have more fun and to see better results. A new French and American research study is now suggesting people may lose more weight during physical activity that feels more like playtime than a torture session at the gym. This study suggests that your attitude toward physical activity influence what you eat after a workout and ultimately whether or not you drop pounds.
Many people who start exercising do not lose as much weight as expected. In fact, some people actually gain weight after starting a workout routine despite the extra calories burned at the gym. Here’s why: A lot of people who push their physical limits eat whatever they’d like after an intense gym visit. Previous studies have explained this phenomenon as an increase of appetite hormones post sweat session—that people really were ravenous after working hard. While this may explain the physiological part of it, this new study is hoping to prove that psychology can explain the rest. (Try these 7 ways to keep your appetite in check.)
Scientists recruited 56 overweight women and tasked them to complete the same one-mile outdoor course, with lunch to follow. Half of the women were told that this course will be rigorous exercise and to monitor their exertion levels. The rest were told that this is meant to be a walk for pleasure where they can listen to music and enjoy themselves. Upon completion of the course, the women were asked to estimate her mileage, calorie expenditure, and mood. Women in the first group reported feeling much grumpier and more fatigued even though the two groups estimates of mileage and calories burned were almost identical.
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You know the drill: Wake up, work all day, come home exhausted and yet your to-do list seems to have grown longer. The last thing you want to make time for is a workout. You’ve worked hard and feel exhausted—why go running?!
When I hear this from my clients, or when I think these thoughts myself, I pose two questions:
1) Will I feel better or worse after I finish my workout?
2) Will I regret going to work out?
Chances are, your answers are BETTER and NO, respectively. But I get it! It’s hard to justify turning off Netflix and leaving your comfy couch to spend even a few minutes boosting your heart rate. But find your reason to remember that it is worth it. We don’t exercise simply to look smokin’ in our summer bikini; hopefully, you also exercise to feel strong, to have more energy, to sleep better and stress less, and to bring out the best version of yourself. If you don’t have 60+ minutes to devote to burning calories, that’s okay!
Anything is Better Than Nothing.
A recent article from Shape.com explained how your brain responds to running. There’s a lot of science in the piece, but the take-away is that running definitely boosts your mood and the more in-shape you are, the better you feel. How’s that for incentive to get out and move more?
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