Have you ever found yourself perpetually kinda sorta trying to lose weight? For the past six months you’ve been cutting back on sweets and seconds, but have a hard time saying no to drinks with dinner. Or you’ve been diligently tracking your food four and a half days out of every seven. During this time you may have seen some progress, but not enough to get you to your goal.

Achieving a fat loss goal can get you to a healthier state, but the process can be anything but. Remember that to lose weight, by definition, you must undernourish your body to the point that it consumes its own tissue for sustenance. Being in this Caloric deficit state stresses your body out and consequently comes with side effects. Your energy levels drop. Your ability to achieve restorative sleep is diminished. Even hormone production can be diminished. Prolonged Caloric deficit can even permanently lower your metabolism.

For these reasons, I would recommend giving yourself a start date and an end date to go with your next nutrition plan. Find a window of time that works well for you. Any duration up to twelve weeks is fine. Ideally, you’ll choose a window that doesn’t feature a ton of social commitments so you’ll have the higher odds of success. Then give it your best shot. Sink or swim, if you didn’t reach your goal at the end of the time frame, take a break from dieting. Let your brain recharge. Take your body out of that perpetually stressed out state for a few weeks.

After a few weeks off, you’ll be more mentally and physiologically refreshed. If you still have more weight to lose to reach your goal, you can always start a new phase. Your metabolism will actually be higher, making any weight you gained in the interim easy to lose.

Next time you decide to face a nutritional goal, give yourself a start and end date. Physiologically it will keep your metabolism from crashing. Mentally, It’s a lot easier to hold your breath when you know how long you’ll be underwater for.

To timely progress,

Ben Supik

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