If you’re overweight and unhappy about it, it can feel incredibly lonely and isolating. But (unfortunately) you’re in good company. Almost sixty percent of women and seventy five percent of men are classified as overweight. Furthermore, in the midst of an obesity epidemic, we’re all told time and time again that we need to buckle down and get to a healthy BMI. While we’re bombarded with health advice such as what to eat and how much to exercise, once you take the plunge and start shedding pounds you’ll realize there’s plenty that no one tells you about losing weight.
Losing weight quickly doesn’t work
As women, we’re surrounded by diets that promise us great results in a short space of time. Take a look at women’s magazines or health magazines. You’ll see things like ‘get great abs in twelve weeks,’ ‘drop a dress size in a month,’ or ‘get bikini ready in time for summer.’ While restricting in the short term will, of course, yield results, losing weight for good can rarely be achieved with a quick fix.
Most of us are overweight because of the lifestyles we lead. We eat the wrong foods and portions that are too large. We skip some meals then binge at others. Many of us also have an unhealthy attitude towards food such as feelings of guilt and shame.
If you want to lose weight and keep it off, then going on a diet for a few months isn’t the answer if you’re just going to return to your old habits. It could work as a great kick start, but from then on, you need to completely change your lifestyle.
Losing weight is the easy part
For this reason, losing weight is actually the easy part. And if you’re someone that’s ever tried shedding a few pounds then you’ll know that this alone is far from easy. However, getting your weight down is only one part of the journey, the true test is how you’ll keep it off.
No one can restrict themselves forever. If you’re constantly feeling like you’re missing out or are leaving yourself hungry then it simply can’t last. The best thing you can do is to work on developing new, healthy attitudes toward food. Learn to cook healthy yet tasty recipes which you genuinely enjoy. This makes it easy to forget about convenience and fast food.
Find an activity you enjoy that makes it easy to burn off calories and move your body without it feeling like a chore.
Long term maintenance involves breaking the habits of a lifetime, and switching to a mindset where health is your priority every single day. You need to focus on all that you have to gain by living well, not what delicious food you might be missing out on! Learn to love healthy ingredients, and your new meals will satisfy the craving for delicious food.
You can get stretch marks
We all know how stretch marks can appear when your body changes shape. This might be due to growing during puberty, weight gain or pregnancy. But did you know you can develop them as a result of weight loss too? While they’re incredibly common, stretch marks are one of those things no one tells you about losing weight.
If you know you’re going to be losing a lot of weight (perhaps you’re having gastric surgery or are embarking on a very low calorie diet plan), you should keep your skin as hydrated as possible. Applying a good product to your skin can help too. You can find creams and oil products here which can prevent stretch marks and help new ones to heal more quickly.
You may end up with loose skin
Another skin issue you’re likely to face if you lose a significant amount of weight is loose skin. While lots of people bounce back after weight loss, some don’t. If you’re older or your skin has already been stretched and shrunken lots of times from things like yo yo dieting, or you’ve been overweight for a long time, it’s less likely that your skin will return to how it was. There are lots of surgical procedures you can have done these days to achieve the results you’re after with your skin once you’ve lost weight. It’s all a matter of preference.
It’s ALL worth it
Despite all of the above side effects, losing weight and reaching a healthy BMI is truly one of the best things you’ll ever do. You’ll feel more confident and will be able to wear the clothes that you want. You’ll be healthier, cutting your risk of preventable illnesses like diabetes and heart disease.
Even with loose skin and/or stretch marks, you’ll feel better than you did previously. You’ll be more energized, be able to move around more freely and live your life to its full potential. So, despite the fact that it’s not always plain sailing, the way you’ll feel in the end will make these things no one tells you about losing weight worth it.