A Pound A Week

Recently a gentleman posed the following question: Imagine how much better you would be at something if you had practiced steadily over the last year?  The thought is interesting because we often think of time in the context of going forward not looking backwards at the time we might have wasted.  However, thinking about potential time wasted in the past can be a very useful exercise in thinking about the future.  For example, imagine if you had managed your calories and managed to lose a pound a week over the last year.  Today you would be 52 pounds lighter.  Not a bad outcome.  But when you look to the feature, losing a pound a week doesn't seem all that great right?  We all have some reason to get super thin as fast as possible.  If not for any reason other than dieting isn't fun (unless you do it right).  Which is why fad diets are so attractive.  They offer what seems like a proven solution that works fast...just what we need.  But if you have ever tried a fad diet, they never work over time.  Why?  Because the very mechanism that creates fast results also makes the diet unsustainable: extreme change.  For example, the Atkins high protein, low carb diet, a diet I am very familiar with (I have lost 50 pounds on this diet twice), offers fantastic short term results.  As long as you can eat everything protein and minimize your carbohydrates, you will lose weight fast.  But what happens after you lose the weight?  How many carbohydrates can you add back to your diet and still maintain?  The problem with any fad diet is that it never lasts forever; even if they offer great short term results.  Eventually your life circumstances will change and with it your diet.  

Instead, imagine if you made some small change.  Maybe you decided to give up the doughnut for breakfast and had oatmeal. Or maybe you decided to hold the cheese on all of your meals.  Let's say that this one change was enough to lower your calories resulting in losing one pound a week.  How hard would that be?  Wouldn't it be easier to make one small change and let time do its thing?  Like the old Latin saying goes: festina lente (hurry slowly).  Instead of trying to lose weight right now now just to end up frustrated, try a little slow is fast.  One pound a week will make a huge difference over time!