Monday, June 12, 2006
The 10% Solution
You May Not Need to Lose as Much as You Thought -- By Mike Kramer, Staff Writer
Are you a weight loss failure? Before you answer that question, let’s talk about what failure means. A recent study found that, in the nonsensical weight loss world, most failure has more to do with failing to meet faulty expectations than with failing to lose weight. This may not seem like a big difference, but in reality, it’s HUGE.In other words, you may be experiencing success, but still feel like you’re failing. So, we must find a way to use our expectations to motivate rather than to berate. According to the study in the Archives of Internal Medicine, the average "Dream" weight loss is 38% of the dieter’s current weight. Also:
- a 31% weight loss would make the average dieter "Happy"
- a 25% weight loss would be "Acceptable".
- a 15.7% weight loss would be "Disappointing".
No wonder there are so many frustrated dieters out there. They may be frustrated even when their programs are working!
The 10% Solution
To bring expectations more in line with reality, many health professionals are beginning to suggest setting a 10% weight loss goal instead. Losing just 10% of your current weight can boost your energy and performance, lower your risk of heart disease and diabetes, lower your cholesterol, and build some much-needed momentum. On top of that, 10% may be a better goal than 15%, 25% or even 38% for many reasons:
10% is Under Your ControlIn all frankness, you can’t do a darned thing about that 38% weight loss goal you might have—not one thing—until you first deal with the 10% you have right in front of you. In other words, you can’t lose 80 pounds in a short amount of time, but you might be able to lose 15. The key is to focus on the 10% you can do something about right now and go from there.
10% is RealisticResearch is showing that a lump 38% dream weight loss simply doesn’t happen for most people. In reality, it’s less of a goal and more of a pipe dream. But research is also showing that 10% can happen for just about anyone. Does this mean you’re doomed no matter what you try and you should give up on the bigger goal? Nope. Simply lose that first 10%, regroup and reset your goals, and then pursue another 10% based on your new weight. The added benefit to this approach is that each 10% will get smaller and smaller!
10% is More EffectiveNot only are gradual goals healthier in the long run, but they’re also more powerful in reaching your ultimate goals. You’ll be much more successful by setting and reaching a series of 10% goals than riding a wild weight loss roller coaster in pursuit of a huge goal all at once. One of the great weight loss ironies is that you’ll be more likely to lose that big number by ignoring it for now in favor of the smaller 10% goal.
Traditionally, weight loss programs have encouraged impatience and coconut-cream-pie-in-the-sky expectations. This approach also results in feelings of failure. Let’s try to turn it around and use the 10% strategy to do it right this time.