What Should Your 12 Week Weightloss Expectations Be?

Mindset // Lisa Donaldson, APD, M.Nutr&Diet, B.Edu

So, you are considering embarking on a 12 week weightloss challenge and you are curious… how much weight will you be able to lose? Before you set your 12 week weightloss goals, there are a few realistic factors to consider.

WHAT IS YOUR WEIGHT? If your current weight is close to or within the healthy weight range, weight loss can be a bit slow and/or stubborn. However, if you are overweight and you’ve been eating unhealthy foods and not exercising (long term), weight loss will be more rapid. For many people, it’s the last 5 kilos that cause the most angst.

HAVE YOU BEEN A YO-YO DIETER? If you’ve been a yo-yo dieter and dropped weight quickly in the past and promptly regained it, you may find that your body will resist any sudden change. If the body has experienced any ‘famine’ like state, it will be prepared to defend the body and hold onto those ‘precious’ famine-fighting fat stores.

WHAT IS YOUR BODY TYPE AND ETHNICITY? There’s a big difference between a petite Japanese lady and a bigger Tongan rugby build. Some of us are predisposed to have a bigger frame and others are ‘finer’. Acknowledge your ethnicity and your ‘body type’, and embrace it before embarking on your weight loss journey.

 

What’s next?
  1.  Determine your BMI. Although the BMI tool is a frustrating one for muscular athletes, for the majority of the population it is a good guide to determine where your body sits with regards to being healthy or obese. Whatever the result, don’t get upset. Recognise that if you sit in the healthy range, weight loss will be slower. If you’re in the obese category, weightloss will be quicker. The BMI number should never define WHO you are, but it can help guide your expectations and your progress.
  2.  Eat for nourishment. Eating a healthy diet that is balanced and made up of predominantly ‘whole foods’ will immediately allow the body to trust that you’re in a good place and not a famine state. Consume 3 healthy meals a day and snack when hunger strikes (not because you are bored).
  3.  Move regularly. Adding in regular exercise will not only assist with weight loss, but it will also boost your vitality and have you feeling your best. Wear a ‘step counter’ for 24 hours and see what your daily average is, from there, add on another 5000 steps. Aim for 8000 – 10 000 steps each day.

With all of the above in mind, aim for a 500g weight loss each week; over 12 weeks, that can be a significant amount! Remember though, if your body is already in the healthy weight range, 500g a week may be a challenge. And if your body is in the obese range, you may lose a lot more than 500g/week.

You’ve spent a lifetime building the body that currently carries you around.

Whether you love your body or hope to change it, you need to be kind to it, nourish it and take it for a walk! With a positive and healthy mindset, you can lose weight at a pace that is right for you. Keep in mind your 12 week weightloss goals, but above all, keep your focus on wellness, nourishment and vitality, rather than a number on the scales!

 

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