We Asked Our Dietitian: Why Does Weight Loss Take So Long?

So you decide your goal is weight loss and set yourself this fabulous goal that you want to achieve in a few weeks- if only it was that simple and quick!! Most people set themselves these unrealistic goals and only end up failing due to being disappointed.

So when it comes to healthy and sustainable weight loss, long and steady really does win the race!

How long does weight loss take?

This really depends on the individual and there is no calculation to predict this. It depends on many factors including how you respond to exercise, how much you have to lose, metabolic factors, the type of exercise you are doing and what you are eating etc.

Steady weight loss of about 500g to 1kg each week is healthy and sustainable and usually indicates that you are going about your weight loss regime in the right way. If you think you’re going to lose 20 kilos in a month, think again. If rapid weight loss is happening then often it indicates you are changing your diet and lifestyle too drastically which is often not sustainable. Be smart about your goal by considering either your weight history or using a healthy BMI as a good starting guide.

So why is it harder to lose weight than gain weight?

I think the reason it is much easier to gain weight than lose weight is due to habit. If you are in the habit of eating cake and chocolate everyday it’s often ridiculously hard to stop. On the other hand, getting into the habit of restricting your portion sizes and exercising regularly is much harder to develop.

There are so many factors that contribute to overweight and obesity such as diet, inactivity, genetics, smoking, motivation, alcohol consumption, stress, poor sleep hygiene, occupation, environment and hormone imbalance, to name a few.

Stress can also be another contributing factor as when stress hormones such as cortisol are elevated, this limits the body’s ability to burn fat as energy. Other factors that contribute to difficulties losing weight include regular yo-yo dieting, mindless eating, sedentary lifestyle and slowing metabolism that comes with ageing etc and these can all impact on your hormone functions that inhibit the body’s ability to lose weight easily.

How to lose weight in a healthy and sustainable way

  • Be realistic with your weight loss goals by setting a goal within your healthy BMI range
  • Avoid ‘dieting’ and skipping meals. A healthy and sustainable way of eating is the way to go (just like Voome)
  • Exercise regularly
  • It’s never too late to start or try again!

Also Read: How Often Should I Workout?