Why It’ll Take 7 Years To Be Lean (And The Habits You’ll Need)

There are many of us who are looking at ourselves and wish we could lose a lot of weight. We fantasize about a flat stomach or even a leaner body in a matter of weeks. Some of the wish that it’d take as little as two weeks to get that ideal image.

One quick search or a look around the magazines you find at grocery store checkouts and you’ll see doctors and health professionals claiming their diets will give you the image you want in such a short time. Some claiming as little as two weeks, some saying about 8 weeks.

The reality is that is all false. We all know this deep down just by looking at ourselves.

  • Roughly two-thirds of Americans are considered overweight or obese. These individuals have over 20 pounds to drop. Based on a 4-week strategy that these diets propose that means you’ll need to lose 5 pounds. That sounds manageable, right? Not really. For most adult Americans it’s smarter for us to lose one or two pounds per week.
  • You also want to keep in mind that those dropping 10 pounds in the first few weeks have gone through a drastic shift in their diet. Of the weight you need to lose, 10 pounds may very well be water weight. The thing is though that’s pretty unsustainable. This means after the first few weeks where you dropped that, your body will revert to dropping a one or two pounds per week. This is disappointing if you are the ambitious person that wants to drop several pounds each week to hit that figure. Because of that, you may revert to your old eating habits and you’ll quickly get that water weight back.
  • The reality of these diets is that you’re going through a short-term diet that drastically changes you. Paired up with intense exercise, you set yourself up thinking you’re only doing this for a few weeks and you’re good. The reality is that if you drop these habits, you’ll pick up those old habits and you’ll gain that weight back and then some.

Stop Doing These Plans And Do These Habits Instead

Start by avoiding these plans and start picking up specific habits. Below we share some strategies that others have used in the past to get here.

  • Start with all the easy habits. If you are a smoker, try taking small steps towards quitting. If you don’t drink a lot of water, start doing that more. Something as simple as having a healthier meal or eating out less and less over the course of the week is a step forward.
  • Once you become better at those habits, start challenging yourself. If you are going for a walk for 10 or 30 minutes, try walking for an hour. If you exercise for 10 minutes at home, try spending a half hour at a gym. You’ll be amazed how much you can progress from the small steps that you take.
  • Watch yourself when you are eating. This is for the people who eat when they are bored or not at all hungry. Ask yourself why it is you are eating right now? What exactly are you fulfilling by eating right now? Is there a healthier habit you can replace it with?
  • Change your tastebuds. A lot of people say “I can’t” when it comes to food. “I can’t eat vegetables” or “I can’t give up [insert guilty pleasure food here]”. The idea with this habit isn’t to give up on the foods that you enjoy but to start changing your taste buds. Try eating a vegetable every day. Before long, you’ll start to like it. Replace some of your usual dishes with healthier ones. If you like rice, try swapping white rice with brown rice, or fruits with sweets.
  • Make exercise a social thing. If you go for walks or bike rides, bring other people with you. Join a fitness group or a running club. By getting others involved you can bond with them, but also get healthier too.
  • Once you are getting into better health, challenge yourself to run a marathon or another fitness challenge.
  • Dedicate time to train yourself to not eat while you are socializing or at the very least munch on something healthy.
  • The same thing applies to restaurants, traveling, and other social gatherings, try to stick with healthier options.
  • If you fail – and believe me, you will – then forgive yourself and develop strategies to improve. Keep working at it.
  • Finally, be proud of the progress that you make. No matter how small it is, smile and give yourself a pat on the back.

The road to a lean body is long, but these particular habits are crucial to developing yourself and getting better at your health. It may not take 7 years for you to hit your weight loss goals, but it’ll certainly take over 8 weeks.