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Weight Loss Blocks We Have To Smash Through

by Dave on April 30, 2010

I am fond of saying weight loss is simple, but it is not easy, so today in this rather delayed post, I am going to try and explain more of what I mean, and how I believe that our mindset  plays a greater role in losing weight, than the food we eat.

Today was the first time I have stepped on the scales since my last post on April the 9th.  After the 12 week target I had set myself for losing 7lbs, I decided I was not going to keep stepping on the scales every Friday to judge progress. One reason for this was because I was losing body fat slowly ( around 0.5lbs per week ) the scales are unlikely to track this correctly, so I switched to using my clothes and the mirror as a guide.

Today my weight is 168lbs or 12 stone exactly or 76 kilos for you metric heads. My BMI is  now 24.11. The Abs ? well as I mentioned in the last post, they are close but not quite there, and I think I need to be 165lb, but this is just a guess so I will go by the mirror. The only thing I have learnt is you can be pretty sure whatever weight you think you need to be, chances are you will need to be lower.

So it actually took me 3 extra weeks to hit the 168lbs level. That means  I needed 15 weeks to lose 7 lbs of fat.  As I now look back on yet another target reached, all be it 3 weeks later than I thought, am I happy ? You bet I am, but what I wanted to highlight here is my planning, and mindset to lose this 7lbs.

First, back in January I set a 12 week target to lose those 7lbs. I did not look to lose it in one month, or even 2 months. I set 3 months because I had already lost a large amount of weight, and I had a good idea of my calorie levels. I used one diet fact, that to lose 1lb of fat you need to cut around 3,500 calories for your Maintenance calories.  Based on my current lifestyle, and my retired dieter principles, I could not  see how on a consistent weekly basis I could cut a further 3,500 calories a week from my plan. As it has turned  I needed 15 weeks, not 12.

What I am trying to say here is that many people set unrealistic goals for losing weight, then become frustrated and disheartened. It is my own personal view that this is caused by  a lack of basic weight loss understanding ( calories in v calories out ) largely caused by false advertising claims like ” lose 18lbs in 18 days ”  and reading too many conflicting weight loss theories in weight loss forums. One reason I believe this to be the case is because I was no different. Only when I stopped “dieting”, and stopped reading about different weight loss plans and health claims did I finally start to lose the weight.

How you think about weight loss, and how you approach it, will determine your success far more than what you eat.

Let me give you one example of how I failed in the past, and why this time was different.

One of the best diets I followed in terms of losing weight quickly was Atkins, and going low carb certainly brought me fast results at the start ( what I know now was a large amount of this fast weight loss was water ).  I was losing for about the first 10 weeks without a problem and was down about 24lbs, then the weight loss stopped. after 3 weeks of no changes, my mindset was…

”  I am not losing weight anymore, and I want a pizza, if I am not losing weight when I have cut out carbs, then I may aswell go and eat what I want.”

And that is what I did. I had restricted a food choice, and when the weight loss slowed down, I was missing the food I was deprived of.  The truth was I just like carbs too much to ever give them up on a long term basis.

As a retired dieter my main rule was no food was off limits, and of course there was no diet. The only focus was to eat less and move more.  I also set a realistic weight loss target of 56lbs in 52 weeks.  I didn’t hit my first weight loss plateau for 6 months but when I did, my view was very different.  This time there was no diet to come off, no food or drink had been eliminated from my diet. I also knew that for 6 months what I was doing had worked, so what was there to change ? . All I had to do was more of the same, maybe mix it up a little and accept that I had to look harder at calories in v calories out and make another cut or move more. That is all I have continued to do since, but at no time did I go searching for some magic solution. My mindset remained focused on losing steadily.

I had , and still have only a small set of things I remind myself of on a regular basis.

1 Calories in V Calories out

No matter what anyone says, your primary focus has to be calories in v calories out, if you eat less than your body needs you will lose weight, one way or another you firstly have to create a calorie deficit. In plain English, just eat less than you do now ( Not too many people who know me argue with me on this one anymore. Losing over 60lbs tends to give you a  bit more credibility with that claim )

2 Fat Loss, Not Weight Loss.

to lose 1lb of fat takes a calorie deficit of  approx 3,500 calories  from your current  requirements.  likewise to gain 1lb of fat you would need to consume 3,500 calories more than your current requirements.  If the scales show you lost 4lbs in 7 days, remember it will not all be fat, not unless you somehow created a calorie deficit of  14000 calories in a week.  You can also have a week where you lose 1lb of fat , but the scales show no change or even that you are heavier. This can be water weight, hence fat loss not weight loss. The scales are a guide, but like with most things to do with weight loss,week to week they are not always reliable.

So here is my take home message from this post.

If you have a large amount of weight to lose, make  a realistic goal. I have lost over 60lbs in 16 months, but I gained 60lbs in 20 years.  I initially lost 56lbs in 10 months. I consider that fast weight loss. If you fall for the diet hype and try and lose 30lbs in 2 months it will end with you feeling you failed. You have to understand that no matter how much we would all love to believe it,  it is just not a realistic weight loss target  and you would put too much pressure on yourself.  I know it may not be what you want to hear, but I can tell you that  1 or 2lb of fat loss per week  is hard enough , but it is possible, in my personal experience anything else is just not realistic long term.

If you are trying to lose those last few stubborn pounds of fat, remember they are going to take longer, and you will need to keep calories low, and most likely go lower than you are now, or increase how much you move. I am 5ft 10 inches and I my maintenance BMR is around 1700 calories a day, that is not many.

So my next goal is  165lbs. My next weigh in will be Friday May 28th.  Now that the weather is warmer I will be outside more and I do expect to hit the 165lbs target 4 weeks from today.

Over the next 4 weeks I will post more about my thoughts on weight loss, and the challenges we all face in reaching our goals.

As always, please feel free to leave a comment and  if you have any private questions, email me on the following  retireddieter[at]

Want To Know More About Why I Am A Retired Dieter ? Want To Lose Weight Without Dieting ? Then Enter Your Email Below And Get My Story

Related posts:

  1. I am a Retired Dieter
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  4. Intermittent Fasting Week 34
  5. Fasting For Weight Loss – Calories Still Matter
  • René

    Great to hear from you again ! You´re the reason that i found Eat Stop Eat and could lose 33 lbs in the last month, for that thank you!

    Your Blog is very inspirational and i feel with you, the last pounds are the heaviest to lose, especially if you don´t track the calories properly, but i think that would be to diet-like for you, and you have my biggest respect for this decision to never diet again!

    greetz René from Germany

  • Lisa Meyer

    Missed you!! Nice to know things are going well. the information you supply us with is always helpful and encouraging. Looking forward to hearing from you soon. Lisa

  • Pingback: Weight loss is simple, but it’s not easy « Paleofriend

  • Paula

    Thank you so much for sharing this valuable information. Congrats on reaching your goal. I took to heart the things you shared with me via email. Guess what??? I joined a gym today and honestly believe that by challenging my muscles in new ways and being faithful to this intermittent fasting lifestyle, I will reach my ultimate goal of 125 lbs. Stay tuned…

    • Dave


      I have no doubt you will reach you goal, you have a the right approach, and you know what works for you. Great stuff, well done.

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