Two Kinds of Weight Loss

Two Kinds of Weight Loss

As I write more and more about weight loss, and take a long look at all the weight loss tricks and practices I’ve tried over the years, I’m starting to see all of it through the lens of there being two very different kinds of weight loss. There’s fast, quick-trick, “lose 10 pounds in 10 days” weight loss, and there’s slow, change behavior, change your attitude weight loss.

This site covers both. I am too impatient a person not to have tried the short-cut weight loss techniques. I actually like the master cleanse/lemonade diet. I love trying to go stick to a new fad diet for 3-5 days to lose 5 pounds. I even took the weight loss pills here and there in my 20s. But the wiser part of me knows that these are short-cut weight loss techniques. They work fast, and they fail fast. You put the weight back on. It may be fast weight loss, but ultimately it is temporary weight loss. There are exceptions, definitely — every time I go on “the cleanse” my new average weight tends to be 3-5 pounds lighter than it was before, but I still recognize it as short-cut weight loss. It is that old binge/purge cycle, just in a much prettier costume.

Then there is slow weight loss. It sucks. Its hard. Its SLOW. You actually have to change how you eat, how you think, and how you live. And there’s no “let’s do a big push now so we can slack off later” drama. I hate that. But its the kind of weight loss that stays. And, very, very slowly, after awhile it is not another weight loss trip/technique, but how you live. Like that very weird moment where you actually realize you are craving… not a donut… but a bowl of fresh salad? How weird is that? Who craves salad? But when I eat it on a regular basis — good quality salad, with thin slices of red onion, and my favorite vinagrette — I start to want it. There is a funny kind of weird, lasting happiness to slow weight loss. Maybe its the sane behavior, as opposed to the addictive binge/purge model.

So there’s slow weight loss, and fast weight loss. Slow weight loss concepts include mindful eating versus emotional eating. Slow weight loss techniques include keeping a food journal, getting regular exercise, meditating, cooking new and lighter foods. Fast weight loss concepts focus on the metabolism and different ways to jigger it into hyperdrive. Fast weight loss techniques include weight loss pills, cleanses (if you’re doing them for weight loss) and other weird diets.

Slow weight loss is “better” than fast weight loss. Here’s why:

  • Slow weight loss is not part of the binge/purge cycle
  • Slow weight loss is healthier and it does not create sagging skin issues, or mess with the body’s metabolism
  • Slow weight loss is more likely to last than fast weight loss
  • Slow weight loss works on the root causes of how we get overweight (emotions, out of balance lifestyle, etc) where fast weight loss just deals with the symptom.

That said, I fault no one anywhere for wanting to get slim fast (wow, those marketers know how to name products to get in our heads, don’t they). I completely understand the urgent need to drop 10 pounds so you can walk into that party and hold your head up. I love the tips and tricks. But though I love them, my own weight loss and weight maintenance is about the slow kind of slimness.