Wednesday, March 20, 2019 / Singapore

Is weight loss all about balance?: The see'em-saw'em paradox

Tipping the scales

You've probably heard health and fitness professionals talk about 'balance' when it comes to weight loss right?  But actually, if you kept things balanced, you're probably not going to lose weight.   When think about it, there needs to a be shift otherwise they'll be no movement.  
I use the analogy of the seesaw below.  If both parties on either of the seesaw weighed the same there would be no movement, ie balance (effort = result). 
 If we imply effort at one end and weight loss/weight gain (result) at the other end and put in little to no effort (eating more and moving less), then the see-saw negatively tips away from results.

Now, if we put in bags of effort (increase the 'load') for a short period of time, the results will show in quick time too, great! However, quick results tend not to last too long. So yes, you will 'see'em' but not for long and you'll have only 'saw'em'.

Tipping the scales in your favour

Let's use a slightly different strategy.  Let's increase the time line (ie the level), keep the effort the same and we'll see results and we'll continue to 'see-em'.   This way it's easier to tip the seesaw, as we're using a longer 'lever' (time), we won't need as much effort in one go, we'll save energy, both physically and mentally.  We'll more likely to stay motivated and more likely to sustain healthier habits, ultimately staying where we want to be, for longer (hopefully forever).

The importance of Why

When starting out with any objective, it is important to remember why you're doing it in the first place. With reference to weight loss, generally speaking (in one form or another) it's to increase confidence and likely to feel better about yourself.  On the diagram below, I've called the effort axis on right, the 'Why? axis'.  When the seesaw is tipped negatively with the results end low, your why is important to give you the initial motivation to make a change.  As the axis decreases with the increase in effort, hitting your target may start to become a little bit trickier (mainly because you'll be feeling more content and happier with yourself) and so, it is still important to keep in mind your why, to continue giving you the motivation to reach the end result.

Effort = results

At the end of the day, if you're about to start losing weight or you're struggling to lose weight, it is going to take effort and honestly, the result will be relative to the amount of effort you put in-that goes without saying.  All you have to do, is work out why you want to lose weight.  Then work out fast you want results and then finally, how much effort you want to put in to see'em, so you won't have just had to saw'em. 


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