Weight Loss Mentality: Sprint or Marathon?

Time is our most precious resource, I get it. We all want results yesterday. The problem with that approach is that we see achieving weight loss results as a sprint, not the ultra marathon that it is.

If I am being truthful, knowing what I know about the physiology of weight loss, it's actually a race that never ends. That does not mean it has to be an unpleasant race where you lose control of your bowels in sheer determination to cross the finish line; rather its about knowing that its an event that goes on for as long as your heart beats. Why? Well the human body evolved with the ability to store fat. This got us through periods of food shortages and enabled us to survive. It's not a bad thing necessarily, it's just that there are mechanisms hard wired into our biology that defend our level of fat. If we lose fat, these mechanisms kick in and drive eating behaviour. They also conserve our energy through ways like decreasing our metabolic rate. This does not mean that weight loss is impossible though. It just means that if you run your race as a sprint, then the thing that you are competing against (the human body) will overtake you just as soon as you think your race has been won. 

So what do you do? Pace yourself. Know that the changes you make have to be for the long term. Do you need to adhere to these lifestyle changes 100% of the time? Of course not! That's the sprint mentality talking. With the sprint mentality to weight loss, we think we need to get the results as fast as we can then the race is over; we can relax and take a break. We all know how that works when it comes to weight loss.

Now the marathon mentality to weight loss does not mean results have to be slow. You can achieve fast results and still have the marathon mentality; the difference is that you realise the race does not end once you hit the front of the pack. You need to keep focused and know that if you take your foot of the pedal completely, you won't get the result your desired. 

From seeing thousands of clients over the years, I've observed the ones that successfully lose weight and maintain that weight loss, seem to get it. They have the marathon mentality. They have flicked the mental switch and understand that their journey will not be 100% smooth sailing; yet with enough persistence and putting one foot in front of the other, they will reach their destination.


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