Avoid Expecting Unrealistic Results

Avoid Expecting Unrealistic Results

weights scale

We all have hopes and dreams when we start exercising. You may want to lose a great deal of weight or have a perfect body. You may even want to be able to run 25 miles a day.

However, if you expect results that are just too far beyond your grasp, you may only set yourself up for failure. Really evaluate your long term goals to see if they make sense. It is far better to overshoot your original goals and set more aggressive ones than to fall short and have to scale your goals back.

At the same time, it is alright to have a few dreams as long as they are not your only reasons for exercising. You may hope that someday you can be a professional baseball player or be as skinny as a supermodel.

The fact is that only small amount of people will really ever get that shot. Set goals and expect the results that your body can give you. It may be that someday your dreams will come true, but obsessing over them will usually do more harm than good.

Expecting Realistic Weight Loss Results

Setting goals and looking forward to results can sometimes be hard work. You want your goals to be reasonable enough so that you can achieve them. You may even make your first few goals a little more conservative than you would like to give yourself a nice starting point. When you look forward to realistic results, you need to first consider the reality of weight loss and overall fitness.

By now, you probably know the following:

  1. To lose 1 lb. of body weight, you need to consume 3500 less calories. (or burn an extra 3500)

  2. To lose 2 lbs. a week, you need to consume 7000 less calories that week. (or burn an extra 7000).

  3. Losing more than 2 or 3 lbs. a week is unhealthy and even dangerous for most people.

Considering the above facts, if your daily caloric needs are about 2000, be realistic about how many lbs. of weight you will be able to lose in a given period of time. Cutting or burning 500 calories a day would total 3500 per week (or 1 lb.) Can you really cut 500 calories every day? If you can, can you expect to lose 50 lbs. in a single month? Hopefully the answer is no.

weights scale

One of the most important things to understand about realistic weight loss results is that they are almost never predictable. You may want to look as taut and firm as your favorite movie star, but you may never get there. Even after admitting this, you shouldn’t be discouraged. Everyone looks different for a reason. While weight loss is very healthy for people that are carrying around a few extra pounds, accept the fact that you are an individual. Expecting to become someone else is unhealthy and discouraging.

By just losing 10 lbs. you can expect these results:

  • Your clothes will fit better.

  • Some daily activities will get easier.

  • Your risk of obesity related illnesses will be reduced.

  • You will have accomplished something that many people cannot.

Overall, stay positive about your results and keep your goals within your reach. If you expect results that are too ambitious you will be disappointed. Use the first few weeks of your diet and exercise to find out what makes sense to accomplish over the following few weeks. In short, set your goals based on your results, not your results based on your goals.

Expecting Realistic Fitness Results

You may not be exercising to lose weight but want to either be stronger or more able to perform a specific activity. If you are in this category, expecting unrealistic results is often still an issue. In the same way that a person does not get too ambitious with their weight loss goals, you too must be reasonable when setting your fitness goals. If you expect to be able to do 50 pushups in one week when you can only currently do 15, you will be disappointed.

It is important to use your first few weeks, if you are just beginning to train, as an adjustment period to see how your body responds to exercise and set realistic goals. Instead of deciding that you want to do 50 pushups (each session) by the end of the week, aim to do 16. You may never be able to do 50 pushups. However, you may be able to do 45. Only by taking things slowly and being happy with small, progressive results will you have any hope of reaching your ultimate goal.

If You Do Not Get the Results You Expected…

Do not get discouraged. Take a step back and ask yourself if those results were ever realistic in the first place. People often see what others have achieved and get the wrong idea. If you see an advertisement claiming that a person lost 100 lbs. in 4 months by using their secret method, do not think that method will have the same effect on you. When you first start exercising, you are an apt pupil of your own body. It may take years for you to figure out exactly what your body needs to do accomplish a task.

Ask yourself these questions when the weekly tally does not measure up to your expectations:

woman on scale

  1. What could I have done to get the result I wanted?

  2. Were the results I expected safe to accomplish?

  3. Did the results I expected match my long term goals?

  4. Were my goals too far fetched?

  5. Why do I expect the results that I hoped for?

  6. Am I happy to have made the progress that I did and aim for better results in the future?

Although it may not seem apparent, if you made any sort of effort to eat better and exercise, you were successful in accomplishing something. You may have prepared your body for the long road ahead or learned from a few mistakes, but you did something. Be proud that you have taken the first step towards a better body. After all, even a 500,000 mile walk has to begin with a single step.

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