You know what the worst thing about short-term goals is? It is that if it is not backed up with long-term goals, it can be undone easily. When it comes to weight loss, that’s exactly what the issue is – having a goal, reaching it, but still not having it to the point of being a lifestyle change. Just think of those people from “The Biggest Loser” and you’ll get what I mean.
Believe you me, exercise must be incorporated into one’s lifestyle, otherwise its effects will get diminished. This is the very topic we will be covering today. It will be especially relevant to you if you are taking an extended break from exercise be it due to reaching your short-term goal weight or simply taking it easy during a period of injury.
According to some experts, it takes only two weeks of inactivity to undo the positive benefits of exercise. Of course, this does not mean that if you lost 10 kg over six months, you will put it all back on in two weeks. I’m talking about the general amount of time it will take for your form to start deteriorating.
While I have read the above-mentioned threshold in several fitness articles, I can vouch for it personally. There have been periods of my adult life when I have either lost access to exercise amenities, or could not undertake it due to recovery from injury. When I finally went back into the gym, my cardiovascular fitness had gone down slightly, but my strength is the thing that suffered the most – especially my back muscles. Ah well, ectomorph first-world problems, eh?
Experts have also said that the rate of improving fitness is only half as much as losing it. That means that all things considered equal, it would take twice as long to lose X amount of weight than to gain it. That might be why weight creeps up on us as we age. Scary thought, isn’t it? Of course, this varies between individuals, but is true as a general rule. There are physiological reasons for that, but we won’t get into that today.
So what can you do once you have reached your short-term goal weight? Easy – stick to the exercise routine and increase its difficulty slowly but gradually. And what if you are plagued by injuries and cannot exercise while you are recovering? Well, watch what you eat in order not to gain excess weight. Then once you are in the position to undertake light exercise, take full advantage of it.
Under no circumstances should you get into lazy or complacent mode. Before you know it, you’ll be out of shape again. Then you can be one of those yo-yo dieters, who, in the long run, become bigger than ever. After all, when fat cells increase in size it multiplies in number, but the reverse isn’t true – you can’t reduce the number under normal circumstances. Subscribe to our blog to ensure you are continually motivated! You at least owe yourself this!
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Also published on Medium.
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