Done with Dieting Episode #108: How Long Before I See Results?

how long to see results

One of the topics that I regularly address with my clients is the inevitability of feeling like we’ve put in the work, and we should be receiving something positive back in validation for the work that we’ve done.

Most will look at the number on the scale and feel frustrated that it hasn’t budged. And then, go into a brain spin downward spiral that results in us eating all the things in our path because we rationalize that if we’re not eating & not losing, then it doesn’t matter WHAT I eat. I should be able to eat all the things and not gain weight either.

Unfortunately, the body doesn’t work that way.

Tune in to episode 108 of the Done with Dieting Podcast to learn about looking for results and what to pay attention to.

Are you loving the podcast, but arent sure where to start? click here to get your copy of the Done with Dieting Podcast Roadmap Its a fantastic listening guide that pulls out the exact episodes that will get you moving towards optimal health.

If you want to take the work we’re doing here on the podcast and go even deeper, you need to join the Feel Good Sisterhood - my group coaching program for women in midlife who are done with dieting, but still want to feel good! The Feel Good Sisterhood is open for enrollment, so click here to discover if group coaching is a right fit for you and your goals.

I am so excited to hear what you all think about the podcast – if you have any feedback, please let me know! You can leave me a rating and review in Apple Podcasts, which helps me create an excellent show and helps other women who want to get off the diet roller coaster find it, too.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode

  • Understand what the number on the scale truly reflects.
  • What fluctuations on the scale really indicate (hint: it’s not fat gain!)
  • How long you should expect to wait before you see results reflected on the scale?
  • Why looking at the scale as a unit of success is a less accurate measurement method.
  • Other results that you can look for that can be just as encouraging – if you have the right mindset.
  • How to weigh yourself for the greatest accuracy.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Full Episode Transcript:

We’ve all done it. We’ve all gotten on the scale, and when the scale doesn’t reflect the number that we think it should, we get frustrated and we’re like, oh my God, I’ve been working so hard. Why isn’t the number on the scale lower or higher than I think it should be? It’s one of the most frustrating things.

In today’s podcast episode I’m talking about. when we look for the scale to give us validation on our best efforts. Why is that so frustrating? And what we can do in order to mitigate giving up. Because that’s what happens, right? When we don’t see the number that we want to on the scale, it makes us want to throw up our hands and say, why am I even bothering doing any of this?

So, if you are questioning, how long is it going to take before I see the results? Tune into today’s podcast.

You are listening to the done with dieting podcast. The podcast for women in midlife, who are done with dieting, but still want to lose weight and feel good in your clothes.

You know that diets don’t work long term. But you feel like there’s this secret that everyone else knows that you just haven’t figured it out yet.

I am your host, Elizabeth Sherman. And I’ve helped hundreds of women get off the diet roller coaster, change their relationship with food, exercise, and their bodies.

Through this podcast, my goal is to help you too.

Welcome. Let’s get started.

 Hey everyone, welcome to the Done With Dieting Podcast, podcast episode number 1 0 8. And today, it’s the beginning of February. And at this point, many of you who are listening today created New Year’s resolutions. Maybe you didn’t actually go out and create New Year’s resolutions because there’s a lot of stigma about that these days. Like, oh, you shouldn’t create resolutions, but maybe in the back of your head, you didn’t call it that, but you were like, okay, this is the year.

And at this point, many folks who created New Year’s resolutions actually have given up on them at this point. It’s very common that we see that, right? So, if you are someone who goes to the gym on a regular basis, maybe come January, you saw the gym just crowded. And every single week after that point, there were a few less people and a few less people, and a few less people. And now, there are a few less people, right?

And January 19th is actually considered quitter’s day. And so, January 19th was about, ah, two weeks ago. And Quitter’s day is the day that most of the people who have created New Year’s resolutions have given up on them.

Now, it’s so curious. Why do we give up on New Year’s resolutions? Why do we give up so easily on our goals? What’s that about? Is it that we just don’t have the stick-to-itiveness? Maybe. But I think that more than that, one of the problems that so many of us have is that we’re impatient. Right?

We’re like, oh, when am I going to see the results? I went for a run and now I’m going to stand on the scale and see how much weight did I lose? Or we’re like, I ate vegetables for an entire week. Let me see how much weight I lost. Or I’ve been good. Why isn’t the number that I want to see on the scale, why isn’t it showing up? How many of us do that?

We put in a little bit of work and we expect to get so much validation back, right? When in honesty, we’ve actually been really mean to our bodies for the past 50 years. But we’re like, but body, I gave you a vegetable this week. Lose some weight for me.

And so, what I want to talk about in this episode is when we really desire to see results. And then, the scale does not give us the results that we want. So, why is this a problem? Well, it’s a problem because too many of us give up.

Now, if weight loss is something that you really want. If you have a goal to get stronger, or to get leaner, or to eat better. The one thing that we all know that isn’t going to get us to our goal is actually giving up. And yet, when we stand on the scale and we see that that number on the scale isn’t what we want it to be, sometimes we’ve lost weight, but we haven’t lost enough weight. When that happens, our brain tells us, this is too hard. We can’t keep doing this. And it would be easier if were able to eat pizza and have a burger every once in a while. That it would be easier if I could have some chocolate.

And that action right there is the opposite of what we actually want because we know that those actions, overeating, or overindulging are certainly not going to get us the results that we actually want.

And so, I’m definitely going to be answering the question today of how long does it take to see results on the scale if we want them. But I’m also going to talk to you today about looking for other results that may not be as obvious.

Now, many of the women who come to me have been dieting their whole entire lives. When they come to me and we start a new routine, a new protocol, what happens is they immediately look at the scale and they get frustrated.

What I have to explain to them, what I want to explain to you is that after years and years of dieting, after years and years of quite frankly being mean to your body. By restricting calories to something that a child couldn’t even live on. By not giving our body the proper nutrients. By only feeding our body enough calories but not the proper foods.

Through years and years of doing the same thing, we have no longer established trust with our body. I have a good podcast that talks about it a little bit more called value bank. And it’s about putting in the trust with your body.

Now, one of the ways that I do this is with my clients. I have this theory and it’s not science based. This is not science based, so don’t look for it on the internet. But I believe that when we give our body enough nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, our body will then believe that it’s safe enough to give up the fat.

But we haven’t done that enough in the past. And so, our body’s like, I’m not giving up the fat because I know what’s going to happen next. You’re going to starve me, and I don’t want to do that. So, we’ve been through this rodeo before. I don’t want to do it again. And so, our body holds onto the fat.

For many of my clients, they do not lose weight within the first month. Sometimes even the second month, which can be really frustrating. Not only because they’re used to getting that payoff in the past, although the payoff doesn’t last. But also because we’re so impatient. We don’t want to take the time to understand how our body works. We don’t want to take the time to appreciate our body and what it can do. We just want our body to do the thing that we want it to do.

And if you actually think about that in the relationship between not only yourself and your body, but then also you and someone else, right? So, think about that. Like you have a friend, and you mistreat this friend. And have this on again, off again, relationship with your friend. And quite honestly, you haven’t been really nice to your friend over the years. You’ve withheld affection. You’ve been very direct in what you want your friend to do, and when your friend doesn’t do the thing, you become accusing.

And then, you finally get to a point where you’re like, okay, let’s work on this relationship. Let’s be nice to each other because you’re important to me. Because you’re kind of stuck with this friend, right? This is a great analogy. Now, it’s taking some time. You’re building that relationship. You’re starting to establish trust. And then, you get frustrated and you’re like, why aren’t you doing what I want you to do? We’re defaulting back into that same behavior.

Our friend isn’t going to be up for doing that. Think about it if the tables were turned and we were the ones who were on the hook for doing something that our friend wanted. We’d be like, screw you. Not going to do that.

So, we have to establish trust with our body. And so, for many of my clients, they don’t actually see results within the first two months of working together. So, eventually what will happen is they’ll start to see results.

Once we’ve established a good baseline of solid nutrition, after we’ve established that trust with our body, that we’re giving it the vitamins and minerals, that we’re giving it enough water, that we’re giving it enough protein, that we’re giving it all of the vegetables, and we’re giving it enough sleep, and we’re managing our stress. Then, what seems to happen is we start to lose weight. But how quickly that shows up is really dependent on the client and what her diet history is.

Now, for all practical purposes today, let’s give an example where you do not have a history of being mean to your body. That you don’t have a history of dieting and yo-yo dieting. You just want to lose a little bit of weight.

So then, how quickly do results happen? And here’s what I’ve noticed with myself and with many of my clients once we get them established to a baseline where they’ve established trust with their body. And what I find is that when we stand on the scale, the scale will reflect our last two weeks of behavior. Our last two weeks of habit.

It’s a little different touch and go based on the individual. But in general, it could be two weeks. It could be as little as one week. It could be as high as three weeks. But what I find is that for any of us, we have this rolling picture of the last two weeks and how we have eaten and exercised and slept and managed our stress.

And so, when you stand on the scale today, what that’s giving you is a snapshot of the past two weeks. Now, this is really good news. And let me explain a little bit how the body works and why this is good news. So, first of all, your body does not lose and gain fat very rapidly. For example, the good news here is if you go out and you do eat a burger one night, and you do eat fries, and you do have ice cream for dessert.

What does not happen is if you get on the scale the next day and see that you have gained five pounds, that is not five pounds of fat. It might be five pounds of water. And there might be some food still in your stomach. But it is not five pounds of fat. Your body does not create fat that quickly. Likewise, your body does not lose fat that quickly.

So, if tomorrow you eat 500 calories, for example, just because you’re not hungry at all. Maybe you have some vegetables you eat really clean. And you stand on the scale the next day and you’ve lost five pounds.

Again, sorry to be the bear of bad news, but that is not five pounds of fat. Your body does not lose weight that quickly either. Those fluctuations in the scale are most likely water. And as I mentioned, or food that’s still in your body, food that’s in your stomach, or in your intestines, or whatever. And so, once we start to drink again, we’ll notice that we gain weight when we eat. We’ll gain weight, right? But it’s not fat. It’s just food or stuff that’s in our system.

So, this is actually really good news. And it’s good news because one day of overeating isn’t going to make that much of a difference. Just like one day of undereating isn’t going to make that much of a difference either. The way that our bodies fluctuate in our weight and our size has everything to do with averages. And so, here’s actually a really good technique.

Now, sometimes people will ask me, clients will ask me, how often should I be weighing myself? And my clients can weigh themselves or not. It’s completely up to you. I think that there are advantages and disadvantages to all the different weighing styles. And what I generally will recommend though are two different weighing styles if you want to use scale as a unit of measure.

But just as an aside, there are tons of different units of measure that you can use instead of the scale. Such as a pair of clothing, you can use a tape measure, you can use pictures, you can use lots of different ways of measuring just so that you can see progress.

But the scale we are very connected to, right? We’re connected to the scale because it shows slight variation in progress. So, when we stand on the scale day after day, we don’t see that number going in the direction that we want it to go. What happens is we get frustrated, right? And so, that’s why we tend to give up.

So, one of the aims of this podcast episode is to set your expectations so that you know exactly how quickly you should be able to see results. Going back to weighing just for a second, the two different ways that I recommend that you weigh yourself. One would be weighing yourself once a week. I generally recommend that you weigh yourself on Friday morning naked, after you’ve voided. And the reason why I chose this date, this day and time, is because for most of us depending on our lifestyle, this is when you are your lightest.

Generally, most of us eat pretty well during the week, and then on the weekends we allow ourselves to indulge a little bit more. And so, what you’ll find is if you chart yourself every day that your weight goes down during the week. And then, on Friday morning, it’s its lowest. And then, on Saturday morning or Sunday, it’s probably its highest. And then, we started to go down.

So, one way of doing it is weigh yourself once a week. The other way of doing it is to weigh yourself every single day. Now, when you weigh yourself every single day, in order to not give too much credence to any highs and lows that you have in water fluctuation. Because again, you can have water fluctuations if you have more salt than usual, or you can have water fluctuations if you have more carbohydrate than usual.

And so, in order to not get too tied to a drop in number or a high number one morning, what I would recommend is that you average the last five or seven days. So that you can see whether that number is generally going down or not.

Now, this is the answer to how quickly do I see results when I’m talking about weight loss. However, I don’t want you to get stopped right here. What I want to offer you is that there are a lot of other ways for us to find progress in our health journey that have nothing to do with weight. And those two other ways, well, there are tons of other ways. But two other ways that are relatively easy to track. One is fitness, and the other is just our general sense of feeling better.

Now, with fitness, you can tell really well right away whether you are becoming more fit or not. When you are walking a difficult hill and you just feel more fit, you’re able to get up the hill. And if you use a heart rate monitor, you can see that your heart rate isn’t as high at the top of the hill than it was two weeks ago. Or you know, if you are able to lift heavier weights for the same number of repetitions. Or that you’re able to lift more repetitions with the same amount of weight.

So, when we’re looking at fitness and looking at progress, that is a really great way to know, are the things that I’m doing paying off?

And then, the second way is just feeling better. Do you have more energy? Are you sleeping more soundly? Are you having less bloating? Are you able to have more energy? Are you thinking more clearly? When we can look at those types of results, then what happens is the weight will ultimately come along.

When you’re asking the question of, ‘when am I going to see results, Elizabeth?’ I’ve been putting in all of this work and I don’t see the number showing up on the scale. What I want to say back to you is that you’re looking in the wrong place for your results, for your validation.

When you can look in other areas and really see how food and exercise and sleep and stress management can help you overall to feel better and be a whole person. Instead of just looking at the number on the scale. You are going to treat yourself better. You are going to be able to take care of yourself so much better. And when you do those things, then the weight will come along.

That’s all I have for you today. Have a great week, everyone. And I will see you next time. Bye.

Hey, if you enjoy listening to this podcast, you have to come check out the Feel Good Sisterhood. It’s my small group coaching program where we take all this material, and we apply it. We figure out what works for us, and we don’t ever look at another diet ever again. Join me over at I’d love to have you join me in the Feel Good Sisterhood. See you there.

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