John Basedow: It's important to have goals when you start a new exercise and nutrition plan, but it's also key to make sure you don't have unrealistic expectations. Those dreams of a six-pack may take more effort than you are willing to put in. But to be healthy, you just need to reach your body's happy weight.
The body is naturally regulated to stay within a weight-range that only changes about 10%-20%. This set point can affect how successfully you lose weight, and ultimately determines the lowest healthy weight you should reach. You can lower your set point with a healthy diet and regular exercise, but it does take time.
When you lose large amounts of weight at once, you have set up an internal struggle and hunger inducing hormones spike, as your body tries to return to its comfortable range. Eventually, your body gets the message and lowers its set point as you get used to more exercise, better food choices, and smaller portions.
If you expect to see things nature doesn't care about, get ready for a challenge. Those last five pounds you want to lose, nature wants to key. You have to beat nature to obtain the sought after six fact. If you're not that dedicated to toning, learn to love your body with a little extra.
And finally, remember the brain and the stomach are in two different time zones, it takes 15 to 20 minutes for your brain to realize the stomach is full, that lag time keeps a lot of pounds on our trouble prone areas.
To avoid the extra calories, leave the table when you're no longer hungry, but not totally full. With a little knowledge about how your body works, you can reach you're happy and healthy weight by setting realistic fitness and nutrition goals.