When you start a weight control effort (notice I avoid the use of the “d” word, i.e. dieting) there are things you need to do immediately: Cut the amount of carbohydrates, eliminate snacks, curtail alcohol usage etc. Basically, lots of the “fun” stuff we like to eat and drink must be scaled back to a large degree that very day and for days to come. This must transpire immediately.
We are willing to take these steps because we desire certain outcomes of successful weight control: Lessening the need to take medications for co-morbidities such as diabetes/hypertension/arthritis pains, fit into our more stylish clothes, having more energy, looking younger, boosting our immune systems etc. However, these great outcomes of weight control do not happen immediately. So, the question is: How long do we need to wait to enjoy the outcome of successful weight control?
The answer is that the benefits of weight control will occur at differing times. As an example, a person with diabetes taking medications can cut their medications by 50% the first day he/she starts our program. People with back/knee/feet pain often notice that pain lessens in the first week of the program. With each one pound of weight loss comes four pounds of pressure less on the joints so a 5-pound first week of loss translates into 20 pounds of pressure off those weight bearing joints. Looking thinner and having other people notice your results may take 3-4 weeks. Lowering blood pressure and cholesterol usually take 2-4 weeks. Having more energy is sometimes felt as soon as 1 week. Lowering cancer risk and boosting the immune system probably takes over a month of successful results.
Here is something else that happens immediately when you start losing weight: Your confidence and self-esteem start rising as you realize that the one thing in this world you are probably not controlling (i.e. your weight) is now starting to be controlled.
One of the major challenges in controlling weight is trading off the immediate gratification (high caloric food/drink sources) drive for long-term gratification that weight control brings us. As human beings, we are very much built to be an immediate gratification species much like other animals. However, the intellectual parts of our brains can override the instinctual parts, allowing us to follow the plan to delay our gratification.
There are many, many benefits of successful weight control. Hang in there to experience all of them!