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The Importance of Patience with Dieting and Fat Loss

I wanted to share this analogy which emphasizes the importance of being patient when it comes to dieting and fat loss. This was written originally by Alywn Cosgrove who’s work I adore and adapted for my female client base.


Let’s assume you go out and buy two rolls of paper towels, each with 112 paper towels on it. You put one aside and keep it for future reference (which will be your “before” picture). The other one represents you (which I’ll call your paper towel “Sally”). The core of the paper towel roll represents the lean version of Sally. The towels wrapped around the core represent the body fat that is covering the “lean Sally”.

For sake of argument, let’s say that Sally wants to lose 28 pounds of fat, so (112/28) each sheet represents a quarter-pound of fat lost.

Let’s also assume that Sally loses her fat equally during each day of the program for the sake of the post.

Each day during the first week, you tear a sheet off of Sally representing the fat she has lost for that day. Next you put Sally beside to the full roll (“Big Sally”) for comparison. No noticeable difference. Even at the end of the week!

“This can’t be working for me! This program sucks!” But you continue to follow your fat loss program. At the end of weeks two and three, you continue to compare Sally to Bigger Sally and still notice very little difference.

But Sally is determined! She continues to work hard!

Three more weeks go by, the sheets peeling off day after day, before Sally gets up the courage to stand next to Big Sally again.

Now there’s a big difference!

By the end of the program (112 days), Sally is down to her lean dream, or somewhere close to it. Big Sally is still…big.
The lesson to be learned is that fat, like paper towels, comes off in sheets. When you are heavy, you are big around. And when you are big around, that fat is spread over a MUCH larger area – just like that outside towel sheet. The closer you get to the lean you, the more each lost pound of fat shows because it is spread over a smaller area.

While the outside sheet may only cover one layer of the roll, the inside sheet may go around 4 times. That last sheet looks like it gives you four times the results of the first sheet, but in reality, the results are the same – your perception is just different! And you’ll never see the inside if you aren’t patient while the outside is coming off!

The moral of the story – STAY COMPLIANT AND BE PATIENT! It’s working 🙂



(image from Women’s Health)

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