How Long Does It Take To See Results

Posted On Jan 24, 2020 By Lisa Traugott

A days on a calendar.

I once had a gym buddy who said he was going to get a bar and name it Resolutions and it would only be open the first two weeks of January. There’s a lot of truth behind the snark. Research has shown that less than 25% of people actually stay committed to their resolutions after 30 days and only 8% actually accomplish them. That’s too bad, because with respect to fitness, people are quitting right before they see results.

If you want to get to a healthy weight you have to combine a healthy diet and consistently exercise with a combination of cardiovascular activities and strength training. The general rule of thumb I tell my clients is that if you follow your plan and don’t eat a ton of junk food or skip the gym you will notice results in as little as two weeks. Close friends and family will begin to notice changes by four weeks and everyone else will notice by six to eight weeks.

A small calendar next to a cup of coffee.

Once people notice results, they tend to stick with their goals. I tell my clients to follow the mantra “Progress, Not Perfection.” I’m also a big believer in data, so I encourage people to not just weigh themselves, but to note their pant size and use a measuring tape to check their waist circumference bare minimum.

The scale is where dieter’s dreams go to die, which is why it’s only one component to monitor your results. Let’s face it, if you eat something salty or it’s that time of month you’re likely going to have a 1-3 pound water weight gain, even if you’ve done everything else “right.” So don’t let the scale discourage you. The main thing to focus on are your pants. Pants don’t lie. Well unless they are stretchy elastic-waisted ones, so use regular pants or jeans. If you are eating clean and exercising you should note that your pants fit you better in about two weeks and you might be able to drop a pant size within a month.

Here’s another tip I have my bikini competitors do: weekly progress pictures. They put on something that shows their form, either sports bra and shorts or a bikini, and they take front and back pictures. Each Saturday they take a new picture. It’s quite motivating to stick to your meal plan when you know you have to send a picture of yourself in a bikini to your trainer. Even if you don’t have a personal trainer, those progress pictures are helpful as a reference point of where you were and where you’re heading.

My advice for anyone who wants to change their lifestyle is to stick with it! You didn’t gain weight overnight so it’s unfair to demand that your body becomes your ideal self in less than 14 days. Be patient with yourself and your body. Feed it well, let it run and jump and lift and dance and you will discover your best body ever.


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Fit Tip with Lisa Traugott, Bowflex Contributor. Start Small.