By double negative I don’t mean canceling, I mean that you need to be at a negative from your life style twice.
Hypothetically if we take CICO as a hard fact- If you have a relatively healthy diet and eating around 2,000 calories every day lets just say that is maintenance for you. If you eat 2200 calories, for a little while you’ll gain weight. To lose that weight at the same slow and steady rate, you need to double it. Now you need to eat 1800 calories.
It was easier for me to understand that I couldn’t just stop eating the foods I added into my diet that caused me to gain weight, I had to stop eating them AND change what I was already eating, It is two fold.
So weight loss really isn’t only about eating less calories, it’s also about how much less in calories than your maintenance. I know it probably seems really obvious to some people, but thinking about it in this context of “double” allowed me to be A LOT kinder to myself, and be ok with a slow progress. Slow progress has allowed me to enjoy cooking, love eating, and not slip into disordered eating and giving up. Sometimes I say “it is ok you slipped a little today. You’re just not losing weight today, but you can focus on it again tomorrow.”
It makes me appreciate maintenance days. It also puts into perspective that I have lost 15lbs twice as fast as I gained (it crept up on me the past year and a half from *harmless* drinking out with friends, snacking, and binging from grad school stress), so even though it feels slow I need to acknowledge I’ve been workin’ overtime to get there!
Visualizing the calorie difference is really what helped me understand how hard it can be to lose weight, but also realize it is more than possible. Diligence is rewarded, albeit slowly some times.
Hope this helps someone as much as it helped me!
Edit: to clarify, yes this graph is a generalization of caloric maintaining, gain and loss. Yes those numbers change depending on your weight. I just wanted to make a graph that would show what I am talking about in terms of a double negative, specifically in relationship to returning to your previous weight when you’ve had a bout of weight gain.