HERE ARE A FEW MORE TIPS TO KEEP YOU ON TRACK THIS WINTER!
GOING ON CRASH DIETS
A quick Google search will bring up pages of flashy diet options that promise fast results. Losing weight quickly is tempting, but the results will not last and could compromise any future weight loss. When we consume less calories than our bodies require, it puts us into “starvation mode.” Our bodies will begin to lower our basal metabolic rate in order to compensate and protect our organs and ensure we can complete our essential functions. When we return to our normal way of eating, not only will we gain weight but it will be difficult for any future weight loss. The first step is to look at what period of time you put on the weight and understand it will take that time plus some to lose. Fat loss is a slow and gradual process that allows our body to adapt as we progress to ensure that we maintain our ability to function at an optimal level.
NOT ADDRESSING THE EMOTIONAL SIDE OF WEIGHT LOSS
Many psychologists concur that emotions are the top obstacle when it comes to losing weight with emotional eating and lack of commitment being the top behaviors compromising your progress. We have found many clients don’t truly believe that they deserve to be healthy and happy. They have used their weight to define part of their identity and often have used food to dull emotions and negative experiences. These associations can be difficult to break and without proper acknowledgement lead to self-sabotage and negative self-talk. One of the best tools is to keep a journal of your realizations, triggers, moments of doubt, accomplishments, and more in order to identify areas where you need assistance. Also, find an alternate option for self-care that you enjoy that can replace the void that emotional eating has filled in the past. Lastly, speak to someone you trust to help you break the barriers on your weight loss journey.
In theory, it would be great if your meals were all cooked at home and you exercised at the gym every day, but if you don’t have time to cook or get yourself to the gym, then that’s probably a poor plan that will leave you feeling defeated. It is better to start small and make resolutions that you think you can keep. Creating short term goals along the way will help you ultimately reach your long term goal down the road. If your aim is to exercise more, schedule three or four days a week at the gym instead of seven. If you want to start eating healthier, start by replacing sweet desserts with something else you enjoy, like fruit or yogurt. Having realistic expectations helps you to form goals that fit with your real life and your individual needs and personality—so that you can be successful and feel good about that. In the past, I’ve had clients who wanted to start a 5 week program, but they expect to lose over 20 lbs. in that time. Realistically, healthy weight loss is about 1-2 lbs. per week. It is important to set small weight loss goals along the way; this will help make your long term weight loss goal more attainable. Remember that minor missteps when reaching your goals are completely normal. Don’t give up completely because you ate a brownie and broke your diet, or skipped the gym because you were busy. Everyone has ups and downs; resolve to recover from your mistakes and get back on track.