Maybe you’ve tried to lose weight before and struggled until you gave up. Maybe you lost some weight but found that you eventually gained some (or all) of it back. Losing weight is hard, but not impossible. If you understand what makes it so hard, you can create a strategy for yourself to make it a little easier and to ensure your success.
Here are five things that make weight loss hard, and what you can do to overcome these challenges.
ONE. Food companies lie to us.
If you scan the aisles at any supermarket you’ll see tons of labels touting benefits like “fat-free” and “low carb” and the like. And it’s hard to determine what’s ACTUALLY good for you when you’re reading all these confusing and misleading claims.
Solution: Stick to foods with lots of natural ingredients (try to avoid eating anything with ingredients you can’t pronounce, for example) and make the majority of what you consume unprocessed foods, as these are less likely to have adverse effects on your weight loss efforts. (Here’s a great list of 21 reasons to eat unprocessed foods.)
TWO. We have really, really busy schedules.
How many times do we find ourselves scrapping plans to workout because “something came up” or because something took us longer to do than we expected? And how often do we grab foods “on-the-go” because we’re on-the-go, and their not the best choices?
Solution: PLAN ahead. Include your workouts in your plan for the day or the week. Write them down in your planner so they’re appointments and not simply intentions (the best intentions…). And PLAN when it comes to your food. Make sure you have lots of healthy (and unprocessed!) foods on hand for when things get a little crazy so you’re not tempted to hit the drive throughout of convenience.
THREE. We’re inundated with bad information.
The supermarket checkout lanes are lined with magazines offering advice on how to lose weight and get fit. Facebook is full of suggestions, ideas and products to help you get the body of your dreams. The problem with all this information surrounding us is that only a small percentage of that information is good information, and of the good information, only a percentage of that applies to our individual goals and bodies.
Solution: Don’t fall in with every trend or simply follow the “latest information” blindly. Meet with a personal trainer if you can and get a program that is specifically designed for you.
FOUR. We have unrealistic expectations.
We think that we can out train a bad diet. Or we think that we can starve ourselves and sit on the sofa and get the results we want. The reality is that we have to have a balanced approach that works with our lifestyles and preferences to get the bodies we want.
Solution: Same as #3 – meet with a trainer and determine what expectations are realistic for you based on your body type, your experience, and your goals.
FIVE. We are impatient.
We think that we should see results a lot more quickly than is realistic (see #4) and we think that we should lose weight a lot more quickly than we gained it. Of course, this is because our expectations are off, but also because we’re impatient.
Solution: don’t judge your success based on your end goal. For example, if your goal is to lose 2o pounds, break that down into smaller goals, and make sure the timeframe you expect to reach your goals in is realistic when you meet with your trainer!
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