Creating a Positive Mindset for Sustained Weight Loss
According to Pamela Peeke, MD, author of Fit to Live, if you want to lose weight, you need to "reduce the mental fat, and that will lead to lowering the waistline fat." "Take a look at the patterns and habits you're carrying around in your life that are getting in the way of your achievement."
Everyone has their own set of justifications. Most people succeed in improving their lifestyle and nutrition until something goes wrong — whether it's work pressure, family concerns, or something else. Whatever your own problem is, if you want to succeed, you must break the pattern.
Step 1: Ask Yourself What the Endgame Is
Wanting too much too soon is a key mental roadblock to weight loss. Weight reduction is too sluggish for most dieters to be satisfied. Blame it on our instant-gratification society with instant messaging, PDAs, and digital photography. "Losers are looking for rapid results. Even though it took them years to build weight, they have little patience with the recommended weekly weight loss of 1-2 pounds," Cynthia Sass, MS, RD, an American Dietetic Association spokesman, agrees.
However, you'll see the finest results if you reduce weight gradually. Sass reminds them that they're likely losing water or lean tissue, not fat when people lose weight too quickly. "When you lose lean tissue, metabolism slows down, making it even harder to lose weight," she adds.
To begin any journey, you must have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish. Do you have a dress or a pair of pants in mind that you'd like to fit into? Do you want to lower your blood pressure, so you don't have to use medication? Make your vision specific by writing down why it is essential to you.
"Write it all down on a piece of paper," says Accredited Practising Dietitian Pennie McCoy. "You need to be really clear on what it is you want to achieve, and you need to have a strong, clear focus on why it is important to you without comparing yourself to anyone else."
You can have health professionals, your doctor, and your dietitian telling you what you ought to be doing what goals you should be attained. Still, it is extremely difficult to stay motivated unless you truly want to make the changes.
Step 2: Figure Out Your Relationship With Food
It's time to address one of modern society's most troublesome relationships: people and food. People frequently feel as if they are engaged in a perplexing and humiliating war with their food. We are haunted by food-related childhood memories. This is how one book claims to stop food cravings, while another asserts something completely different. One celebrity food blogger deemed these dishes harmful, but they are deemed healthy by another. It's no surprise that many of us have a distorted idea of what constitutes a healthy dinner. You'd want to find a way out if you were in a dysfunctional relationship with someone, right? The same may be said for food.
You can be using unhealthy foods as an emotional crutch if you crave chips when you're sad or eat chocolate cake when you're joyful but not hungry. Your relationship with food may be on the rocks if you link shame with particular foods, especially when you eat them in public. Because of years of judgment from others, inaccurate messaging in the media, and a collective misunderstanding of unhealthy meals, many of us have been taught to have these bad associations.
It's normal in our fast-paced society to eat a meal while watching TV or even standing over the kitchen sink. Before you eat, take a moment to check in with yourself: are you eating to satisfy your hunger or fill an emotional void? Also, don't eat when multitasking. Make eating a meal a relaxing ritual where you can relish each bite and detect the first signals of satiety.
If you routinely seek unhealthy meals when you're stressed, you should consider finding an alternative way to cope with your feelings. Understanding why you turn to food in difficult situations can help you change your entire eating perspective.
Step 3: Reset Your Fitness Mindset
If you connect gym class with dread, embarrassment, or a sense of failure as a youngster, it may influence how you see your own physical talents years later — and how likely you are to get off the couch as an adult. According to a recent major study from Iowa State University, people with dreadful gym memories were less inclined to exercise as adults. Those who remembered gym class warmly were more likely to keep active years later. Shilagh A. Mirgain, Ph.D., a noted psychologist with UW Health's Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation, says this isn't surprising.
You might think exercise means being on the treadmill for a certain period, but those kinds of assumptions can be a barrier," Mirgain explains. "Exercise is just moving your body." Consider the full spectrum of activities that can get you moving, whether it's dancing to music in your living room or doing tai chi in the park.
Holly Beach, MD, Banner – University Medical Center South in Tucson, Arizona, is a primary care sports medicine specialist. People of all fitness levels, she said, might struggle to find the motivation. "It affects everyone," she said. "Even the most elite athletes struggle to motivate themselves from time to time. The important thing is to not beat yourself up over it. Take a little time and then revisit your reasons for exercising and get back on track."
We've all got that one friend who can't stop running. They've never felt more free and happy than when jogging along the city route. But it hurts no matter how hard we lace up. The same sport will not appeal to everyone. Get imaginative in your fitness quest, and keep in mind that exercise can be a lot of fun. Grab a pair of cross-country skis, enroll in a boxing class, kick a soccer ball with your kids, sign your dog up for an agility lesson, buy a used couple of rollerblades... You can attempt as many different sports as you want. It'll click when you locate the proper sport (or sports!) for you, in the same way, that your friend discovered running.
Step 4: Break Your Bad Habits
Shreya Katyal, Nutritionist, Dietician, and Founder of Diets & More, says," The problem with everyone who is trying to lose weight is 'unawareness.' Many of us don't know that certain eating habits which we are following are doing more harm to our body than any good. Old habits die hard, but if one is serious about eating healthy and losing weight, first, they need to understand unhealthy eating habits and then ditch it completely."
Whether good or bad, Habits are repeated patterns of behavior that we do without conscious thought, says Jo Anne White, Ph.D., a life coach, and professor at Temple University in Philadelphia. Taking conscious control is the key to altering habits and keeping them changed, according to White. To begin, decide to break the negative behavior and select a date for when you'll start. Then, write down and think about why you want to change. "Once you've physically done something -- in this case, writing it down -- your action gives power to your mental commitment," says White. "It tells you: Now you're serious."
Habits are hard to break, but you can't keep doing things the same way you always have if you want to lose weight. "Slowly but steadily, attempt to discover where you're engaged in weight-gaining behaviors and reverse them with small actions that you can do without feeling deprived," Sass advises. For example, if you're an evening couch potato, start by replacing your snack with a piece of fruit instead of a bag of cookies or chips. Try drinking only a calorie-free drink the next night. You can eventually start doing activities while watching TV.
Another strategy to start breaking poor habits is to get rid of your kitchen's enticing, empty-calorie meals and replace them with healthy alternatives.
Step 5: Love Yourself To Lose Weight
It may seem contradictory to try to love oneself while losing weight. After all, if you're working so hard to change your physique, it's safe to assume you don't like it as it is. It is unnecessary to choose between striving to get healthy and loving your current physique. Begin by considering your weight in the light of your overall health. That means seeing beyond the digits on the scale, the fit of your pants, and, yes, even what you see with the mirror.
Starting a healthy weight-loss program should motivate, excite, and make you feel good about yourself. It also necessitates patience and time. This may seem like a large order, but remember that when you approach weight loss from self-acceptance and love, you are more likely to establish realistic objectives and allow for the small failures and frustrations that are a common major hurdle for many people.
Start each day by telling yourself that you will do your best no matter what happened the day before. Thinking of each day as a new beginning will help you avoid getting caught up in the pattern of negative self-talk that leads to many people abandoning their weight-loss objectives early on.
It may appear ridiculous, yet it can assist in the natural development of self-kindness (and limit self-doubt, which can lead to self-loathing). Remembering what you like about yourself puts you in the correct frame of mind to care for your body as well.
Consider the benefits your body has provided you. It got you to the finish line of your half marathon and delivered you two wonderful children. The body in which you may feel depressed has definitely provided you with many opportunities and joys. It's crucial to appreciate yourself when you're losing weight by reflecting on those events and everything that's yet to come.