Stop Sabotaging Your Weight Loss
I am back with another "weight-related" rant because I get a lot of questions on weight loss plus you guys seem to enjoy it, so here we go. How many of you struggle to find a balance between 'healthy eating' and 'going all out because it's the weekend//you deserve it' OR, get frustrated because nothing seems to work? I have been there and it's not fun at all. By sabotaging - I am referring to negative habits, behaviors, and thoughts that hinders your weight loss goals. Most of the people I know are always trying to maintain or lose weight and naturally, I get into the conversation with them (one of the many perks of being a dietitian).
We discuss their current plans/progress/challenges and everyone is different when it comes to weight loss journey..but one thing that I find very common is "people sabotaging their own weight loss goals - intentionally or unintentionally. I am not saying that this is the case with everyone but purely based on my experience , it happens. That's why I want to share my thoughts on how to stop sabotaging your weight loss.
INTENTION : Weight-loss is much more than calories-in vs. calories-out and it's a journey that doesn't happen overnight. I sound like a broken record but that's just how things work people. Before you start your weight-loss journey, ask yourself - why are you doing this? Are you looking for a quick 20 pounds weight-loss right before the wedding, beach getaway, or a high-school reunion? Or, is this something you want to do long-term? Everyone loves an easy quick-fix but based on my experience and research - small, sustainable changes tend to work better rather than an overnight detox diet (btw : you have liver for that). But if you want a quick weight drop (which I don't recommend nor it is healthy), you are probably going to need a strict eating and exercise regimen. A brisk walk or cutting down your portion size every now and then just won't cut it. These are small, sustainable habits that can help you with weight loss overtime but not for a drastic change in a short amount of time. Having unrealistic expectations but not enough motivation to make healthier changes certainly can hinder weight loss goals, so be reasonable with your goals and intentions.
COMPENSATION : I am all for celebrating success but not when you reward yourself with 'food + drink' for every little positive change you make. This is a very common behavior, which I think many of us can relate to. I hear this all the time when people say I deserve to eat or drink ____ because I did so good today // I worked out // I had salad for lunch // I drank my protein shake// I haven't had carbs in a long time. This type of repeated behavior is almost counter productive because if you reward every positive change with a negative behavior, it becomes challenging to make a lifelong habit, which is ultimately the goal. People are quick at remembering how they have been cutting down on portion size, drinking protein shakes, or starting to workout but often time, they forget about the compensatory dessert after the workout // happy hour // fried-food galore on the weekend. I am not saying you should stop enjoying things in your life, instead be mindful of your compensatory behaviors that involves food and drinks because it does impact your weight loss goals.
YOUR EATS : Instead of just focusing on clocking in certain number of calories, let's talk about your overall plate. A wholesome diet should consists of carbs, protein, veggies, fruits, and dairy preferably from unrefined, minimally processed sources. I don't believe in cutting out a food group unless you have a medical necessity because each food group is necessary for our body. Everyone knows eating out // frozen, processed food is not the best option, so I am going to leave it at that. Keep eating out to a minimum people, read your nutrition label, and cook yo' own food. Instead of cutting down carbs altogether, cut down your refined carbs intake (meaning eat more oats, fruits, veggies, whole grain products and cut down on happy hour, donuts, and chips). Besides fiber, protein helps you keep full longer so make sure you get that every meal. Fats aren't the enemy, instead of cutting them out of your life altogether focus on getting the right type/quantity of fats. Eat more unsaturated fats from nuts, avocado, olive oil, fish, seeds etc.
MOVE, MOVE, MOVE: Most everyone knows exercise is an important part of weight loss equation, so no surprises there. I am not a certified personal trainer but based on my experience, I know just going to the gym (or having a membership to one) won't suffice. You need to be consistent, use right techniques/moves, and give your 100% while you are working out. Do a mix of cardio and strength training most days of the week. If you miss a day, it's okay..don't take a full-week off - it only gets harder to get back on track. If you are new to exercising, don't overdo it because most likely you will get sore and miss your workout for days. Instead, slowly work your way up. Remember that flat abs, toned biceps and thighs does not happen overnight..you need to put in the effort, stay motivated, and fuel correctly for that to happen.
ET CETERA : This may sounds little harsh but people need to stop making excuses such as "I have no time"..."I will start on Monday/next month/tomorrow"..."When work calms down". There are times in our lives when things are genuinely crazy busy and eating healthy/exercising takes a back seat. I am not referring to those moments. I am talking about instances where people do not want to take that step towards making changes or prioritize things in their life, instead they complain or get frustrated about weight gain. From my own experience, I know if I don't workout regularly and eat out all the time, I will gain weight very easily too which is why over the years, healthy living has become my priority. We all get 24 hours in a day and it is entirely up to you to figure out how you want to utilize it. Don't wait for something magical to happen or things to calm down - there is always one thing after another that will prevent you from making the necessary changes until you take control of the situation right now. [Tweet "How to Stop Sabotaging Your Weight Loss? #rdchat "]
You may be eating better, working out consistently yet seeing no results, which can definitely be frustrating. Please make sure your hormones, stress level, medications, sleep, emotional health etc are in check as well. Also, please please please, do not get restless about losing weight right away. It takes times and it is different for everyone. We often equate weight loss with just numbers on the scale, dress size, physical appearance but don't get hung up just that. Eating better and working out has so much more benefits - it nourishes your body, makes your heart stronger, and releases endorphins to keep you happy!!!
Do you have a weight-loss story to share? Your struggles/successes/tips.