Sometimes you know what to do and you know why you need to do it but somehow you can’t make it work in your life. This is likely due to habits or behaviors that are comfortable or just “easier”. Not many people really like change – especially if you have memories of deprivation. However, with the knowledge you have learned here, you can see that deprivation isn’t necessarily a good thing. If you eat the right kinds of foods in the right combination, you will be quite satisfied (that is if you take the time to ask yourself if you are “really” hungry). Couple that knowledge with changes in your behavior and you have a recipe for success! What behaviors keep you from losing weight? At CFWLS, here are some of the more common traits that we find prevent people from losing weight (unfortunately, there are more but don’t despair – we can help you overcome them).
- Level of Commitment – If you want to have good weight loss, you cannot just “kind of” try to lose weight. You either want it or you don’t, and commitment is crucially important. Your commitment is closely linked to your motivation which is generally linked to your short and long term goals. So start with setting realistic goals and imagine yourself at the “finish line”. Write your goals down and make sure they are time limited (i.e. I will lose 10 pounds in 5 weeks and decrease my body fat by 1%). Post the goal where you will see it a lot! Employ the support of others and you are on your way.
- All or Nothing Attitude – This is such a common thing. You get all excited to start your new lifestyle on Monday which includes an entirely new way of eating, exercise for 1 hour 5 day/week and no more desserts. Hmmm – does that seem realistic to you? The truth is – life happens – and you need to allow yourself to respond in a flexible way so you don’t end up guilt ridden when things turn south. Those with an all or nothing attitude will throw in the towel, start eating, skip exercise and “try again” on Monday instead of making an allowance for this hiccup. Does any of this sound familiar? Baby steps will result in accomplishments that increase your motivation and guide you on a steady path to short and long term goals.
- Lack of Sleep – Studies show that you need about 7 hours of sleep each night. Inadequate sleep has been shown to interfere with metabolism of carbohydrates and as a result, cause high blood glucose levels which increases insulin levels and results in fat storage (not good). It has also been shown to decrease leptin levels which affects our appetite (causes us to crave carbohydrates). Another significant effect is reduction in our levels of growth hormone which can result in storage of fat as well.
- Saboteurs – This is a very expansive topic. Saboteurs can consist of yourself (yes – your negative self-talk), others (friends/family/acquaintances) or situations (vacations/holidays). The trick is – you have to let them sabotage your weight loss efforts. This means that you need to be able to identify saboteurs (people or situations) and know how to deal with them. This ability to stay in control is easier said than done.
When you are faced with sabotaging thoughts or situations, you can do a few things. First, you can give in (this will never help you reach your goals). Second, you can run or avoid them (this is sometimes a viable short-term option as you navigate your way through how to better manage them but will not be a long term solution). Third, you can learn to turn those sabotaging thoughts or situations into something helpful instead. This takes work/practice (but is very worth it) and often the help of a coach such as the ones at the Center for Weight Loss Success or if necessary, a clinical psychologist.