We all know that maintaining a healthy weight is crucial to good overall health. Why, then, is losing weight and shifting the extra pounds we have put on so hard? After all, gaining them was the easy bit!
Of course, being responsible for our own choices is important, but you might be surprised that some things that you experience every day can actually sabotage your weight loss efforts if you aren't aware of them.
Reason 1: Finding the right diet is not always easy.
Whether it is high carbohydrate, high fat, low-fat or diets high in protein, the choice of diets is wide. The reality is not one of these diet types is necessarily better than any of the others. At the end of the day, burning more calories than you consume will result in weight loss and consuming more calories than your body needs will result in weight gain, regardless of the source of those calories. For optimal health though, you should maintain a balanced diet that is sustainable in the longer term.
Reason 2: Mixed messages from the press
Glossy magazines, usually aimed at women, are known for showing articles about the latest trends for rapid or fast weight loss. It is also easy to be confused by the seemingly endless number of weight loss studies in the news, many of which contradict each other. Try to ignore the fads and anything that seems sensationalized. Common sense should always prevail.
Reason 3: Well-intentioned family and friends can do more harm than good.
Our loved ones tend to mean well, but they can do you no favors when they insist that we have “just one more” especially when you are focussed on losing weight. It's hard to maintain your will power in the face of such temptation. The best approach is to address it directly with your loved ones. Let me them know you need their support far more than you need a second serving. Schedule cheat days to coincide with special occasions like birthdays etc can often help keep everyone in the family happy.
Reason 4: Food companies aren't always on your side
We all lead busy lifestyles, so it's no surprise that we sometimes choose to eat out for convenience. However, fast food outlets and restaurants can be dangerous ground for people watching their weight. Most fast food or take out is high in fat and sodium and relatively devoid of any real nutritional value. Try to cook your own meals from whole foods where possible. Keeping processed foods to a minimum will improve both your health and wallet.
Reason 5: Changing habits can be hard work.
Finally, it takes time and effort to transition into healthier lifestyle habits. When you first start your weight loss journey, it might feel a bit like an uphill battle as you contend with years of ingrained unhealthy behavior. It is said to take 21 days to make or break a habit so make sure you stick at. Make small and gradual changes to improve the chances of success.
Remember, the key to sustained weight loss is burning more calories than you consume, eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly for optimal health. Ensure that any changes made are sustainable ones, not quick fixes.