Whether you set out to improve your health, try a new exercise plan or advance your career, each step along the way is an accomplishment (consider that an A on your personal growth report card). Reaching your goal is an ongoing journey, one with both triumphs and challenges. By understanding these three commonly encountered pitfalls, you will be more prepared and likely to succeed.
While cheating is a no-no in many circumstances (from high school history tests to marriage) there are some instances where cheating is not only okay but absolutely essential for your success. Specifically, allowing yourself to cheat may actually help you stick with your diet plan and lose the unwanted weight you’ve been trying to shed.
Have you noticed a fairly rapid weight gain after a certain age or struggled with weight loss for years without seeing any real results? If so, your personal body chemistry might be the culprit. While many people who struggle with excess weight have a history of making bad food choices and limiting their physical activity, a certain percentage of the population may actually suffer from hormonal imbalances that make gaining weight far too easy and losing it next to impossible.
Clinical studies have found that people who are more confident perform better, achieve more, and enjoy greater long-term success than less confident people.
While confidence is something that typically grows over time, when it comes to weight loss there are tools you can use to boost that confidence overnight.
The 1-Year Mark: Science Shows Hitting that Milestone can Predict Long-Term Weight Loss Success
If you have ever dieted or participated in a weight loss program you know that persistence pays off. It’s not just about the short-term gains but the long-term goals. After all, you’re not just dieting, you’re changing your life for the better. But it can be difficult to muster the mental fortitude needed to combat temptation and prevent backsliding. Thankfully a recent study provides some much needed motivation for us to get over those inevitable bumps in the road.
A number of interesting studies in recent years explore the power of self-talk.
- Athletes perform at a higher level when they engage in positive self-talk
- Self-talk can be an effective treatment for anxiety disorder
- Self-talk can even help longtime smokers kick the habit
Positive self-talk can empower you to stick with your diet and exercise program longer, resulting in improved self-esteem and physical health. It should be no surprise then that negative self-talk can have adverse effects, actually undermining our ability to conquer weight loss battles.
Why do so many people who have dieted in the past gain what they lost back (plus some)? Because diets don’t address the real reasons we are overweight. In order to enjoy long-term success, a new healthy lifestyle, and a better future you have to overcome those mental roadblocks as well as the physical ones. But it’s not enough to have a goal in mind. You have to constantly check yourself to ensure you’re not undermining your own success.
Specifically, you have to stop letting your past haunt you.
That can seem like an insurmountable obstacle. Our past is, by definition, what defines us. So how can we overcome it?
Why do most weight loss plans end in failure? Because people fail to shift mental gears and make meaningful changes in the way they see themselves. Adhering to a diet or exercise routine isn’t enough. Sure, this may result in temporary weight loss, but without that fundamental mental shift most people backslide into old habits and poor choices.
When it comes to successful, long-term weight loss you must practice “mind over matter.”
Naturopathic doctors and holistic nutritionists have understood the benefits of natural detox diets for years. They’ve been using these cleansing “rituals” to clear patients’ bodies of excess weight and accumulated toxins for centuries. Similar to fasting diets, these natural detox diets limit what an individual can eat or drink for a period of a day or more, allowing the body to process out (or purge):
- Excess waste
- Harmful toxins
- Excess water
- Unneeded calories
Leading a more active lifestyle is the easiest way to lose weight. While diet is important as well, exercise is simple biology: burn more calories, shed unwanted pounds.
The biggest obstacles people face when trying to integrate physical activity into their current lifestyle are time constraints and lack of personal motivation. But you can overcome those obstacles by creating routines and finding activities that are mentally and emotionally engaging for you . And the best part is you don’t ever have to step foot in a gym!
“The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.” —Oprah Winfrey
“There is nothing noble in being superior to someone else. The true nobility is in being superior to your previous self.” —Hindu proverb
“Become addicted to constant and never-ending self-improvement.” —Anthony J. D’Angelo
As doctors and researchers take a more holistic approach to wellness, they continue to uncover an ever-increasing amount of evidence showing direct (or sometimes indirect) links between happiness and healthiness. While people have suspected for years that mood can have either a positive or negative effect on a person’s physical health, there is actual scientific proof to back up those claims—some of it shocking.