“Accepting yourself only as long as you look a certain way isn’t self-love. It’s self-destruction.” – Laci Green
How Not to Derail Your Weight Loss
Weight loss is a struggle for everyone, but those who have the easiest time shedding unwanted pounds are those who persevere and don’t let minor setbacks or distractions keep them from striving toward their end goal. The key to that dogged determination is maintaining the motivation that got you up off the couch or pushed you to toss out your secret stash of chocolates. But trying to maintain maximum motivation can lead to burnout.
Why Do People Overeat?
Overeating is different than stress eating. Often overeating is carried through to adulthood from habits we learned as children. Those old mantras of “clean your plate” and the tales about the “starving children around the world” we all heard really do have a mental impact on us. We feel that we have to eat everything in front of us or must eat until we’re uncomfortably full.
Eating for Comfort
A survey conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA) found that almost half of American adults report overeating in response to stress. A full 40% report that they have (or currently do) use food for comfort in stressful times. In those situations, the comfort food typically selected is not the healthiest: it’s the fatty fried foods, the high starch foods, the carbohydrate-loaded sweets. While occasional stress eating isn’t enough to throw a regular diet off the rails, 50% of stress eaters engage in this unhealthy behavior at least once per week.
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.”