Losing weight can be a frustrating, anxiety-inducing process, but it doesn’t have to be if you have the right attitude. Check out the common weight loss mistakes you may be making and stop sabotaging yourself:
Giving Up Too Soon. Falling off the exercise and diet wagon happens to everyone. It’s tempting to give up on exercise after weeks (or months) of failing to stick with a program or skip workouts completely if you run out of time. It’s also tempting to ditch healthy eating after a massive chocolate-fest, but renewing your commitment after a hiccup is the most important thing you can do to succeed.
Solution: No matter how long it’s been since you’ve exercised, do something active right away, like a quick walk, to help you take control. If you don’t have time for your regular workout, use whatever time you have to be active. Ask yourself which is better: exercising for 10 minutes or not doing anything at all. If you ate too much, admit your mistake and move on. One mistake (or two…or three…) doesn’t equal failure!
Expecting Immediate Weight Loss. After weeks of exercise and healthy eating, frustration often sets in when the scale doesn’t move. Remember, you didn’t gain weight overnight and you won’t lose it overnight either. Spending too much time scale-watching might lead to quitting exercise forever.
Solution: Focus on the immediate benefits of exercise. Pay attention to how you feel while you’re working out. You should feel energetic and alert. You may notice you sleep better, your body feels stronger and you’re less stressed. The benefits of exercise go way beyond weight loss and appearance!
Doing The Same Thing and Expecting Different Results. It’s important to do exercises that you enjoy, but if you’ve been doing the same ones for months (or even years), you’ve probably reached a weight loss plateau and, even worse, complete boredom with your workouts.
Solution: Change what you’re doing (click to read my blog about the dreaded plateau). It can be as simple as choosing a different walking route or changing the amount of weight you’re using. Try something new and do it every six weeks. Your body needs regular challenges and so does your mind, so don’t allow yourself to get into a rut.
Having The Wrong Attitude. People often view exercise as punishment, something that cancels out the naughty things you ate yesterday. Obviously, no one wants to spend time punishing themselves so changing your attitude about exercise can go a long way towards motivating yourself to do it regularly.
Solution: Exercise should be a reward, not a punishment. Being active is the reward your body deserves for working so hard each day. Our bodies love activity (even if our minds resist it!) so think of exercise as your gift to yourself–something that will make you feel good now and will add to your quality of life for years to come. Make exercise part of your daily routine, not something that has to be done!
Having Unrealistic Expectations. Six-pack abs, thin thighs and a sculpted body. Don’t tell me you don’t dream about this! We all want perfect bodies, but, for many of us, it’s just not going to happen, whether it’s due to genetics, body type or some other factor we can’t control.
Solution: Set realistic goals. Not everyone can achieve six-pack abs, you know. And, honestly, visible abs have no function other than to look great in bathing suits (and, how often do you wear a bathing suit?). Set a goal that means something–getting stronger so you can play with your kids, or strengthening your back so you have good posture. Give up on the idea of trying to look like someone else. You’re you. Don’t you want to be the best YOU possible??
I’ve spoken about various reasons and benefits of exercise and weight loss and spoken about various ways of keeping motivated in my blogs but none of these are going to work until YOU ARE READY – you must be mentally fit to start a weight loss program otherwise once you hit the first bump in the road you will fall off the wagon with out any second thought.
Find out the reason you want to lose weight or get fit (or both). Focus on this reason – write it down, stick it on the fridge or even set it as a screen saver on your computer and next time you hit your little bump on the road you will see your note and remember why you started in the first place. So many people begin their weight loss journey with the best intentions but use the slightest excuse not to continue – this to me is just an example of how unfit they are mentally. Yes deep down they really want to and would love to lose weight but don’t really want to put all the effort in!
You have to ask yourself:
- What do I want to achieve?
- Am I willing to do what it takes?
- Am I going to make changes in my life to achieve my goal?
- Will I make my goal a priority?
Once you have answered yes to all of the above you need to make sure you do what you can to achieve your goal. Just because you were at a friends house doesn’t mean you can’t say no to a second slice of cake! Just because your friends or family are over you have to drink cans of beer or bottles of wine.
As a friend of mine (who is training for the marathon) said at the weekend ever since he started training he seems to be the target of the jokes etc. from his friends because he isn’t drinking and eating the same foods as them – he has set his goals, he knows where he wants to be in a few months and he will do everything it takes to achieve them – he is mentally fit and I know he will hit his target.
Remember losing weight and getting fit isn’t all about exercise and food – your mind has a massive influence in what happens – motivation, desire and the courage to continue are all controlled by your mind and once your are mentally fit then the chances of you succeeding in achieving your goals will become increased massively.
Think positive, feel positive and you will act positive
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