If you’re really committed to losing weight you will see results. However, you need to commit to lifestyle changes.
If not, the journey is long, meandering and probably pointless.
Achieving your weight loss goals mean taking a long, hard (and honest!) look at some of your bad habits.
1. Excuses, excuses. Ditch ‘em!
It can be so easy to make an excuse when it comes to our own health and fitness: “I want to get in shape – I don’t have the time to work out!”; “I want to eat healthy food – I don’t have time to cook.”
Excuses can be a sign of denial, and provide you with an easy way out to play the victim, rather than acknowledging that it’s in fact your lack of action that’s not helping you to reach your weight loss goals.
When you give in to your excuses, you deny yourself of an opportunity to get closer to your goal. It’s up to you to be honest with yourself and leave your ego at the door – sideline those excuses, and take responsibility for each and every one of your actions.
Take responsibility and soon enough, you’ll find yourself surrounded by opportunities for success.
2. You only exercise to burn off your treats
The logic behind it can seem sound enough – what’s wrong with eating junk food, if you work out afterwards to make up for it, after all?
If the only reason you exercise is to help you justify your junk food ‘sins’ then you may want to rethink the path you’re on, as it could be more damaging to your goals than you realise.
Sure, exercise like this is definitely better than sitting on the couch, but it’s important to remember that you should not approach nutrition and physical activity in isolation. Instead, you should be focussed on your overall health and wellness.
Eat and move for your health, not just to burn off cheeseburger guilt. If you shift your focus to consume quality food and commit to sufficient exercise to give your body the movement it needs, then weight loss will follow as part of your fitter and healthier lifestyle.
3. Snacks: the forgotten kilojoules!
So you had a green smoothie for breakfast. Nice work.
Then, there was the kale, couscous and lamb salad you had for lunch. Go, you!
After that came the baked salmon and sweet potato mash for dinner. Wow, you’re nailing this healthy eating lark.
But didn’t you get hungry in between meals? Oh? You had that banana for morning tea? Fair enough!
Cake in the office for you’re co-worker’s birthday as well? Well, if it was a small slice… plus a protein bar and a yoghurt around 3pm? And those crackers while you cooked dinner? And the leftover cake for dessert?
You see what we’re getting at here? Yes, those snacks do add up, and they most certainly count.
If you’re eating three delicious and nutritious meals a day but can’t figure out why the weight won’t budge, then keep a food diary of every single thing you eat each day for a week. And note your portion sizes too (and invest in a portion control plate too, if necessary).
You should be able to identify areas where you can clean up your act quickly and substitute in healthier snacks. Try to understand whether you were eating out of hunger or boredom. Be honest with yourself.
Practice eating mindfully so that you’re aware of your food intake – turn off the TV, stop working or reading, and be aware of just what you’re eating. You cannot hide your kilojoule intake from your body!
4. You spend TOO MUCH time exercising
Yes, you heard right – too much exercising can be a problem.
The human body is created for movement – natural movement that should occur in our daily lives: functional movement.
The kind of movement that isn’t natural is when you start to spend hours and HOURS each day working out. Your body needs sufficient rest between workouts and punishing exercise routines with too little thought to down-time is counter-productive.
Training at excessive intensity not only runs the risk of illness and injury; it can also mean that you’re operating outside the fabled ‘fat burning zone‘.
5. You forget that you are a direct reflection of your health
A healthy body looks different for everyone.
Your health isn’t purely a result of your nutrition and physical activity; it’s also the result of your lifestyle as a whole. How much rest and recuperation we get is a key influencer in this but it is often overlooked.
It’s easy enough to remember to recharge an iPhone’s battery after using it all day, yet often it can be just as easy to forget to recharge ourselves with adequate rest and quality nutrition.
Sleep gives your body a chance to recover from that intense cardio session you sweated and puffed through. Sleep enables you to get up the next day with enough energy to exercise efficiently again, without giving in to poor food choices because of fatigue.
If you’re finding you’re not getting enough sleep, then start setting an alarm on your phone for 20-30 minutes before a pre-determined bed time.
When the alarm goes off, that’s your signal to start switching off and winding down for the night so that you can get to bed at a reasonable hour and catch some serious Zs. Do this consistently and you’ll feel better and your body will reward you for it.