Having trouble losing weight and keeping it off? Your not alone. According to The International Food Information Council Foundation 6 out of every 10 people in the US are trying to lose weight with 1/3 trying to lose 10 pounds or more! Why is it so hard to lose weight and keep the weight off? It is no wonder when we are constantly inundated with pictures of food and unrealistic body images in the media. We are constantly given conflicting messages about what to eat and how to look which is why fast and unhealthy weight loss is one of the most widespread obsessions in our culture. When it comes to losing the weight and keeping it off, however, slow and steady is the name of the game.
Achieving sustainable long term weight loss requires you to overcome mental and physical hurdles that are holding you back from reaching your best self. Today I want to talk about the 7 most common mental and physical mistakes I see that hold clients back and how I teach my clients to overcome them. Weight loss is such a healing experience when you focus on overall wellness and accept that it takes time to reach your goals.
So, if you are ready to take a different approach to weight loss read on…
1. You’re not eating enough.
Many of my clients believe in order to lose weight they must burn upwards of 2,500 calories a day through exercise but only allow themselves to consume 1,200. Although this can lead to rapid weight loss, it just is not sustainable. Overexercising and restricting calories causes you to feel irritable, tired, low energy, and makes you highly prone to uncontrollable binges. Plus, when you go back to eating a normal amount of calories and stop overexercising because your body can no longer handle it, you will gain even more weight than you started with because now your metabolism has slowed down and your body is in fat storing mode.
Your new plan: Don’t be afraid to eat! Fill your plate with plenty of healthy carbohydrates such as starchy veggies, whole grains, legumes and fruit. Eat unlimited amount of greens and small amounts of healthy fat. This will flood your body with tons of nutrients and a healthy source of calories that your body can easily convert into energy making you feel light, energetic, healthy, and happy.
2. You’re doing all cardio and not enough weights
Once again, this is a common mistake for women. It’s a shame because muscle is what helps you burn fat. Cardio burns calories, but it doesn’t do much to build muscle. Lifting weights helps keep your metabolism revved. You’ll burn more fat long after you’ve worked out.
Your new plan: Add some weights to your cardio routine. Two to three days a week do training on the machines or free weights, or your own body weight like push ups, crunches and pull ups. Start with light weight and build up be careful be smart.
3. You Tell yourself you’re “on a diet” – permanently changing your lifestyle.
My clients who are looking for short-term fixes have a much tougher time getting and maintaining results than clients who make changes for the long haul. When you are in the “diet mentality”, it’s more likely that you’ll go off your diet before you reach your goals. Making lifestyle changes helps you learn the tools you need to reach your goals and maintain your weight loss for life.
Your new plan: Remove the word “diet” from your vocabulary. When making nutrition and exercise changes, be sure you experiment until you find what realistically works for you. A plant based diet is the healthiest diet on the plant! I encourage it for so many reasons. It is a lifestyle change that is enjoyable because it not only changes how you look but how you feel! That is when you will stick to it.
4. You haven’t established a good support system
Go it alone and you’ll be much less likely to succeed than if you have a group of friends and family who are supporting you. It can be difficult to stick to your lifestyle changes if your partner or the rest of your family are not willing to participate, or at least support you in the changes you’re making.
Your new plan: Find a friend or family member to join forces with or hire a health coach to help guide and support you along the way. You are changing some seriously ingrained habits here! Habits you probably learned as a child. Having someone their to keep you accountable, motivated, and support you along this very difficult journey is invaluable!
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5. Your not setting specific goals
The key to success is to break down an overwhelming target to smaller steps-say 30 pounds-into little steps that can be more easily managed. Instead of vague unattainable goals focus on small attainable goals like reducing cholesterol or blood pressure then weight loss will follow. A series of smaller, more realistic habit changes that you can focus one at a time.
Your new plan: Use SMART Goals. These are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound. For example, you might start with swiping out sugar for fruit instead or drinking 8 glasses of water a day for the first month. Each smaller, attainable goals will add up to substantial lifestyle changes over time. You want to aim for losing 1-2 pounds a week.
6. You overestimate the calorie burn of a single workout
Many of my clients use exercise as an excuse to consume energy bars and protein drinks that are filled with sugar, processed ingredients, and calories. This sabotages any weight loss efforts because the calories consumed usually end up being more than the calories burned!
Your new plan: Exercise can be a healthy and essential part of sustainable weight loss plan but should not be an excuse to consume more calories. If you want to lose weight you have to treat yourself in a different way. Instead of saying “I exercised so I can treat myself with some chocolate” or” Now i need to drink a 300 calorie protein shake” you can say “That was a tough workout, I deserve a massage.” or “I deserve to relax in the sauna for a bit.” I help my clients find non-food related treats and as a result I see them not only losing weight without trying but feeling happier and more confident as well.
7. Your are not consistent with your efforts.
Most of my clients come to me after trying many different weight loss efforts and failing. They feel like losing weight is too hard and believe that they just cannot do it.
Your new plan: Progress not perfection. Use a health coach to keep your momentum going and make sure you are doing it for the right reasons. Lasting change does not happen overnight. Do not give up just because you are not seeing immediate results. Focus on how you feel, not how you look.
Click Here to Get Started with a Free Weight Loss Discovery Session!
Now it’s your turn, are you making any of these mistakes in your weight loss journey? What changes are you going to make today to get yourself onto a path of long term sustainable weight loss? Comment Below!