Happy New Year People! The start of the new year is the ultimate opportunity to undo the holiday damage, make a fresh start, and avoid the indulgences that have left you feeling less than confident about your body. To get results that won’t fizzle out before February, check out my tips below for coping with the challenges that often go along with a new quest to losing weight.
Confusion over which approach is best
The top question I’m asked these days is, “What should I do?!” Nearly everyone I talk to feels overwhelmed about the popular approaches others swear by, many of which are drastically different from each other. If a structured plan isn’t right for you, focus on committing to a few changes you know you can stick with, like trading fast food for quick homemade meals, ditching diet products, or consistently making simple swaps, like eating wholegrain bread instead of white.
Not losing weight fast enough
I know that seeing quick results is key for staying motivated, and feeling confident and inspired to stay on track, but it’s important to put numbers in perspective. If you don’t hit a double digit loss within a week, don’t assume that your approach isn’t working. So rather than getting hung up on numbers, focus on how you feel, whether your jeans fit looser, and how your body is changing, like clearer skin, less facial puffiness, etc
One of the side effects of adopting a cleaner, healthier eating plan you may not expect is an increase in bloating. Upping your intake of fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans, lentils, and nuts, can mean a considerable increase in your daily fibre intake. Because fibre doesn’t get broken down and absorbed from your GI tract into your blood stream, it has to work its way through your system, which can take a few days. Eating fibre is also like strength training for your digestive tract, because your GI muscles have to contract to push the fibre through, to be eliminated. Continuing to eat this way consistently, and drinking plenty of water, helps to lessen the effects. Just remember that bloating has nothing to do with your weight or body composition.
Lack of support
This is probably the top barrier my clients face when trying to stick with a new lifestyle approach. Often significant others, friends, family members, and coworkers sanction skipping the gym, offer tempting treats, or suggest social activities that revolve around unhealthy patterns, like pizza, or chinese takeaway! If you find yourself in the same boat, seek out support where you can. Recruit another health conscious coworker to eat lunch with, connect with like minded friends via email, text, or online, and celebrate your own successes by giving yourself regular pats on the back or healthy rewards for getting through challenging situations.
Slipping up on difficult days
Regardless of how great you feel after revamping your eating habits and regularly hitting the gym, there are going to be days when you’ll want to give up. The truth is it does take more time, energy, and awareness to live healthfully. So after a stressful day, when you’re already tired and you still have to cook dinner, you may feel like throwing in the towel. Plus, we’re practically programmed from birth to turn to food as a way to soothe, escape, reward, and comfort ourselves – so when you’re mad at your boss or boyfriend, foregoing a healthy home-cooked meal and ordering a pizza instead kind of go hand in hand. When you feel that urge, reach out to your support systems, focus on the rewards of staying on track that go far beyond weight loss, like improvements in your mood, sleep, and self-confidence, and try to remember how great you feel when you’re taking care of yourself. If you still wind up falling off the wagon, start fresh the next day. Losing weight is about consistency, not perfection.
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Until next time…