1. We decide to just “kind of” try to lose weight. We are anxious for a quick fix (human nature nowadays) rather than truly learning the skills that will help us not only lose weight and keep it off long term. The skills are new habits and are practiced over and over until they become second nature. This is what ends yo-yo dieting. However, new skills can’t be learned or applied without commitment and consistency. People need to make a commitment and focus on keeping their goals in mind throughout their weight-loss journey. If you have a hard day, don’t beat yourself up. Just get back on track.
2. We make losing weight far more complicated than it has to be. Yes, dieting is hard work (especially at first), but the concepts to learning how to lose weight and keep it off does not have to be confusing or difficult. It all boils down to your dietary intake (your recommended combination of carbohydrates, protein and fats), behavior or “habit” modification (identifying your barriers to weight loss and learning how to overcome them) and fitness/activity (moving more). All of these areas should be an integral part of your weight loss plan. Develop these areas, and you have a recipe for success!
3. We don’t exercise: Regular exercise doesn’t have to be a dreaded task, but it must be integrated into your plan for preserving and ultimately building your lean body mass during and after your weight-loss journey. Your total lean body mass (muscle mass) affects your overall metabolism, or how many calories your body uses daily for basic functions. Exercise helps maintain or even build your lean body mass (muscle mass) and this subsequently keeps your metabolism higher. Your weight-loss plan should include moving more and building muscle through resistance training.
4. We avoid the scale: How often do you weight yourself? Avoiding the scale is a form of denial. If you know that the number on the scale will be disappointing, chances are you are going to avoid stepping on the scale. Avoiding what you may feel will be a “bad reading” can quickly turn a five-pound gain into 10. It is not always necessary to weigh daily, but regularly weighing yourself will help keep your current weight in check and possibly prevent some weight gain.
5. We believe that genes are responsible for weight issues: Though they may make you more susceptible to weight gain, genes don’t compel you to be obese. It is true that if you have a family history of obesity your chances of becoming obese are about 25 to 30 percent, and genes do influence how your body balances calories and energy. Metabolic rates and body shapes are genetic and do affect your ability to gain or lose weight. But don’t let this be an excuse to throw in the towel, because there are many ways to improve your ability to lose weight and keep it off. Keep in mind that most people gain weight because they eat too many calories for their activity level.
6. We give in to saboteurs: These may be friends, family members, co-workers or just acquaintances. Whoever they are, saboteurs try to slip you off track by “insisting” you try a food or beverage that may not be on your menu plan. “Oh, go ahead, just a little won’t hurt,” “It’s the holidays, enjoy!” or “Worry about your diet tomorrow.” Do any of these statements sound familiar? Here’s how to handle saboteurs:
• Know that there will be saboteurs, and not just during the holidays.
• Be prepared to say “no thank you” in many different ways.
• Deflect these comments by changing the subject to something other than food.
7. We are inconsistent: Too often people are aware that they should control their portions yet take weekends off or neglect the plan altogether while on vacation. Being consistent with your weight loss plan will allow you to achieve your goals sooner. A method to help you stay consistent may include planning your day or week ahead of time. At night, journal the foods you plan on eating the next day. Plan your exercise for that day and have a back up if it is weather dependent. If you have moments of inconsistency, write all the reasons you want to lose weight on a index card. Place a copy in your wallet or purse, another at your desk and maybe one on the refrigerator/cupboard door. Reread your reasons as often as you need.
8. We don’t eat enough: The common thought is that the less you eat, the more you lose. While weight loss generally does boil down to “calories in versus calories out,” this does stop at a point. If your body is not getting enough food, it will start to realize what is going on and rebel. Your metabolism will drop and you’ll burn fewer calories during daily activities. You will notice this as your energy level starts to dip. When you do eat, your body will hoard those calories and be less willing to give them up, making weight loss harder. To make sure this doesn’t happen, be sure to eat your requirement of calories every day. You can consult a weight loss and/or nutrition expert, or estimate your daily caloric needs using an online tool.
9. We are highly stressed 24-7: Stress and weight gain (or lack of weight loss) go hand in hand. Though you may not be aware of it, being under constant stress can increase production of the hormone cortisol which can cause an increase in appetite as well as extra fat storage around the abdominal region–a big no-no since abdominal fat is linked to diabetes, high cholesterol and other health problems. Dealing with stress can be as simple as: taking a few minutes a day to relax, scheduling a massage as often as you can or cutting down on work hours and increasing play time.
10. We develop use an all-or-nothing mentality: Successful, permanent weight loss requires positive lifestyle changes. It is also a learning process. You’re human—no one can be perfect every single day. If you happen to have a piece of cake for lunch, don’t let that ruin the rest of your day. The people who are the most successful at weight loss are the ones who can accept a mistake and move on. The overall goal is flexible eating. Living life and still attempting to maintain (or lose weight)