There are often a number of reasons why people find it hard to embark on a weight loss journey. When you do decide to join the gym, change your eating habits and change your lifestyle a little bit, sometimes these road blocks to weight loss come up. Here are my ideas on how to smash through them ;)
- I feel hungry. I know this seems really obvious. However it is the number one reason for eating isn't it. There are stretch receptors in your stomach telling you when your stomach is full. When you eat less in a bid to lose weight, these stretch receptors are not activated because you are not entirely stretching your stomach. This is a good thing because it means your stomach will start to get use to a smaller amount of food and gradually decrease. So here's our plan to overcome this one; Time out your breakfast, snack, lunch, snack and dinner. For example, have breakfast at 7am, snack at 10am, lunch at 1pm, snack at 3pm and dinner at 6pm. These are just ideas for times, but you should come up with your own. That way you can think 'oh I'm so hungry right now, but it's 2.30pm so I've got a snack coming up at 3pm I can do this!' This REALLY works so well. Make friends with hunger, it is telling you you are losing weight and beginning to listen to your body's signals.
- Social life! Kind of gets in the way sometimes doesn't it!! Having fun eating that salad while your friends tuck into a steak? I think it's really important at this stage to make sure your friends are on board with your health goals. Find a buddy to eat healthily with and choose better options when dining out. Most places will serve something healthy that tastes great these days. Another way to bust this road block is to do things with your friends OTHER THAN drink and eat!! I know right! Outrageous! I have a really good friend and we always catch up once a week by walking her adorable, crazy dog. It's amazing and positive. In summer, hang out at the beach with your friend and read books.. play music together (minus beer and rock style life). Meet up for chai/coffee. ROAD BLOCK BUSTED!
- Family meals. Some of my Italian patients had a really hard time with this! How do you tell your mother/grandmother that your staying away from pasta?! There is often has an emotional connection with some cultures and food, and family can sometimes get upset if you change your eating habits. Here's what to do; Sometimes it's okay to show your family your medical records if you feel comfortable.. high blood pressure, high fasting blood glucose levels etc. Tell them that for your health you need to focus on healthy foods and really decrease carbohydrate consumption. I understand you might have to eat Nonna's pasta. It is Nonna after all. Just have a little bit and keep repeating why you are eating healthily. It might drive you a bit crazy, but just keep saying the same thing 'I'm doing this for my health'.
- Please don't forget that family and friends although they love you dearly may sometimes have guilt associated with poor food choices and project that on to you. Not your problem. You don't need to cut these people out of your life, because there is still a lot of love there no doubt.. just hang out more with other people who love you AND encourage good healthy choices. If you're finding that family and friends and getting defensive and not helping you, try to do other things with them besides dinner and drinks. Go around for cups of tea, go for walks, do some gardening together.. get on your bikes. You can also influence THEM to do something healthy and this builds strong connections of love and trust.
- Time. Yup, a really big one isn't it! 'I don't have time'. Children and/or work can get in the way when it comes to taking time to exercise and eat well. You can beat this road block. Don't make your own dinner and serve something different to your kids, don't go to all that effort! You deserve to eat well and generally children will follow your example (generally.. I said ;)) Put out a vast array of pre-chopped and prepared veges and let your kids choose what they want to make their own salad. Things like omelettes are usually a winner and easy to sneak in veges too. Work: Not having time because of work usually equates to 'Work is making me too tired to go to the gym/workout'. Get on top of stress levels by visiting your naturopath. You NEED to workout - half an hour of moderate exercise a day. This isn't walking - although walking is good, but you need to actually increase your heart rate to at least 60% of maximum capacity for half an hour every day to get the benefits required to stay healthy! And of course, weights for muscle strength is also essential to avoid the most common cause of hospital admissions - falls.
Really importantly, keep trying. Sometimes there is pain along the way in a weight loss journey. For some of us, we are shedding our 'guard'. Just keep trying and remember one of my favourite sayings 'A river knows this: there is no hurry, we shall get there some day' (the wonderful A.A. Milne).