We all know starting a journey to lose weight isn’t always easy, we may have the best intentions but let’s face it - sometimes life gets in the way! Many people’s weight loss efforts fail because they are faced with hurdles along the way that derail their progress. If you want to sustain a healthy lifestyle for life then you need to know what these hurdles are, and how to overcome them before they become an issue. Some common problems to be aware of and to avoid are:
Eating To Kill Time
Have you ever been bored, tired or procrastinating so you reach for food to feel like you are doing something? This is common for so many people, and a lot of the time they don’t even realise they are doing it! Many times this urge to eat doesn’t come from the feeling of real hunger, but from boredom. So next time you snoop through the cupboards or fridge for a snack, ask yourself am I really hungry? See if there is a pattern in this behaviour, for example do you do it every night at a certain time? Or do you do it when you are feeling grumpy and stressed? Recognising why and when you do it is the first step in kicking this habit to the curb! Instead of reaching for a snack call a friend, take the dog for a walk or paint your nails to keep yourself busy.
You Struggle To Say No To Your Friends
So you have started a new healthy lifestyle and are trying your hardest to cut out junk foods and sweets. Before you know it your best friend is calling you up because there is a new burger joint in town and she needs someone to go try it with her. You know you shouldn’t do it, but feel so bad and don’t want to disappoint her so you tag along. Next minute you have eaten a large burger combo and washed it down with a milkshake, and then feel terrible. This scenario is so common, and can happen with anything from second helpings at dinner to going out for dessert. If you find yourself saying yes in these scenarios because you want to see your friends, go along but order something healthy or nothing at all. If you know you will be tempted then ask yourself what is most important to you at this point in time. Be firm and stick to your guns, and also be honest with yourself. It can help to let your friends know what your goals are, and that you are serious about them so that they can help you make better decisions.
You Use Every Meal Out As A Treat
If you tend to eat out quite often, whether that be lunch out of the office or weekly dinner catch ups with your girlfriends - you may use these opportunities to ‘treat’ yourself. Treats here and there are fine, however if you are ordering cheesy fries as a side to each meal outside of home, this may derail your progress. Instead of focusing on celebrating your meal out by eating whatever you want, focus instead on the fact you are out with your friends or simply don't have to do the dishes when you get home! Depending on how often you eat out weekly, try to choose healthier options on the menu and don't go to places you know don't offer this. By changing your mindset of eating a meal ‘out’ you can help to curb overeating and choosing bad foods.
You Can’t Say No To Office Treats
You have been having a bit of a rough day in the office then you walk into the kitchen and sitting there is a box of donuts calling your name. Instead of stopping at one, you eat four, then feel really bad about it. On top of this your work colleagues may love baking so you are guaranteed a different cookie choice each week. It is important to be realistic about these situations, if you know your workplace has treats available weekly that you can't resist, don't restrict yourself. Our minds are funny things, and sometimes by telling yourself you can't have something, you want it more. Allow yourself one or two treats a week, and the rest of the time practice saying “no” firmly. Also remember to pack your own healthy snacks, this is a real life saver when 3pm comes around and you could suddenly eat a horse.
You Think You Have Already Blown It
I think this is one of the most common reasons people sabotage their weight loss efforts. We have all been here before, eaten a piece of cake when we shouldn’t have and then decided to keep going because YOLO right? If you have the mindset of “I can keep eating because I have already blown it for the day, I’ll start again tomorrow” then you could seriously be hindering your weight loss efforts. The can be a dangerous habit to get into. Making one mistake and immediately following it up with 10 more gets you into a bad mindset. It is much easier for your body to digest one piece of cake, compared to four pieces washed down with soda and then chicken nuggets as an extra treat. Think about this mentality in other aspects of your life. For example, if you make a mistake at work you don’t just give up on your project and throw it out. You pick yourself up where you left off, and keep going. Weight loss and healthy lifestyle journey’s are not always going to be easy, and mistakes are unavoidable. You need to tell yourself this, and understand one mistake does not equal the right to blow your whole day off. Accept what has happened, tell yourself you will do better, and move on.
You Think You Deserve Comfort Food
This is another big one which many people slip up on, and it can be really hard to avoid. If you like to comfort eat, this is one of the biggest hurdles you will face. Have you had a bad day, gotten into a fight or just feel stressed? Do you justify these feelings with eating something naughty? Whilst I am an advocate for ‘treating’ yourself from time to time and not depriving yourself, doing so when you are upset is not the right time. Although eating can be an immediate comfort to you, you will probably still be facing the problem after you have finished and also be feeling guilty for having eaten so much. As you can see it is a cycle that can have negative effects on your weight loss efforts. Instead of turning to food for comfort, try find other things to comfort you. I know it sounds cliche but sometimes the best thing to do is hit the gym or go for a walk. Exercising is guaranteed to boost your endorphins. Even though you may not feel so flash at the start, come the end of your session I am sure you will have a smile on your face. For some people this is easier said than done, but sometimes its not a matter of what you want to do, it is simply getting up and doing it.
Remember girls, it is not always going to be easy sticking to your weight loss or healthy lifestyle plan and mistakes will happen - that is part of life! Try not to beat yourself up about them, but also be smart and realise what the triggers are that derail you. A lot of the time it is a mental battle, and by making small changes here and there and being firm with yourself, you can overcome these hurdles!
Love, Kayla xx