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3 Common Mental Roadblocks Holding You Back From Losing Weight

When you have changed your diet and boosted your exercise program, yet are still not seeing results on the scale, it’s time to take a look at your mental outlook towards weight loss.

While you may feel in many ways ready to lose weight, sometimes there are lingering fears, memories, and outlooks that keep you from fully committing. And because true and lasting weight loss takes a significant, long-term effort, it’s important to ensure your mind is in the right place as you proceed through or to your weight-loss journey.

1. You’ve Experienced A Lapse In The Past And Are Afraid Of Failing Again

The fear of failure is ever-present in the mind of a dieter. You worry that you have taken these steps to eat better, and maybe even told a few close friends or family members, and that they may all be there to see you fail. 

Unfortunately, failure is part of the risk you take when you decide to change your life. But you don’t have to let it rule you. Just as you made the decision to start eating healthier, you can make the decision to start again.

While this may not be easy, many people understand that sometimes when you fall, you have to shake yourself off and try again. Give yourself that same chance and perspective, and you are significantly more likely to succeed.

2. You’re Worn-Out

Two hours on the treadmill can matter very little when you won’t give yourself the time needed to get enough sleep to make it through your day. The same goes if you spend all night preparing make-ahead meals for the upcoming week without giving yourself enough time to get a good seven to eight hours of sleep. 

When you don’t sleep enough, your body stimulates the hormone ghrelinwhich is responsible for hunger, according to a study published in the “American Journal of Epidemiology.” Additionally, a lack of sleep affects your mental functions, including memory and vocabulary.

Do yourself and your weight-loss efforts a favor and make it a priority to get enough sleep. Your mind will thank you.

3. You Live Your Life Stressed Out All The Time

Stress is actually a protective response for the body that sets off its “fight-or-flight” mechanisms to encourage you to run from a scary situation. Stress is meant to be occasional and situational. But for many people, it is a constant battle that doesn’t seem to have an end in sight. 

Chronic bouts of stress cause your body to release a hormone known as cortisol. Instead of burning calories to help you lose extra weight, cortisol actually signals your body to hold onto weight. That’s not a welcome instinct for a person who is actively trying to lose pounds. 

Cutting your stress levels is difficult, especially if stress feels a fundamental part of who you are. Some people appear to thrive on stress, feeling they perform at their best when faced with a tight deadline. However, it’s important to remember that stress doesn’t have to be a part of your normal. You should also remember that a stress-free lifestyle is highly beneficial to your overall health in addition to your weight-loss efforts. 

Pick up a small notebook and keep it in a pocket or purse throughout the day. Write down a brief description of each time you feel your stress level tip higher than a 4 on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the worst, most intense moments you’ve ever felt. The next day, take a tally of the moments you were stressed and identify if there are common themes. Are they all related to work or perhaps the feeling of being overworked? Are they related to your family commitments you feel you just can’t fulfill? Or perhaps the stress is related to your weight-loss efforts and your desire for success.

Pin ItWhatever the common themes, pinpointing them can help you find the stress-inducing area that needs attention right this minute. Ask yourself “What can I do to reduce this stress in my life?” Remember that there must always be an answer to this question because reducing your stress is for your health. You must make yourself a priority to reap the benefits.

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Katherine Hurst
By Shauna Walker
Personal trainer, fitness coach and wellness expert for over twenty years. Shauna is able to connect personally with her clients because I faced my own wellness challenges at a young age. She started her personal journey towards feeling fit and healthy twenty years ago, and has never looked back. Once struggling with her weight, she also had confidence issues and found it hard to stick with diet and exercise. Shauna managed to break free of this struggle, and now wants to give back and share the lessons she has learned.

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