Weight loss can certainly be a difficult goal, but it’s not an impossible one, especially if you have a team of people supporting you, such as nutritionists, personal trainers and doctors. However, it’s perhaps just as important, or even more so, to have the proper perspective about the road ahead.
If you’re consistently negative about your ability to lose weight and keep it off, it’s more likely those kinds of thoughts will become your reality, at least to some extent. There are several types of negative thoughts you must learn to harness and dispel if you’re serious about achieving sustained weight loss.
Stop Getting Stuck On Your Shortcomings
If you’ve read health magazines and websites for any amount of time, you’ve probably come across articles and blog posts about how people with certain body types carry weight differently and may not naturally appear as streamlined as other people.
If you take that kind of information to heart, you may already feel doomed because perhaps you weren’t gifted with the supposed ideal body type. When you have that perspective, work hard to change it by reminding yourself that body type is but one characteristic about yourself, and it’s certainly not something that will have a negative influence on your life.
If you’re genuinely concerned about your body type and what it means as far as your fat distribution, ask a fitness instructor whether it is worth doing exercises that target problem areas. If they think it is, perhaps you could do workouts that are more focused than usual.
Perhaps you regularly get down about yourself because you don’t think you have enough willpower to resist having a cookie for dessert or helping yourself to an extra spoonful of mashed potatoes. Even if there are frequent incidences where those things happen, there’s no use in beating yourself up about them.
Willpower is like a muscle. If you regularly give into temptation, it makes sense why your willpower would be characteristically low.
Fortunately, there are several things you can do to have better willpower. When you feel tempted to do something that diverts your weight loss goals, think of something else.
Also, if you often eat as a coping mechanism when stressed, develop other, healthier ways to manage stress that don’t contain calories. For example, you might take a brisk walk around the block or practice meditation when cravings strike.
Quit Trying To Match Up To Others
The media bombards us with images of slender swimsuit models and buff gym superstars. Even without realizing it, you may eventually start to see those people as the ideals towards which you must strive. However, what’s a healthy body composition for one person is not the same for everyone else on the planet.
Rather than basing your weight loss goals on other people’s bodies, consider meeting with a nutrition counselor or similar expert to get the low-down about things like your ideal weight and fat composition.
There are several ways to measure the amount of fat on your body. But, the numbers aren’t as straightforward as you may think. For example, women naturally have more fat than men. Also, the ideal body composition will differ depending on how active you are and whether you are an athlete.
Maybe you’re always trying to match up to the examples other people set when you’re at the gym. If you notice the person on the treadmill next to you seems to be close to your ideal weight and close to your own height, but running at a faster pace than you are, and also using the machine at a steep incline, you may feel discouraged even if you’re already engaged in a very tough workout.
In all matters related to weight loss, consider that your best effort should be whatever you can safely put forth in any given moment. It will change depending on things like fatigue, hunger and self-esteem, and you should try hard to accept that.
If you’re forever trying to mimic other people, you’ll likely get caught in a downward spiral that not only causes you to lose sight of your goals, but possibly makes you become so discouraged that you give up trying to lose weight altogether.
Stop Thinking Deprivation Is Okay
There are many types of deprivation strategies people frequently engage in when they’re trying to lose weight. Not surprisingly, a lot of them relate to food, especially when well-meaning dieters decide to cut out their favorite foods overnight, only to find they’re fighting cravings a few days later.
Although there may be a few exceptions, depending on advice you get from experts who are helping you lose weight, moderation is preferable to outright deprivation.
People often don’t realize that by depriving themselves of the foods they love, they may actually be training themselves to develop strong dislikes for some healthy options. Meet with a professional and figure out whether there are ways to keep the foods you most enjoy in your diet rather than cutting them out completely.
There is another form of deprivation that involves avoiding buying new clothes as the weight is gradually lost. It happens because people usually have target numbers they are trying to reach as far as the number of pounds they drop.
Others may be trying to achieve certain measurements to fit into a wedding dress that has a narrow waistline, for example. They reason that they’ll just buy new clothes once they’ve lost all the weight, rather than gradually buying a few things here and there. That strategy might make sense if your budget is very tight or you hate shopping.
However, new clothes that are purchased periodically may have a motivational effect. Specifically, they verify that you really are losing the weight. Other people may comment that you look thinner, and you may think the same when you look in the mirror. However, once you’re able to fit into a clothing size that simply wasn’t possible a couple of months ago, that’s all the proof needed that your weight loss regimen is working.
Furthermore, you may feel compelled to deprive yourself from chances to hang out with friends because you’re worried you’ll falter with your diet. In addition to trying some of the strategies above for strengthening your willpower, consider asking friends to help you stay on track if it seems you’re about to be tempted while spending time with them. There’s a good chance you’ll find your friends are some of your greatest allies.
Hopefully you now feel well-equipped to deal with some of the negative thoughts that can make it much harder to lose the weight you want. As a closing thought, remember that no one’s perfect, so mistakes are inevitable. Instead of becoming overly discouraged by those perceived blunders, treat them as learning opportunities while coaching yourself to get back to your routine as quickly as possible.