If you’ve been wanting to lose weight, it’s common knowledge that we have to change what we eat and do.
Therefore, we go and change our diets and start exercising more regularly…
But is that it?
What you might not realise is that you also need to have a healthy attitude towards losing weight.
No matter how good your nutrition and exercise are, if your head isn’t in it then this could be stopping your weight loss progress.
You need to realise how YOU could be your own biggest obstacle when losing weight and you might actually be convincing yourself that you want to stop trying.
Creating our own mental obstacles could be the reason we find it so hard to lose weight.
Here I am going to show you 5 ways in which your head may be preventing you from losing weight and you might not even know it.
1 - You expect to lose weight… and fast
If you realise you want to lose weight and get started on a healthy diet and start committing to regular exercise, you expect the results straight away.
Stepping on the scales every day is not a good way to measure progress and is definitely no good for your motivation. (Read about other ways of measuring progress instead of the scary scales here)
Seeing no change day after day is going to make you question whether what you are doing is actually helping.
A better way would be to measure your weight once a week, that way you are more likely to see some change and not get disheartened.
You have to realise weight loss is a slow game.
This is hard to understand when we see adverts promising “2 stone in 2 weeks” because we want those kinds of results.
But real weight loss takes more time.
However, because it takes time and you learn how you must live to lose (and keep the weight off) it is a much more sustainable change.
2 - You take the all or nothing approach
No matter how well you start off on your weight loss journey, there will come a time when you crave sugar and have that urge to skip the gym.
Instead of aiming for perfection, understand that the changes you have already made will be helping you reach your goal and that sometimes you need that time off.
Instead of thinking you need to be in the gym 3 times a week, know that starting off small by maybe going for a short walk twice a week is a great place to start.
You don’t have to go all out with training sessions, pre-prepared meals and “low-fat, no-sugar, 0-taste” kale smoothies, you should instead make small sustainable changes which will add up over time.
3 - You need to consider your emotions
Get home from a hard day at work, stress levels are high and you’re hungry for something tasty.
That huge tub of ice cream looks much more appealing than an apple.
Sometimes we blame what we eat on how we feel.
So, we need to consider our emotions and try work out what we are inclined to eat when we are feeling upset, stressed or worn out.
To help break this pattern we need to try question why we’re making these unhealthy food choices.
What is the real reason we want to eat that big bag of crisps. Are we really worn out or is it just that we want an excuse as to over-indulging and ignoring our dietary restraint?
Try to not let yourself be an emotional eater, this may be easier said than done but usually if we feel down, eating loads of bad food (which definitely doesn’t help our weight loss) will make us feel worse.
4 - You focus too much on the “can’t have’s”
So, you’ve started eating healthily and you’re avoiding all the sugar and fat filled delicious treats you can…
Until that day your colleague brings a huge box of chocolates into work.
Now your sat there feeling slightly sick and upset with 20 wrappers scattered all over your desk.
Don’t give up on your weight loss just because you gave into temptation.
Instead realise that you can still eat whatever you want, but just make sure you are eating smaller servings or even try making your own reduced calorie versions.
Losing weight takes a lifestyle change. Maintaining the weight loss means you need to be able to continue what you are doing for the rest of your life.
No one could live without chocolate. But it’s about controlling how much of it you eat.
5 - You’re lacking self esteem
If you constantly tell yourself you can’t do it and that you’re not getting results, most likely you are going to give up.
This may be hard to do but you need to trust in the process. Weight loss is gradual and so you can’t expect results straight away.
Even if losing 1lb takes you a few weeks, don’t put yourself down. Keep going at it and the weight will keep coming off.
Learning how to eat and exercise to gradually reduce your weight, without any pain (emotional or physical), is the perfect way to improve your lifestyle and health.
But be confident in yourself and trust that you are making the right choices and that eventually these will yield great results.
Prioritize how we think
So now we know that as well as prioritising our nutrition and exercise, we also need to prioritise our thinking.
It may not be the top item on your list of what to improve when losing weight, but it could be the deciding factor as to whether you continue on your weight loss journey or whether you find it too difficult and give up.