Friday, 15 May 2015

10 reasons you're not losing weight

We are a nation that has grown to be pretty good at excuses. Stemming as early as childhood, with ‘the dog ate my homework’ one liners and now is just as frequent with people trying to get healthy. This is something I know first-hand, as I too, was once the queen of excuses. I often found myself creating a web of reasons why I wasn’t losing weight, and using them to justify why that bit of cake was definitely deserved. Here are my 10 reasons why you’re struggling to lose weight, and if you can relate to these, it’s probably time to stop moaning and start doing.

1)      You’re subconsciously eating -
I hear all too often I’m eat really healthy but I still don’t lose weight… This can often be the case where generally your three meals a day contain varied amount of healthy ingredients which ordinarily would help you to succeed, however, the subconscious eating that takes place outside of meal time could be having a detrimental effect to your weight loss goals. Those little bits of things you nibble on when you’re making supper, the leftover food on your child or loved ones plate, that bit of cake in the staffroom from which you ‘only had a slither’ all mount up to taking you over a calorific deficit and will inhibit your goals. Be true to yourself, what you eat in private you wear in public – you could be eating excess calories without even realising!

2)      You changed too much too soon –
We’re an impatient society which wants all of the results with none of the work. We panic buy all too often for fear of missing out on the ‘special offer’, we take ‘miracle weight loss advice’ in the hope it will make the results happen sooner. Reality is if the perfect body was that achievable, everyone would be goddesses. It is hard, but it is worth it, but cutting out EVERYTHING you used to love, will only lead you to temptation – the forbidden fruit syndrome if you will. If you tell yourself you can’t have ANY of the things you like, you will eventually lead to a serious binge. Instead, it is important to allow everything in moderation, and create a mindset that choses healthy choices through desire and not through desperation.

3)      You’re not pushing beyond your comfort zone –
I hear it all too often that people say they exercise ‘hard’ and eat ‘well’ but still struggle to lose weight. My question here would be, are you pushing hard enough? Taking your body to uncomfortable levels is crucial for a big aesthetic change.  Within the body building industry I have known myself and others around me to go to some very ‘dark places’ in order to achieve the changes we desire. I’m not suggesting you should hate every moment of your workout, but as the saying goes ‘the comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.’ – If you aren’t seeing results from your exercise routine, I would suggest reviewing how hard you’re actually working, that 10% extra could make all the difference.

4)      You are not eating enough food –
Some people find it hard to believe that you can eat a large volume of food and still lose weight, and I too once fell into the trap of attempting to ‘starve myself slim’. Reality is, if you were taking a car on a long journey you wouldn’t fill it with half the amount of fuel it needs to get you there, the same applies for your body. In order to perform well, and live a healthy lifestyle, it is important to give your body the amount of nutrients it needs. This again is a repeat of point two in the fact that there are NO quick fixes, and slowing your metabolism right down through lack of food will not get you to goal any quicker.

5)      You’re showing a poor me attitude –
Are you feeling sorry for yourself in your ‘diet?’ – This is one of the most self-destructive mind-sets to be in when trying to make a change. Don’t be that person who gives puppy dog eyes when a colleague offers you a donut, be firm and confident in your decisions to get healthy and start training your mind to think long-term. No one is making you change your life, and your desire to feel confident, should always outweigh your need for sugary treats.

6)      You hate the process –
Fall in love with the process and the results will come. It is no use signing up to that ‘spinning class’ four times a week if you’re going to hate every second. Find a sport or exercise you love and embrace it every time. The gym isn’t for everyone! There are so many options out there to stay fit and healthy, and it’s a case of finding the best one for you and your lifestyle. If you dread your exercise every single day, then you need to change it up so you stick with it and start to see some amazing results.

7)      You don’t have time.
I am very lucky in the fact that at this point in my life I do not have responsibilities such as children to get home/up for each day. This doesn’t mean however I have completely free days and often squeeze my weights sessions in before work at 6am. I know a lot of other women and men out there who find ways and means to make exercise happen despite busy lifestyles and children to attend to. A girl on twitter I particularly admire called Dawn, has recently started videoing her home workouts, showing how she fits her training in around her busy schedule. I appreciate that people have very busy lives, but those hours you waste a day ‘catching up with corrie’ could probably be spent working on that body you really want.

8)      You’re putting too much pressure on yourself.
It is important to visualise your end goal but don’t become it. My first ever goal during my journey was to be a ‘size 12’ – once I hit this target I set myself a new one and continued to beat that too. Slow and steady wins the race, so how about setting yourself small targets instead? – getting into the black dress you’ve had in the back of the wardrobe, feeling confident enough to have your arms out on holiday – little goals are just important as the huge end goal, and will often have you reaching your dream goal faster than you think.

9)      You’re not taking responsibility for your own health.
Comparing yourself to others is natural but can often be extremely self-destructive, especially if it becomes directly responsible for justifying bad food choices. ‘I’m having pizza because he did’ – How you view your own health should be paramount, your body is your own and we all respond in very different ways. Just because a partner, friend, or colleague chooses to binge, does not give you the excuse to join in ‘just because they were.’ – If you choose to eat badly, that is your choice, though shifting the blame onto others will definitely not shift the pounds.

10)   Finally, and importantly, You don’t have the support network.
I believe when trying to get healthy it is crucial to have people to lean on in times of worry. This doesn’t always have to be people directly around you, and solace can often be found online through people on similar journeys. I have met some truly inspirational people on twitter who often dig me out of dark places and onto the straight and narrow when needed. There will of course be people that don’t understand your sudden need to make a change, but ignorance is bliss. Find comfort in people who know how you are feeling, it can be a very vulnerable place at times but take it from me, you aren’t alone.

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