In reality, it’s complicated. When you factor in emotional eating, busy lives that lead us to rely too often on nutritionally suspect fast food, time constraints that get in the way of dedicated exercise, metabolisms that say ‘nope’ as we age and the many diet plans requiring superhuman (or is that supernatural!) willpower – you know why it’s so tricky.
The importance of being urgent
First, know this – what you weigh and your dress size do not define who you are. They don’t speak to how good a friend, mother, sister, partner or all-round decent human being you are. But, there’s definitely a but! Your weight might make you less healthy and/or less happy and this is where it matters.
Excess weight can overburden joints, place stress on vital organs and cause cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar levels to be out of whack, putting you at greater risk of heart disease, certain cancers and type 2 diabetes. Being seriously overweight can limit your ability to fully take part in your own life and can also affect your mental wellbeing.
Long periods of low self- esteem and feeling defeated can lead to depression.
Reframe, refresh, reboot
If what you’re doing isn’t working, reframe your game plan. Did you know that most of being a successful loser is in your head? Negative self-talk and not giving yourself enough credit is counterproductive.
If this sounds like you, try some of the following.
1. Find your motive
What are your true reasons for wanting to lose weight? Is it to improve your health numbers? To feel less frumpy? To fit back into your skinny jeans? All can be valid as long as they’re positive, healthy and reasonable. Keep those reasons in sight when times get tough. Find a plan that fits into your lifestyle.
2. It’s not a ‘diet’, it’s your life
Know that short-term, fad ‘diets’ may help you lose initially but what really works is adopting healthy habits for the long haul. That doesn’t mean no treats – it means most of the time, you make the healthy choice. Forget about what you ‘can’t’ have and focus on what you’re gaining – namely, health and happiness.
3. Take baby steps
You didn’t gain weight overnight, so it’s not coming off overnight. Set small, achievable goals and celebrate non-scale victories. Change one or
two small things at a time instead of attempting the vegan, grain-free, dairy-free and sugar-free route right off. Instead, add a 30-minute walk every evening or cut back on takeaway.
4. Plan and meal prep like it’s your job
Set aside an afternoon where you literally plan your menu for the week and prepare as much as you can ahead
of time. Grill chicken breasts, make a big pot of soup, cut up vegies for speedy stir-fries, use your slow cooker to put on a stew. You will be SO glad you did!
5. If you fall down, get back up
Accidentally eat 15 slices of pizza? Well, it happens. Don’t let it derail you, just do the next thing better. Keep showing up. Choose you.
6. Seek out your tribe
There are so many people walking your walk. It’s easier than ever to connect with others. Social media like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest are great for sharing recipes, tips, commiserations and congratulations. Whether it’s Weight Watchers, South Beach, Paleo or the wine, cheese
and cracker diet, there are support groups out there.
7. Drink more water
We can’t stress this enough. It makes an enormous difference! Start the day with a glass. Every day.