What is the first thing that you think about when people mention weight loss?
Many people will conjure up images of deprivation. Not being able to eat the food they like. Endless exercises. Running like a gazelle. Giving up the comfort of their cosy chair. Moving around a place full of self-obsessed people.
It is precisely this line of thought that prevents people from starting a weight management program.
I did not start out loving the gym. If you were to tell me 5 years ago that I will love hanging out in the gym, I will think that you are crazy. I’m not selling you a castle in the cloud, I’m talking about sustainable changes that will stage you up for success in your weight management program.
Today, I’m going to tell you how you could increase your commitment to weight management plan and avoid the pitfall of self-sabotaging behaviors like “I’m not good enough”, “It’s too scary” or “I’m never getting there”.
4. Start easy
Do you apply for CEO when you just graduate from school? Changes are you start as an executive on the lower management level. So why is it that when people approach weight loss, they change their diet and exercise from one extreme to the other extreme? After a few days, they start to have cravings and they have to struggle with their willpower. Yes, some people have super willpower to succeed this way. But for one person that succeed, there are many more who will scrap their diet change as a failure and think that there is no point in doing it.
It’s much easier to start with small changes and work towards your ultimate goal.
If you are just starting out, even eating one healthy meal or exercising once a week is a great start. Once it becomes habitual, you can start increasing the amount of healthy food, cutting the calories and exercising more regularly.
3. Have a structured plan
I’m not always a fan of having a structured plan. But over the years, I feel that having a structured plan will reduce my needs to rely on my emotions to make decision. Of course, it is great that if you are feeling motivated and are hitting the gym, exercising regularly and eating clean. But what happen if you are not feeling your very best and decide to skip the gym for one day, and then the next, and then the next?
Having a structured plan reduces the guesswork and need to rely on willpower.
Make it as specify as possible. If Thursday is your legs day, on Wednesday night, plan out the time you are going to the gym, exact exercises, reps, sets. I will go so far as to even plan the rest time in between sets.
2. Let go of perfectionism
It is normal for hiccups to happen. A structured plan is important but flexibility is also key. If this sounds paradoxical, let me explain further.
There will be unforeseen circumstances. Let’s say your family got into an accident, you won’t be sticking to your gym plan. And there is also something called the holidays. Rather than giving up on your exercise plan because you have been missing out on four days or even weeks, continue from where you stop and keep on going.
When you are embarking on a weight management program, you ought to be giving yourself a huge applaud for taking a conscious step to make changes. The last thing you want to do is to beat yourself out with notions that you are undisciplined and destined to fail. Let go of all of this and take every new opportunity to work towards your goal.
1. Identify the importance of weight loss in your life
One of the effective ways to encourage people to stay on a weight management program is for them to identify the importance of the weight loss in their lives.
If you have been living an unhealthy lifestyle for 20-40 years, you need to find motivation: reasons for you to exercise and eat clean.
Motivation comes in different forms: extrinsic, intrinsic and a combination of extrinsic and intrinsic.
Extrinsic motivation is external factor that motivates you. It can be advice from doctors and suggestion from the spouse. This form of motivation may encourage you initially but they seldom provide long term motivation. You want to also explore the intrinsic motivation of your weight loss, which is your own personal achievement that you can derive from the behavioral change. It can be things like less stress. Lastly, these motivations do not have to be mutually exclusive. You can combine them to motivate yourself.