The start of the new year is that the final chance to undo the vacation damage, build a chance, and resolve to avoid the indulgences that have left you feeling less-than-confident about your body.
Confusion over which approach is best
The top question I’m asked these days is, “What should I do?!” Nearly everybody I refer to feels overcome regarding the myriad of well-liked approaches others swear by, several of which are drastically different from each other, including detoxes and cleanses, ditching carbs and eating like a caveman, going gluten-free, and becoming vegan. I don’t think there is a one-size-fits-all, but in my 15+ years counseling clients, I do know this – if a particular approach doesn’t feel right for you, it will surely backfire. For example, I recently had a client who, before working with me, had cut out all carbs, including whole grains, fruit, and most veggies. Despite fighting fatigue, headaches, mood swings, intense cravings, and trouble concentrating at work, she tried to stick with it, because an ultra-low-carb diet seemed to be the trendy way to lose weight. After breaking down and bingeing on bread, then sweets, and realizing that her body and brain “just didn’t work right” without any carbs, she was ready for a different approach. Before you start your chosen weight loss tactic, does a gut check to take care it feels sane and sustainable? And if a structured plan isn’t right for you, focus on committing to a few changes you know you can stick with, like trading fast food for quick homemade meals, ditching diet products, or consistently making simple swaps, like eating spaghetti squash instead of spaghetti.
Not losing weight fast enough
I know that seeing quick results is key for staying motivated, and feeling confident and inspired to stay on track, but it’s important to put numbers in perspective. If you don’t hit a double-digit loss among per week, don’t assume that your approach isn’t working. Shedding simply one pound of body fat is like melting 16 ounces of shortening (one of those short, round tubs) off of your frame, which can make a huge distinction in however you’re feeling and the way your clothes fit. On the flip side, losing water weight, that is way easier and quicker, does nothing to change your body composition, and you can regain it all within a matter of hours. So rather than getting hung up on numbers, specialize in however you’re feeling, whether or not your jeans fit looser, and how your body is changing, like clearer skin, less facial puffiness, etc. And if you actually aren’t seeing results, it should be time to induce honestly regarding your habits.
One of the side effects of adopting a cleaner, the healthier eating plan you may not expect is an increase in bloating. Upping your intake of fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans, lentils, and nuts, can mean a considerable increase in your daily fiber intake. Because fiber doesn’t get broken down and absorbed from your GI tract into your bloodstream, it has to work its manner through your system, which may take many days. Eating fiber is additionally reasonably like strength training to your digestive tract, as a result of your GI muscles have to contract to push the fiber through, to be eliminated. Continuing to eat this manner systematically, and drinking lots of water, helps to lessen the effects, but your belly may balk initially. Just bear in mind that bloating has nothing to try and do along with your weight or body composition. In different words, trading a muffin or scone for oatmeal topped with fresh fruit and nuts may make your belly a bit rounder after breakfast, but if you’re losing body fat and upgrading your nutrition game, it’s worth a little temporary expansion – and in time, your body will adjust.
Lack of support
This is probably the top barrier my clients face when trying to stick with a new lifestyle approach. Often important others, friends, family members, and coworkers sanction skipping the gym, offer tempting treats, or suggest social activities that revolve around unhealthy patterns, like pizza and Redbox, or going out to dinner. “I feel like everyone is out to sabotage me!” is a phrase I hear a lot. If you find yourself in the same boat, seek out support where you can. Recruit another health acutely aware coworker to eat lunch with, connect with like-minded friends via email, text, or online, and celebrate your own successes by giving yourself regular pats on the back or healthy rewards for obtaining through difficult things. Even something small, like a song download, new app, a 10-minute chair massage, or a single fresh flower for your desk can help you stay in an empowered frame of mind that produces it easier to cope after you lack support from others.
Slipping up on difficult days
Regardless of how great you feel after revamping, you’re eating habits and regularly hitting the gym, there are going to be days when you’ll want to give up. The truth is it will take longer time, energy, and awareness to measure healthfully. So after a stressful day, once you’re already tired and you still have to cook dinner, you may feel like throwing in the towel. Plus, we’re practically programmed from birth to turn to food as a way to soothe, escape, reward, and comfort ourselves – so when you’re mad at your boss or boyfriend, preceding a healthy home-cooked meal and ordering a pizza instead kind of go hand in hand. When you feel that urge, reach out to your support systems, focus on the rewards of staying on track that go far beyond weight loss, like improvements in your mood, sleep, and self-confidence, and try to remember how great you feel when you’re taking care of yourself. And if you still wind up falling off the wagon, begin fresh the next day. Losing weight is concerning consistency, not perfection, thus don’t let one “off” meal or day derail you completely – steadily eating healthfully and being active, with a few slip-ups here and there, will produce far better results than streaks of strict days followed by an equal or greater number of indulgent ones.