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“You can never be too rich or too thin.” Duchess of Windsor
The battle of the bulge for all of mankind is here to stay.
We have all experienced hurdles while trying to lose weight , you’re not alone in this boat for sure. Everyone experiences challenges that are specific to their own journey. Those who are successful at achieving their weight loss goals and maintaining it say that again – “and maintaining the weight loss” are the ones who persevered and learnt how to break through these barriers.
When it comes to losing weight, it’s never easy. There will be roadblocks along the way, obstacles you have to encounter, highs and lows, and even plateaus but once you see that tiny glimmer of hope everything becomes worth it.
When it comes to getting rid of the excess pounds on your body, staying consistent, motivating yourself and losing weight in a sustainable way is key.
Sometimes you may even feel you’ve tried every diet and exercise plan and can’t lose weight, know that there may be a psychological or physical block in your way.
The first step is to identify the roadblocks that are hindering your weightloss goals then figuring out the hurdles is half the battle won! Whats left is execution of the plan.
Lets work on this step-by-step —
Identifying your weight loss barriers —
The first step is to look within yourself. Not many of you know this but a lot of the hurdles you face on your weightloss journey are self inflicted. It’s completely normal for most people to experience ups and downs along the way. Recognising these personal obstacles is the first to rise above them. Whether these challenges you are facing are perceived or concrete, they will fall into one of the three categories: physical, environmental or emotional.
Physical barriers– common physical barriers include discomfort, injuries, medical issues, fatigue, stamina and your general physical ability. While these barriers shouldnt be discounted it is possible to work around them.
Environmental barriers- When your surroundings don’t support your healthy exercise plan, it can feel like a tug of war. Some environmental barriers include limited access to healthy food, no access to exercise facilities, lack of social support or even lack of time because of social, family and professional commitments.
Psychological barriers- The psychology behind weight loss plays a huge role in whether you achieve your goals or not. There are several main psychological roadblocks that work against you in some ways, but it can work for you in others. In order to get past your roadblock, you’ll first need to figure out specifically, what that roadblock is.
Here are some psychological barriers that can be a nuisance to your weightloss journey-
- Body image issues- If you are less than satisfied with your current body and steering towards unhealthy ways of getting the “perfect body”, chances are you are battling with body image issues. Negative body image and low self-esteem can hinder your weight loss efforts and leave you feeling dissatisfied with whatever progress you have made.
- Emotional eating- emotional eating can lead to overeating or indulging as a way to cope with your feelings which can sabotage your weight loss efforts.
- All or nothing thinking- If you practice all-or-nothing thinking, you might struggle to enjoy a “cheat day”. Its hard for you to go back to eating healthy after a small indulgence. Instead of considering it a setback you tend to give up. There is no balance in your journey making it unsustainable.
- Unrealistic goals- setting overly ambitious goals and now seeing immediate or dramatic results can leave you feeling demotivated.
- Stress- High levels of stress while trying to lose weight can hinder your progress which can cause more stress and emotional eating, thus creating a vicious cycle.
Here are some ways to overcome weight loss hurdles and win the battle-
- Understand that your body has changed
Your back hurts, your knees ache and you just don’t have the same physical prowess as you used to. As you age, we lose muscle mass and gain fat mass. The solution to this is strength training using weights, resistance bands, doing yoga or pilates. Listen to your body and understand your physical capabilities. Push yourself but not too hard, this will help you avoid injuries. Both men and women start to lose lean body mass as they age. There are many aspects of aging that are out of your control. Keeping this in mind while setting your weight loss goals will help you tremendously.
- Stay hydrated
Simple changes can make losing weight much easier. Drinking enough water and staying hydrated helps with better weight loss results. Staying hydrated also avoids you mistaking thirst for hunger.
- Choose appropriate physical activity
It’s hard to be physically active when you don’t have the physical capabilities you once did. Understanding that your body has changed with time and trying out appropriate physical activities will allow you to figure out what works best for you.
- The importance of sleep
Getting enough sleep and good quality sleep is very important to lose weight. Sleep deprivation negatively affects insulin resistance and blood sugar levels which can cause weight gain and other diseases. Make sure you get a good night’s sleep, at least six to eight hours.
- Learn to motivate yourself
Motivation is a skill that you can learn and use when setting out on your weight loss journey. If you are motivated to achieve your goal, its very hard for anything to stop you. If you lack motivation, you’ll use every chance to skip your workout or eat healthy. Staying motivated is imperative while losing weight.
- Track your progress and celebrate the small wins
Keep a journal to track your progress and process. Identify what triggers weight gain and what helps with weight loss. You can use this journal to monitor your food plan, track your journey and note when you achieve your goals. Set achievable targets for yourself along your weight loss journey and make sure to celebrate these small wins. Celebrating the small things will give you a sense of accomplishment and keep you motivated.
7. The right mental health to achieve weight loss
Psychological roadblocks can be demotivating. Identify these setbacks and come up with ways to shed them while you shed your kilos. Having the right mental state is very important while trying to lose weight.
Patience is of the utmost importance when trying to lose weight.
Balancing your lifestyle with regular physical activity, managing your stress levels, eating a healthy and balanced diet and having the right attitude when it comes to losing weight will go a long way.
Losing weight is an uphill battle but the view is great!