Weight loss is a hot topic these days; magazines, commercials, and social media spread slogans about quick n' easy weight-loss like wild fire. It's tempting, is it not? Whether it's time for a New Years resolution or 'swim suit season', there is a lot of pressure in our culture to lose weight FAST and get that perfect body you've been wanting for the past 5... 10... 15 years. Even though these quick-fix diets and 30-day plans might seem healthy, they are flawed. As a result, 60-80% of folks who go on a diet, end up gaining the weight back (and sometimes gain even more weight back). So before you hop on that train, let's focus on two facts.
Your Body Is Unique
Your body, down to every last cell, is completely different that anyone else's. Genetic differences, family history, age, gender, and your unique health journey up to this point are just a few of the factors separating you from everyone else. This includes the co-worker at the office that seems to drop pounds too easy, the friend who works out at the gym every day, and the celebrity who found the 'secret' to losing weight. What works for them might not work for you.
Your Path is Unique
It may take some trial and error, but be patient as you find what works best for you and your body. Your body is extremely capable and intelligent, and often times, knows what is best for us. Begin to slow down and listen to what your body is telling you. Try getting up earlier and going for a walk but then check in to see how you feel. Experiment with eating different foods, portion sizes, and meal times. Play around with getting more sleep and waking up earlier. Do you feel better lifting weights or doing Yoga? How does walking in the morning feel compared to a light jog 3 times a week?
The key is finding BALANCE between nourishing your body, moving your body, and resting your body. This rhythmic dance should be energizing, encouraging, and enjoyable.
Do's & Don'ts of Weight Loss
- Listen To Your Body. If something doesn’t feel right, such as a workout feels too intense, or perhaps a diet feels restrictive, then it probably isn’t right! Your instinct is your best friend, use it to help you find what’s right for you.
- Know Your Limits & Embrace Challenges. Creating achievable goals is good, but those goals should also challenge us in some way. Know what your limits are, push the envelope and once you achieve it you’ll be left with encouraging satisfaction.
- Encourage Yourself Daily. It’s easy to encourage a friend, but we often beat ourselves up rather than build ourselves up. Find something to be proud of each day. Did you walk the stairs? Did you say no to a second dessert? Finding those small wins keeps you in a positive mindset.
- Don't Deprive Your Body. You may be tempted to go to extremes such as not eating or only eating once a day. This slows down your metabolism, makes you cranky, and is dangerous! Blood sugar drops for a reason...so that we eat! Blood sugar dropping is one of our body’s warning signs. Nourish your body, don’t punish it.
- Don't Expect To Drop Pounds Quickly. If you’re wanting to lose 25-30 pounds or more, setting yourself up to lose it all in two months not only creates a poor vision, but a demanding goal that is not sustainable. Healthy, sustainable weight loss is 1-2 lbs per week. Plus, consider how weight gain is slow and sneaky, therefore it’ll take about the same amount of time to lose it. Be nice to yourself and set a practical goal.
- Don’t compare yourself to others. Your health, your weight, your body, your lifestyle are completely different from anyone else’s and so is your weight loss journey. Don’t get discouraged that someone is losing weight faster or easier. Here’s a secret; we all struggle. Focus on your goals and celebrate your accomplishments.
Want to learn more about how your emotions affect your weight loss? Read more in our blog "Emotional Eating: What's Really Going On?" below: