It’s a place we’ve all been. You are working hard to lose weight and you feel like you have been doing pretty well, but sooner or later your will power fades and you start to plateau or even gain weight. This is pretty common and the truth is that living a healthy, lean life is tough.
But as luck would have it, there are a few particular things that most people do which can make life unnecessarily hard.
See if you’re doing any of these things, and if you are, try to stop:
Habitual Snacking Times
You probably have some times of day or routines which inevitably lead to eating bad foods in spite of your will power not to. These little eating patterns can be tough to break because they can be almost subconscious. I’m talking about things like:
Eating a biscuit or two in the break room
Stealing some of the kids potato chips
Having a chocolate bar after a workout
Whatever your routine you need to spot these vices and either break them or break the routine. For example, don’t take any more cash to the gym than you need. Don’t go in the break room when you’re hungry or feeling weak willed. Those little calories add up, but they’re easy to forget about.
A False Sense of Calories
If you exercise regularly (and you should) then it is all too easy to trick yourself into overeating. The truth is that although exercise does burn calories, it is very easy to over compensate by eating too much.
This is why many people who start going to the gym actually gain weight. The effect is still positive of course, because some of that weight is muscle – but even so, you need to be realistic about how many calories you are burning.
There are certain times of day when naughty foods seem to become more tempting and any occasion when you are bored or not doing very much is likely to be such a time.
This is why many people find that they eat more during the evenings when they are not busy at work…
If this seems like you then you need to break the cycle:
- Go out in the evenings
- Get into the habit of being more active
- Do something that engages your brain so that you don’t think about food
- You don’t have to do exercise every evening, just avoid too much time watching the TV or otherwise being mentally inactive
Thinking That You Have To Eat
The myth that you have to eat regularly in order to keep your metabolism going is a big one and a damaging one. The truth is that you would have to stop eating for many days before your metabolism actually slowed down.
So from now on, realize that you don’t HAVE TO eat as soon as you feel hungry…
Hunger is mostly habitual anyway
If there is no healthy food available, don’t eat. Skip a meal if you need to and wait until it is practical to eat something more suitable.
Focusing On The Scales
Weight loss is a long term game and it is entirely normal to occasionally plateau. In fact, you may lose no weight for 2 weeks and then lose several pounds in a few days.
For this reason, focusing on the scales can be dangerous for your motivation
Instead, try to focus on the things which happen sooner:
- You will feel healthier
- You will have more energy
- Your clothes will start to look better
- You will look better in the mirror
- If you measure your progress by these criteria instead of the amount of force that you exert on the ground you will find that you stay motivated more easily
Don’t get dehydrated – it’s that easy. Being dehydrated can make you feel hungry, which is obviously not going to be good for your will power or your judgement.
But aside from that, when you are hungry, a big drink of water (or cordial) will make you feel less hungry, which can either help you to abstain a little longer – particularly helpful when there is no healthy food available.