When people decide they want to lose weight, they almost invariably go to the weight loss standard – they diet. And while dieting may be the most common course of action, why then is yo-yo dieting so prevalent? Let’s look at why so much lost weight is re-found quickly, and what other options exist for successful weight loss.
Before coaching someone in weight loss and healthy weight management, or striving to slim down yourself, it’s important to discover the underlying reasons for the excess weight in the first place. After all, it only makes sense that if you don’t remove these hurdles from your path, you’ll end up right back where you started, or worse.
So whether you’re somewhat overweight or truly obese, can you define the reasons for it? Don’t use the old blanket excuse of ‘more calories consumed than used’ – what are the real reasons?
Are you an emotional eater? Do you seek out comfort foods when you’re feeling hurt, feeling down or depressed? Is loneliness preying on your mind, causing you to look to the fridge for friendship? When you feel the urge to eat something but know you’re not really hungry, try to identify where that urge is coming from. Teach yourself that you don’t get satisfaction from unhealthy eating patterns and learn to direct that impulse into something more constructive, like going for a walk or calling a friend.
Is it a lack of exercise that’s caused your weight issues? Our bodies have evolved over a million years and are still changing with each new generation, but what hasn’t changed is the body’s need for regular exercise. Your body has learned to store fat for times with no available nutrition, and to burn off muscle that isn’t used regularly, as muscle burns up energy even at rest.
All of which helped earlier generations who fought, hunted and scrounged for their food, but does not fit in a world populated with supermarkets and fast-food drive-throughs. Start going for walks or riding a bike, small daily ways to get 30 minutes of exercise each day – when you see how much better you feel it’ll be easy to stay motivated and move toward true fitness.
Another common hurdle is a lack of planning or forethought when you go shopping. Do you think about the meals you want to make and have or serve during the coming week? Do you make a list of the healthy ingredients you need to make those meals? And then, do you stick to buying just those items when you go to the grocery store? Almost no one can claim adherence to that last one, yet in most cases when suppertime rolls around we pick and choose from what’s in the house, right? So if it doesn’t come home from the store it’s not going to end up in your digestive track. Choose wisely when you shop and follow the sage advice to never shop while hungry!
These are just a few of the underlying causes of people overeating and becoming overweight or obese – there are many more like cultural & family traditions, food habits learned as kids, even your own perceived target body image and what you feel it would take to achieve that body image. But the only reason or reasons that matter are the ones standing in YOUR way of maintaining a healthy bodyweight & lifestyle.
Yes, in the long run you’ll need to come up with a workable nutrition solution that allows you to lose weight and get rid of unwanted bodyfat while maintaining your strength and energy, but find and fix the underlying issues first so your weight loss success isn’t short-term. After all, don’t you deserve a happy & healthy life with energy to spare?