If anybody’s come away with anything over the past 9 months of 2020, it’s more than likely several sets of loungewear and more extra weight to lose.
As the end of the year approaches and we’re all trying to navigate just how we’re going to be celebrating Christmas this year, your mind may be leaning towards your 2021 goals.
One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight. However, most people who go in with this goal will fail within the first few months.
Why? Their mindset about the whole thing is wrong. A New Year is just another day, and the decisions around making a drastic change to your lifestyle don’t need to be dictated by a date that has, historically, pressured people into making said changes.
Furthermore, losing weight is hard– regardless of whether you have an extra 10lbs, or 100+lbs that you’d like to lose. With all the delicious food options constantly surrounding us, it’s difficult to navigate your way around the plethora of options to burn fat and live leaner.
Like the majority of decisions to be made, trying to lose weight is a question of mind over matter. Far from the ‘JUST DO IT!’ mentality, it actually takes a lot more to be successful in losing weight- and keeping it off!
Realizing the ‘why’ behind a decision helps to keep you motivated when it comes to losing weight. It could be wanting to be able to tie up your shoes without getting winded, or wanting to look good for a specific event or vacation. Maybe you just want to boost your confidence and losing the additional weight will help you to do that.
Whatever the motivation, realizing ‘why’ is an important motivator when it comes to starting a weight loss journey. The why is your motivation and is what should keep you on track.
We make thousands of decisions a day, from getting up and using the bathroom in the mornings, to the clothes we’re going to wear that day, and whether to take a vacation, some of these are conscious decisions, and others are unconscious, like blinking to prevent dust from entering our eyes.
This is no different when it comes to choosing the foods we eat on a daily basis- cupcake, or carrot? Salad, or fries?
Being conscious about the reasons why we are choosing carrots and kale over fries and ice cream will help to keep you motivated throughout your journey.
There are millions of pictures posted on Instagram, hashtagged #weightlossjourney and there are some pretty impressive accounts documenting their successes. One of the most common comments left on these comparative transformation pictures is ‘How did you do it!?’
Some swear by the keto diet, where carbohydrates are limited in favor of fats and protein, meaning that the body burns fat quicker.
Others may take a look into the world of hypnotherapy and get hypnotic gastric bands–where the participant is placed in a hypnotic state and given instructions to make them believe their stomachs can handle much less food than they have done previously.
This has varying levels of success, but since one of the biggest proven ways to lose weight is calories out over calories in, why wouldn’t this be a good shout to get you into the correct mindset?
Your life is not being filmed by a CCTV camera wherever you go, so your shift in lifestyle is your own responsibility. You alone are the one who has to be accountable to yourself about what you choose to eat and how you will move your body.
So how can you stay motivated? Keep an honest track. Look everywhere and you’ll find loads of different fitness and calorie trackers out there. Specific weight loss groups such as SlimmingWorld and WW will encourage writing down everything you eat to be assessed by the group consultant, who can guide you when things go astray.
If you’re not part of a group, apps like ‘myfitnesspal’ will suggest caloric intake based on your height, weight, and activity level in accordance to your weekly weight loss goals. You can add your food portions into the app and you can work at staying under the calorie goal. As your weight changes, so will your calorie goal.
However, the weight on the scale is not the only way you can track your progress. Take your measurements regularly and if you stick to your diet and exercise routine, you should see the tape measure reflect that.
Body mass can fluctuate weekly or even daily due to many different factors, so the scales can sometimes lie- the tape measure won’t.
If you want a visual reminder, put a coin or stone in a jar per pound you lose- soon your jar will fill up and you will be motivated to keep filling up that jar.
Shift Your Mindset
Mindset is the most powerful tool when it comes to weight loss. Many people embark on the journey to try and ‘fix what is wrong’.
Imagine speaking to a small child, scolding them because they cannot yet walk. It is cruel and damaging– teaching a child, at too young an age to give up before they’ve even started.
A child with the capacity of learning to walk will do so, with help from loved ones, gentle praise, and encouragement. This is no different to when you want to transform your life by taking control of your weight.
If you see this as a ‘quick fix’ in order to make you feel better, you will be stuck in the continuous cycle of losing and gaining weight. Punishing yourself is not the way you will make a dramatic transformation. Set yourself small goals and milestones and celebrate yourself when you achieve them. Non-edible treats when you reach a particular weight loss goal, like an item of makeup, or clothing when your clothes no longer fit you. Be kind to yourself, and let others encourage you, too.