29 Feb Top 5 Reasons You Can’t Lose Weight
You want to lose weight, but you can’t. Why?
You hear it all the time. “New year, new me.” “Starting next month, I’m going to lose weight.” “You see that new celery juice diet? My cousin lost 30 lbs doing it! I’m starting tomorrow!” Is this you? Unfortunately, it probably is. And that’s nothing against you, that’s just what the numbers tell us.
The latest projections forecast that by the year 2030 over half of the world’s population will be overweight! If that doesn’t stop and make you think, then I don’t know what will. But why is it SO hard? Not accounting for environmental and other factors (like good ol’ Uncle Sam!), here are the top 5 reasons you can’t lose weight.
1) You’ve been told to “listen to your body”
“If you’re hungry, eat! Don’t deny your body!” “Your body wouldn’t lie to you!” Look, I agree that these are nice things to say to yourself or to someone else when they need someone to co-sign off on their indulgent behaviors but it simply isn’t true. You shouldn’t “listen to your body.” Our brain, digestive system, and the hormones that control them are not designed to keep you in shape. They are designed to keep you alive.
We crave the saltiest, sweetest, and fattiest foods simply because they are the foods that are typically highest in calories, and more calories roughly equates to more life sustaining energy. Or at least that’s what our bodies think. The fact is we were never meant to be surrounded by such an excess of food, and the complex and vast intricacies that control our hunger levels are not compatible with instant access to these high calorie foods. Unfortunately, there is nothing “intuitive” about weight loss.
2) You’re not tracking what you eat
Once again, there is nothing “intuitive” about losing weight. If you are just eating intuitively, or simply “trying to make good choices,” chances are you still have no real idea how much you’re eating. The unfortunate truth is that the #1 factor in helping you lose weight is tracking your intake. This means what you eat and how much you eat of it. To some this may sound terrible, but relax, it doesn’t mean you need to track forever.
Once you have a good handle of how much you are eating, you can just follow that plan. For most, this takes two to four weeks to achieve. Think of it like running a business; no business lasts if they’re not tracking what they spend and what they make in a day, a week, a month, a quarter and even a year. Remember: what gets tracked gets measured, and what gets measured gets improved!
3) You’re sabotaging yourself
Sadly, a common reason many people can’t lose weight is because they are shooting themselves in the foot, and they don’t even realize it. Will power is a finite and fickle thing. And it is being drained all day long with every decision you make. So, when you get home after a long day, you’re much more likely to grab the easy pre-packaged snack than cook or eat something healthy. How do you prevent this common pitfall? Simple: don’t buy the crap! Honestly, if people were to just not buy unhealthy items to have in their house, they wouldn’t need to use up all their imaginary will power not giving in to the temptation.
If the temptation isn’t there, you have nothing to give in to! Another common mistake is not preparing any food for themselves for the next day. If you’re in an office setting where lunch is provided, chances are there isn’t going to be much in the way of healthy options. And if you’re on your own for lunch, healthier options are just harder to find and more expensive, so save yourself some time and money and prepare ahead of time. With all the delicious but high calorie food available around Philadelphia, this is imperative. Lastly would be the fact that many people neglect sleep in their weight loss efforts. It’s been proven that the less sleep you get, the hungrier you’ll be, and plus you’ll be more tired and have less energy to avoid unhealthy obstacles. (Remember that will power thing?) Get to sleep on time!
4) You’re acting like a light switch instead of a dimmer switch
What the heck does that mean? Let me explain. A light switch has two settings: Off/On. There is no in between. It is binary. A dimmer switch has different degrees that can be adjusted to allow more or less light depending on preference. What does this have to do with losing weight? Well, a lot of people are successful with their diet efforts… until they’re not. Meaning, they do well for a time, but the minute they fall off track, they’re done for and go into a downward spiral.
They let one piece of cake or one bad meal totally compromise their efforts. They’re either ON the diet totally, or they’re completely OFF. It doesn’t have to be this way. You can fall off and get back on. You can adjust yourself like a dimmer switch. It’s ok to mess up for a meal, or a day, or heck even a week. You can get back on track and keep moving forward despite a setback. Set backs are part of it.
5) Your friends and family are negatively influencing you
This might be the toughest one to swallow. Your loved ones may say that they have your best interest in mind, but more often than not, they don’t. People are people and people will occasionally try and knock you down a peg just to feel better about themselves. No one is perfect and that’s just human nature, so forgive them and move on when they say things to try and discourage you. You need to be able to hold strong and not allow yourself to fall into the trap of just going with the crowd.
Now, on the other hand, you should also not push your new dietary preferences onto others you’re eating with so as to completely inconvenience them – that’s a surefire way to start an argument. Either politely decline offers of unhealthy food and use a line like “no thanks, that doesn’t really agree with my stomach” and move on. No need to go into a monologue of why the way you eat is the way all humans should and your diet would surely bring world peace if everyone adopted it.
Need a helping hand?
Weight loss can be very difficult, for a multitude of reasons, not just 5. Sometimes seeking professional help is more than warranted.
We offer nutritional consulting at the Injury Care Center. Call today to schedule a complimentary consultation!