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Strategies to cope up with weight loss, How not to give up!

What strategies do you use to cope with negative feelings?

When feeling discouraged on your weight loss journey, it’s important to remind yourself of your goals and the progress you’ve made so far. Reflecting on the reasons why you started, seeking support from friends/family, adjusting your approach/strategies if needed, and keeping in mind that setbacks are normal can get you back on track.

What are common weight loss goals;

  • Improving overall health and well-being.
  • Increasing energy levels and reducing fatigue.
  • Enhancing self-confidence and body image, most people want to look good.
  • Managing or preventing health conditions such as diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure, certain cancers or heart disease.
  • Improving mobility and physical fitness.
  • Fitting into certain clothing sizes or feeling comfortable in their own skin.
  • Increasing longevity and quality of life.
  • Setting a positive example for their children or loved ones.
  • Overcoming emotional eating habits or unhealthy relationships with food.
  • Achieving specific fitness or athletic goals.

Why do most people give up on their weight loss journey?

  • Unrealistic expectations: Setting overly ambitious goals or expecting quick results can lead to frustration and disappointment when progress is slower than anticipated. This affects very many people.
  • Lack of motivation: Losing motivation over time, especially if results are not immediately noticeable or if initial enthusiasm fades. Most people would then just give up.
  • When you get stuck: Periods of stalled progress, where weight loss slows down or stops altogether, can be demotivating and lead people to stop making any efforts.
  • Social and environmental influences: Pressure from social gatherings, family events, or environments that promote unhealthy eating habits can make it challenging to stick to a healthy lifestyle.
  • Emotional eating: Using food as a coping mechanism for stress, boredom, or other emotions can derail weight loss efforts and lead to feelings of guilt and failure. Emotional eating has also been linked to several eating disorders and obesity.
  • Negative self-talk: Self-criticism and negative thoughts about one’s body or ability to succeed can undermine confidence and motivation.
  • Lack of support: Feeling unsupported or misunderstood by friends, family, or healthcare providers can make it harder to stay committed to weight loss goals.
  • Physical discomfort or health issues: Dealing with physical discomfort, such as sore muscles or hunger pangs, or encountering health issues that affect energy levels or mobility, can make it difficult to maintain healthy habits. For example when doing intermittent fasting, most people get discouraged with the frequent hunger pangs, and tend to give up.
  • Perceived lack of progress: Feeling discouraged when progress is not as visible or significant as expected, even if positive changes are happening internally.
  • Burnout: Overdoing exercise or restrictive dieting can lead to burnout and fatigue, making it tempting to give up on the weight loss journey altogether.

What strategies will best work for weight loss, to minimise giving up?

  • Start with a realistic timeframe: Aim to lose 0.5 to 2 pounds per week, as this is generally considered a safe and sustainable rate of weight loss.
  • Consider your starting point: Assess your current weight, body composition, and health status to determine how much weight you realistically need to lose to reach a healthy weight range. Don’t use other people’s goal measurements.
  • Consult with a healthcare professional: Seek guidance from a doctor or registered dietitian to help you set appropriate goals based on your individual health needs and medical history. Before you start any weight loss diets or exercises, work with a trained professional to help you appropriately set up goals.
  • Focus on behavior changes: Instead of solely focusing on the number on the scale, set goals related to healthy behaviors such as eating more vegetables, exercising regularly, and managing stress.
  • Make goals specific and measurable: Rather than setting vague goals like “lose weight,” specify how much weight you want to lose and by when. Break down larger goals into smaller, achievable milestones.
  • Be flexible: Understand that weight loss progress may vary from week to week due to factors like water retention, muscle gain, and hormonal fluctuations. Adjust your goals and strategies accordingly.
  • Track your progress: Keep track of your food intake, physical activity, and measurements to monitor your progress and make adjustments as needed. And not just focusing on the number on the scale.
  • Celebrate successes: Acknowledge and celebrate your achievements along the way, whether it’s reaching a milestone, fitting into smaller clothes, or making healthier choices. This is very motivational.
  • Stay motivated: Stay focused on your reasons for wanting to lose weight and remind yourself of the benefits of a healthier lifestyle. Surround yourself with supportive friends, family, or online communities.
  • Be patient and persistent: Remember that sustainable weight loss takes time and effort. Stay committed to your goals and trust the process, even when progress seems slow.

Other important strategies…

Track your food intake: Use a food diary or a mobile app to record what you eat and drink throughout the day. This helps you stay accountable and identify patterns or areas for improvement.

Monitor physical activity: Keep track of your exercise routines, including duration, intensity, and type of activity. Consider using a fitness tracker or journal to log your workouts.

Take measurements: Measure your weight, body measurements (such as waist circumference), and body fat percentage regularly to track changes over time. Remember that progress is not just about the number on the scale but also improvements in body composition and overall health.

Stay consistent: Consistency is key to long-term success. Stick to your healthy eating and exercise habits, even on days when you feel less motivated or face challenges. Remember that small, consistent actions add up over time.

Reflect on your journey: Take time to reflect on your progress regularly. Consider what’s working well, what challenges you’re facing, and how you can adjust your approach to continue moving forward toward your goals.

Stay positive: Maintain a positive attitude and mindset throughout your weight loss journey. Be kind to yourself, celebrate your successes, and learn from setbacks or obstacles along the way. Remember that every step forward, no matter how small, brings you closer to your goals.

Remember all the benefits of weight loss. Keep this in mind while in your weight loss journey…

  • Improved overall health: Losing excess weight can reduce the risk of many chronic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and certain cancers.
  • Increased energy: Carrying less weight can lead to increased energy levels and reduced fatigue, allowing for a more active and fulfilling lifestyle.
  • Enhanced mobility: Shedding pounds can ease strain on joints and muscles, making movement easier and reducing discomfort during physical activity.
  • Better sleep: Weight loss may improve sleep quality and reduce the risk of sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, leading to more restful nights and increased daytime alertness.
  • Boosted self-confidence: Achieving weight loss goals can improve body image and self-esteem, leading to greater confidence in social, professional, and personal settings.
  • Improved mood: Physical activity and healthy eating habits associated with weight loss can positively impact mental health, reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety.
  • Reduced medication dependence: Losing weight may decrease the need for certain medications used to manage obesity-related conditions, potentially improving overall health outcomes and reducing healthcare costs.
  • Longer lifespan: Research suggests that maintaining a healthy weight is associated with a longer life expectancy, reducing the risk of premature death from obesity-related diseases.
  • Better quality of life: Weight loss can enhance quality of life by improving physical function, reducing pain and discomfort, and increasing participation in enjoyable activities.
  • Setting a positive example: By prioritizing health and making positive lifestyle changes, individuals who achieve weight loss goals can inspire and motivate others to do the same, creating ripple effects within their communities and beyond.

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