Over half of all Americans are overweight, and most of us know it. We can tell when we need to shed a few pounds, or maybe just start watching what we eat again and lose those extra pounds after the holidays. But some of us mean well, but really can’t lose weight. Why? Well, here are things my friends and I have struggled with in the past…
There are so many drugs or diets on the market that promise you’ll lose inches, pounds, dress sizes, all in just days. That’s just not possible. To succeed in weight loss, you need to have realistic expectations.
If you’re not ready to lose weight, and dedicate a lot of time and effort into it, you won’t lose weight.
In order to stick to a diet or exercise plan, you will need the support of your friends and family. They can make it a lot easier (by encouraging you, or dieting with you) or downright impossible (by discouraging, bad-mouthing, or tempting you with pizza!).
Most of the time, it’s simple mathematics: to shed pounds, you need to consume FEWER calories than you SPEND. Visit mypyramid.gov to calculate how many calories you ought to be eating, and plan diet (along with eating the right thing, you also need to not eat the wrong things) and exercise around that figure.
If you’re losing weight just to please someone else, you’re setting yourself up to fail. It’s impossible to conform to someone else’s idea of perfection. Love the body you have, and if you don’t love it, make changes to it for YOURSELF.
Most people, especially men, tend to lose weight quickly at first, but then taper off, or plateau, for a few weeks or months. That usually occurs when the dieter’s metabolism evens out. Be patient, and stick to your diet and exercise plan! The weight loss will be slower, but it will still happen.
Some women really can’t lose weight because they have a medical condition, sometimes related to their thyroid. Ask your family doctor their opinion, and they can perform a simple set of tests to see.
If you are trying to lose weight, the scale can become either your best friend or your worst enemy. Do not, absolutely do NOT, weight yourself every day! Instead, weight yourself once a week, or even just once every two weeks.
Eating healthful foods and joining a gym can sometimes be pricey, especially if you live in the inner city. But there are always ways around a cash problem! Invest in a good pair of running shoes, then walk, job, or run instead of going to a gym. You can even do exercises at home without any weight or gym equipment.
I admit it: for years after my last daughter was born, I had a pair of pre-pregnancy jeans I kept in my closest to encourage me to lose weight. I have a friend that keeps a photo of herself when she was overweight on her fridge, so every time she opens it, she sees her old self. But sometimes this “bait” can just be discouraging, or make you feel guilty, and that’s not helpful. Instead, keep a positive goal in mind like, “I’d like to be able to take the stairs to my office instead of the elevator without losing my breath.”
Dieting isn’t easy, but without these sabotage methods holding you back, you really can lose weight! Is there anything in the past that’s been a weight-loss roadblock for you? Different things work for different people. Some women find support in a weight-loss buddy, some women blog while others like to maintain food journals - find out what works for you. Is there a reason you’ve found that you really just can’t lose weight? Please let me know… maybe I can help!
Photo Credit: flickr.com
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