You try a diet, you lose weight, then….old habits creep back in and you gain all your weight back and then some.
Does this sound familiar? This is all too common with the women I work with and women who are frustrated, feel stuck, and don’t know what to do about it!
Top 3 Reasons You Fall Back Into Old Patterns & How To Overcome Them
These are also the most common reasons I hear when consulting with women who are frustrated with their health and weight:
Reason #1: Inconsistency. Most of us want instant results with an easy fix. We want the weight to melt off faster than we put it on. We start a certain diet or fitness routine but don’t stick with it for more than 30-60 days and wonder why we didn’t get the results we want. We forget that practice makes perfect, even when we don’t think we see progress from it. One of the biggest ways to grow and get better is to show up every day. Remember, if you have had weight creeping on over the last 5,10, or 15 years, it’s going to take more than 30 days for it to come off. Consistency is key.
Set daily, weekly, and monthly routines and REALISTIC goals for yourself. It’s not enough to set a goal of, “I want to lose 20 pounds”, because as soon as you plateau or the scale doesn’t tick down you will get discouraged and throw in the towel. Setting weekly and monthly weight loss goals is the best way to execute this, and also scheduling in some grace for when you don’t hit those goals. Planning to lose 5 pounds over the course of 4-6 weeks is doable and realistic. So, the end goal would be around 12-18 weeks to lose 20 pounds.
You also need a daily action plan. Consistent weekly menu planning, daily movement, exercise, and a list of non-negotiables will set you up for success. Scheduling these things out in your calendar is a must. It must be a priority, not an afterthought.
Reason #2: Unsustainable Diet and Exercise Routines and Unrealistic Expectations. One of the most common complaints I hear from women when they quit a program is that it wasn’t sustainable. Once the calorie counting stops, or you stop ordering the pre-made meals, you are back to square one. The diet/exercise routines weren’t realistic, and neither were your expectations.
Swapping out real food for shakes isn’t healthy or sustainable. Running for 60-90 minutes every day is also not sustainable. Sitting at a desk all day is not the answer either! Understanding that whatever you decide for today needs to be for your future as well. You must look at the long game. Expect adversity. Expect days when you are not motivated. There will be growing pains, but if you have realistic expectations and a detailed plan you will be successful.
Start with small changes you can attain. Don’t decide you are going to eliminate entire food groups on day 1 unless it’s medically necessary. Don’t try to go to the gym and hit a PR on a back squat if you’ve never done that before. Start with removing harmful seed oils from your diet first. Replace everything that you have that contains these seed oils and buy new ones. Step 1 is done.
Set a goal of working out 15-30 minutes a few days a week, either at home or at your gym. Try going to bed 15 minutes earlier. Wake up 15 minutes earlier. Start your day with a gratitude list. These are all small changes that over time will build on one another. As you get comfortable with eating your new seed-oil-free foods, maybe you remove gluten items next. Instead of working out for 15 minutes, you try for 30 or 45 minutes 3 days per week. You don’t have to do everything at once, especially on your own.
Reason #3: You haven’t identified your “WHY”. Why do you want to lose weight or be healthy? What is moving you to change? How will your life look if you lose this weight or reach optimal health? What do you want to do once you hit this certain ideal weight or image? You must identify your deepest desires around making changes to your health, nutrition, and fitness. Otherwise, you will give up the moment you face adversity or failure.
Write down “Why” you want to lose weight. Why do you want to feel better, get off or stay off medication, sleep better, and look better? What is motivating you? Once you’ve identified your deepest emotions, fears, and desires I would encourage you to share them with someone who will keep you accountable. When you feel like quitting or giving up, remember your Why.
If your why is bigger than just wanting to lose body fat, and it always is, it will be the motivation you need to pick back up and keep going, even when it’s hard and you feel like quitting. Superficially I want to look good for my husband, but my long-term, deep-rooted motivation, is to be healthy as I age and reduce the risk for Type 2 Diabetes and Heart Disease. I’ve seen my dad’s health deteriorate over the last 20 years and it has been heartbreaking.
I never want to put my family through the pain of watching me succumb to diseases that could have been prevented. This is what keeps me going. It spurs me to keep learning, knowing, and growing. It is more than just maintaining my waistline. It is my health, and my family’s health and quality of life, on the line.
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