|Social media is now full of weight loss ‘motivation’ – lose weight for when the pubs open, weight loss for summer holidays that may now go ahead, lose those lockdown pounds. And, of course, there are a lot of quick-fixes, restrictive fad diets and celebrity-endorsed products to ‘melt away fat’ – cue lots of eye rolling from me!
During my work with weight loss clients I’ve identified my top 3 habits to change if you want to achieve sustainable, lasting weight loss.
Habit 1: Putting it off until Monday
Yes, if you do your shopping on Sunday, then Monday is a good day to implement certain changes. However, in many cases, telling yourself that ‘this is it’ and ‘Monday is day one of the diet’ makes you feel virtuous. You feel like rewarding for yourself for the fact that you’re going to be starting a new diet. It also lets you off the hook and you end up overindulging and ‘making the most of it’, only to fall off the wagon and restart the whole process again.
Instead, why not start by making small changes right now. For example, you do not need to wait until Monday to start improving your hydration. Start right now. If you have a glass of water next to you now, drink half of it. If you don’t have any water, why not? Go and get a glass of water now…
A big part of breaking the pattern of constant restarting is to not cut out food groups. When we tell ourselves that we can’t have X, Y & Z from now on, it feels as though we are depriving ourselves, setting ourselves up for a whole load of guilt. Instead, set positive action points… e.g. I’m going to eat more veg, drink more water etc… instead of, I’m going to restrict X, Y & Z. No restriction = no falling off the wagon = no restarting and better consistency = lasting weight loss!
Habit 2: Overhauling
A big mistake is when we try to overhaul our lives. I’ve certainly been guilty of having these moments of motivation in the past, where I plan to change everything; sleep habits, food, exercise, hydration etc… only to very quickly feel like a failure because I’ve made 10 changes very poorly. This mainly happens for me in January!
Instead, take things step by step. Start with one focus, do it properly, keep going until it becomes a habit and then move on to the next thing. Lasting weight loss will never be the result of quick fixes. It’s most definitely a marathon rather than a sprint.
Habit 3:Blaming Yourself
If you fail or fall off the wagon, there’s a very good reason for that. It’s not because you’re useless or destined to be fat. It’s because the approach you took wasn’t right for you or because you didn’t have enough support. Negative self-talk will get you absolutely nowhere. It will just make you feel awful and keep you stuck where you are.
If the approach you took is focused solely on restriction or counting calories, points or macros, required you to just follow a restrictive meal plan, make you feel hungry a lot of the time and/or had to use willpower to resist cravings, then you were destined to fail.
I wholeheartedly believe that it’s essential to address the underlying imbalances; hormones, blood sugars, inflammation, deficiencies, gut bacteria, poor relationship with food. This is where the blame really lies. Once you address these things, you don’t need willpower.
This is where I start with clients – the effects of small changes in these areas can be amazing and last a lifetime once you understand the processes going on in your body and how our diet affects them.
I am offering a FREE nutrition assessment at the moment – a way for us to find out if would be a good fit to work together and also for you to get some tips and info that you can use to improve your diet right now. Simply click the button below to book your assessment.