“I bust my ass at the gym, why am I not losing weight?”
One of the most important factors to weight loss is not what kind of foods we eat, or how often we go to the gym, or even when we eat our meals. The most important factor to being successful at losing that stubborn weight is literally one word – Adherence
Adherence is defined as an ‘attachment or a commitment to a cause, person or belief.’ (dictionary.com) It’s the simplest definition for the most important factor to why you are not losing weight. In order to succeed, you need to be committed to the end result. However, you need to be prepared that along the way there will be bumps and tribulations and that’s perfectly OK, it’s the commitment that will get us back on track.
So, how can I be successful in my journey to weight loss? Unfortunately, there is no exact answer. What works for you may not work for your neighbour, or your friend Bill down the street. The underlying factor is that we need to come up with a plan that works for us, period. This can look so different depending on our needs and wants.
Let’s discuss one of the biggest reasons we decide we need to lose weight and how we can be successful for it. We all have that special event coming up, maybe it’s a wedding or a family holiday. The point is we have X amount of time to lose the weight before this special occasion. So, we plan and we mark things down on the calendar and we work ourselves and starve ourselves and then we get to the special day and we’ve lost a little bit of weight, but not what we wanted. And why? Because we often plan for everything to go well during this journey and we forget that along the way we will hit bumps and fall off the wagon. Because, that’s life. Dinners with friends pop up, birthdays, even as simple as just one night we want a cookie and because we’ve been depriving ourselves of them along the way, instead of one we end up eating ten.
“Being successful on a diet is being prepared to have the occasional hiccup, being ok with it and then carrying on”.
We can all lose weight that is not the problem.
We all have the capacity to lose some amount of weight, but keeping it off is what we find harder. It’s shocking to think that over 90% of people trying to lose weight will not only gain the weight back, but also put more on. Once the diet is over, whether it be 6 weeks, 12 weeks etc. we panic and we are back to our old ways. To keep the weight off we need to make it a lifestyle change that we can stick to for, well, ever. So depriving yourself of your favourite snacks or drinks can cause you to go overboard on them when you have a moment of weakness, which we will all have. So allowing yourself half a chocolate bar here and there, will allow us to stick to your diet better then forbidding yourself from having it all.
Being successful is being able to plan.
You need to make sure you have strategies in place so that you don’t have the opportunity to fail. If you generally fall off the wagon more in the evenings while watching TV, either remove the indulgent food out of the house or keep yourself busy during most nights. If you know you have a very social weekend coming up, prepare the days leading up to it, by eating less calories throughout the week so that you can have a beer with the lads, or have a more calorific meal out. Preparation is the key to being committed to your goal.
Planning when to eat is also going to help you stick to your diet. If you’re a person who enjoys eating a nice big meal with your family in the evening, then make sure that your breakfast and lunch are lower in
calories. This will allow you more calories for that specific mealtime and will allow you not to feel guilt. Vice versa, if you work in a job that requires a lot of lunches out with clients etc. then saving a large number of your calories for lunch will help you be successful down the line.
Preparing for a blip in the road does not mean that you have failed, but allows you to recover and quickly get back on track. If that holiday is coming up in June, instead of planning to start in February, start in January. Accept that things will come up during that time and be ready for it.
We need to remember that we are all human and so we all will make mistakes and luckily we are able to get back on track quickly and before causing too much damage. We have to try a number of different things before we find what fits best for us and our lifestyles.