You’ve been working so hard for the past few weeks, months, or even years, but still struggle to consistently achieve health and weight results. You might have been eating right and exercising regularly, enough for you to achieve the recommended amount of calories (for eating and exercise) needed for you to lose weight. However, some self-defeating behaviors and thoughts can prevent you from sticking with your efforts while achieving your weight loss goals.
You reward yourself too much with food and rest days
Sometimes, we reward ourselves with our favorite food during out-of-town getaways or social gatherings with friends and family. A small reward can be the start of extended rest days, which can also lead to overeating/laziness to resume right away from previous healthy lifestyle habits.
I’ve dealt with people who achieved their weight and health goals but slowly abandoned their healthy efforts since they started rewarding themselves with food while lessening their physical activities. I have experienced, learned, and witnessed that the key to lasting weight control success is to treat everything in moderation.
How to reward yourself in moderation
Manage your “treat” days by setting a limit to your “treat foods”
You can allow yourself to eat your favorite dessert but always set a limit so you don’t overindulge. You can have a serving of your favorite sweets, like half a slice of a regular serving of cake or one whole bar of chocolate, but can be consumed in small bites throughout the week. Avoid buffets and restaurants serving unlimited dishes. Trying even a little bit of everything can still result in excessive food consumption that can easily result in weight gain.
Do not allow yourself to completely rest for more than two days even while on vacation
Of course, there will be days that you need to take a break from working out and this usually happens during a vacation. However, you might have a hard time resuming your usual workout routine if you completely stop any form of physical activity for more than two days.
Weight gain is also possible because of excessive food consumption while having sedentary days. You can still other forms of exercise like brisk walking, a 15-minute bodyweight strength training routine, outdoor sports like swimming, running, cycling, or any form of physical activity that can still challenge your cardiovascular and muscular fitness. Incorporating any form of physical activity even while on break can also strengthen your control over overeating.
Always have a game plan for social gatherings
We celebrate our achievements in life by sharing the overflowing positive emotions with the people that we love through social gatherings. Always have a plan to overcome the challenges you might face when it comes to eating and drinking.
Choose healthier food alternatives like vegetables, lean meat, seafood, and fruits for dessert. Apply portion control if you won’t have a say over the foods that will be served. Limit your drinks to a maximum of two servings per occasion.
Lack of patience can distract you from focusing smoothly on your journey
There are no shortcuts when it comes to achieving something truly meaningful and valuable for you in life. You need to work long hours, apply discipline, use all your talents and skills and spend money and time on advanced education just to excel in your chosen career. You need to put all your time, effort, and attention into your kids to give them the best future they can ever have.
It is how you should think about your health and fitness as well. You need to be patient and work extra hard to find the right balance (and at the same time love what you’re doing) when it comes to eating, exercise, and recovery can work for you.
How to focus on your journey
Embrace your uniqueness and believe in yourself
Recall the strategies that have worked for you in the past. Stick to your current realistic program and do your very best not to get distracted by the last quick fix diet craze and endorsed programs of celebrities or social media influencers. Now is the time to stop comparing yourself with others.
Remember that the ultimate weight management program that can work for you is completely different from your friend, sister, husband, or fitness coach. You need to consider that you have your preferences when it comes to food and workout. Your body will respond differently to the foods that you eat and exercises that you do because of your unique genetic makeup, age, gender, hormones, and the current physiological processes happening inside your body.
Always believe that you have the unique strengths that can lead you to success.
Challenge yourself to stay committed to the whole process
Upon waking up, focus on how you can achieve your tasks for the day and renew your goals. Take it one step and one day at a time, making it more realistic when needed. Do not be preoccupied with your weight. Shift your attention to surviving the process by incorporating exercise in your day, planning your meals, creating strategies on how to stay away from high-calorie foods available, and unexpected social gatherings that might happen during the day.
Your negative thoughts can prevent you from achieving your healthy lifestyle goals
Always approach your journey with gladness, excitement, and enjoyment. Be aware of the self-sabotaging thoughts that can delay your weight loss goals. Learn how to reframe your mindset so you can move on and focus on your strengths instead of your weaknesses and limitations.
Old mindset: “I can’t do anything about my body because of my age, energy level, and hormones.”
New mindset: “I just need to work extra hard, apply more self-control when it comes to food and exercise so I can achieve progress. With patience and hard work, can eventually reach my goals. If there’s a need for help and support, I won’t hesitate to communicate my issues with my loved ones or ask the help of a coach to guide me with my journey.”
Old mindset: “I feel so bad about my body because my tummy is huge and I can’t even fit into my clothes anymore, so I am losing confidence and hope to achieve my goals. I might as well just eat what I want and stop exercising since I am not seeing results. ”
New mindset:“I have to prioritize my health goals. I want to be healthy and strong so I can enjoy life fully. I won’t let these negative feelings affect my drive and passion to be in my best health. I will use these unfavorable feelings to challenge myself to do my try best to improve my lifestyle. I can do this.”
Old mindset: “I didn’t start my day/week/month right. I just broke my diet today. I couldn’t resist the potato chips my brother gave me. I am not in the mood to work out anymore. I might as well, rest, watch Netflix, and eat more chips. Maybe I can just start again tomorrow/next week/next month”
New mindset:“I shouldn’t allow a small slip to ruin my healthy eating and exercise goals. I don’t have to wait until tomorrow or next week. I should break this cycle by recovering from that lapse as early as now. I will exercise and eat more vegetables and lean protein for dinner. I can now visualize myself feeling more empowered for not letting that incident ruin my day.”