Any change is hard and sustainable weight loss can be one of the hardest changes of all. The secret of weight loss success is to make small sustainable changes that become habits.
How many times have you been in a room or a car with someone feels hot and who then insists on putting the air conditioning full blast on freezing cold? 10 minutes later they are freezing cold and so then insist on putting it full blast on full heat. 10 mins later they probably go back to freezing cold again! Sound familiar? If only they had tweaked the dial and waited for the temperature to cool down….
How often do you do this in your life? I know I have been guilty of this many times in the past. Does the following scenario sound familiar to you?
“You feel tired and sluggish one weekend and your jeans are getting harder to do up so you say enough!! You immediately devise a plan (which always starts on a Monday!) to eat perfectly and exercise every day. Monday comes, you eat next to nothing all day – lots of lettuce – and then you come home lace up your trainers and go for a 5km run (because 6 months ago you finished couch to 5k). What happens? You are starving hungry, you aren’t used to running so your knees hurt, you had to walk half the way, you get home and eat rubbish food because you are a failure!”
A familiar pattern?
It is so easy to fall into the trap of doing this over and over again. The cycle works like this:
1 – We set ourselves a goal to be perfect
2 – We frustrate ourselves that we aren’t perfect
3 – We beat ourselves up, and write ourselves off as a failure
4 – We go back to what we were doing before.
All of this reinforces our view that we just aren’t good enough, we will never be successful and we will never have a successful weight loss.
The reality is that if we are more realistic and patient then we will reach our goals quicker. If we start to make small sustainable tweaks to our habits and slowly build up new routines then we are far more likely to achieve our goals than if we follow a boom or bust approach. The idea of a fast change can be seductive but it rarely lasts.
If this keeps happening to you over and over again then it is time to try something new.
Ideas to tweak your weight loss
Here are some ideas of habits to tweak for weight loss success:
1 – For the first week focus on having a healthy breakfast. A good start to the day will help you feel good about yourself.
2 – Choose ONE bad habit to cut out. Remember you don’t have to be perfect – any improvement will move you forward on your journey
3 – Start adding in a 30 minute walk 3 times a week. If you hate walking then find something you do like – just get a bit more active. Make it a routine on fixed days of the week and feel good every time you do it.
4 – Identify your biggest danger period in the day and then come up with a strategy to help stop you sabotaging yourself. This might be when you get home from work or maybe it’s the kid’s tea time. Try having a healthy snack ready or something else planned to distract you.
Look at maintenance first
If you are currently gaining weight then a good first step can be to learn to maintain your weight. Try some of the steps above until your weight is stable and then maintain it for at least 4 weeks. Once your weight is stable then you can start tweaking one habit at a time to start losing weight.
The way forward
Remember this is about sustainable weight loss success not a quick fix. If a tweak feels too hard, then adjust your approach and try something else. Don’t give up and tell yourself you have failed instead, focus on feeling good about every change you make for yourself.
Weight loss success is achievable. Accept that tweaking your current habits will be more sustainable and ultimately successful even if it feels slower. Start tweaking your dial today – your future self will thank you. What is stopping you? You are worth it.
If you would like help achieving weight loss success then my coaching can help. Please contact me here for a free initial session. You can also sign-up here for a series of emails to help you break free of the weight loss yo-yo cycle for ever.