My tips for long term weight-loss
It's a sad, unfortunate truth but diets do not work in the long term. The diet industry sells us the belief that if we just:
- Drink this powder
- Exercise on this machine
- Use this pill
- Stop eating '.......'
.. then we will be healthy and lean and happy forever. Hooray!
Unfortunately this is not how it works. The truth is that losing weight is easy but maintaining weight loss is very, very hard. This is why extreme measures like diets and intense exercise programs do not work. Unless you are willing to stay on that diet/program for the rest of your life - your chances of maintaining the weight loss are slim (no pun intended) to none.
I personally hate (ok. hate is a strong word) strongly dislike 'before' and 'after' photos. Why? Because they are so convincing! When celebrities lose weight, we don't feel threatened or inferior because we all know celebrities have their own personal dietitians, personal trainers and private chefs - plus stack loads of money to help them lose the weight.
We can't relate to celebrity weight loss. But we can relate to Mr and Mrs Plain Jane who have recently 'shed' 25kg in three months and they've got photos to prove it!
"Well, if they can do it - then so can I!" - I hear you say...
This may be true. But unfortunately, you do not see what happens AFTER the 'after photo'. It is a fact rarely acknowledged that only 5% of people will maintain the weight they lose from a diet. Not very good odds if you ask me!
So, then what is the alternative?
Great news is that you don't need to compromise your life to create a body you love. As someone who has lost 20kg and kept it off for 2 years, I am so happy to be able to share some of my tips with you.
So, if you really want to maintain your weight loss for the long haul, consider using some of these practical tips:
1. Stop being so bitchy
I hate to say it - but stop being so bitchy to yourself. I know... It is hard not to beat yourself up. Really hard. But in the long term, learning how to care for yourself is one of the most important life skills.
We all do it. We have a voice inside our head that tells us that we aren't good enough. This voice taunts us about the things we are most self-conscious about (as we know best what will hurt us the most - and often, we don't hold back). If your self-esteem is crushed, losing weight and taking care of your health just got a *billion times hard.
To overcome this natural instinct to self-torture and self-sabotage, I'm not suggesting you start complimenting yourself on your cellulitious thighs or start preaching positive self love to anyone who will listen. I am simply suggesting that you make a commitment to stop bullying yourself. Starting now. Stop self-sabotaging yourself and start being a support for yourself - just as you'd expect your best friend/mother/father or partner to be.
*This is an educated guestimate
2. Avoid the comparison trap
This includes comparing your progress with before and after photos, your friends bikini/boardie bodies or photos of yourself when you were younger.
Imma be honest. This is a cruel fact of life... there will ALWAYS be people who are better looking, smarter, more fun or creative than you. If you continue to compare yourself to everyone else, you will never be satisfied. Stop comparing yourself to others or an earlier version of yourself. Find what makes you unique and awesome and make sure you show off what you've got.
3. Focus on the present
Ask yourself, "What activities can I do right now (not tomorrow or this afternoon) to improve my health and help me create a body I love?". Too often we make grand plans that never eventuate. Perhaps because they are too big, become daunting and therefore never get accomplished. SO, what can you do right now that will improve your health? Here's some ideas:
Place a jug of water on your desk so you're more likely to hydrate
Determine whether or not you are hungry. If you are hungry, eat. If you are not hungry, do not eat yet. Simples.
Download an application on your computer that will remind you to get up and stretch during your work day
Call a friend and arrange a time to catch up for a walk (not a coffee or drink)
Go for a walk or run (or whatever exercise tickles your fancy) right now. You won't regret doing it.
Stop the voice inside your head that says you can't do this.
Maintaining long term weight loss is about finding techniques that can help you make health the default option so that when we get lazy down the track (we almost all get lazy down the track), you will fallback onto health - and not into a bowl of chocolate.
TELL ME: Do you have a tip that has helped you maintain weight loss? What is it? Please share!
pp.s I'll be sharing my full health journey very soon. Keep checking the blog.