You probably know that eating too many calories or not getting enough exercise can derail your weight loss efforts, but there are other things that could be getting in your way.
How you think about your weight loss could be the problem.
Here are some common mistakes from the Carilion Clinic Weight Loss Center and tips for overcoming them.
1. Negative self talk.
How you think about your weight loss sets the stage for whether or not you will succeed in meeting your goals. Start out thinking about succeeding, not about past failures or fears of not being successful.
“It helps to think about where you want to be, not where you are,” said Kampbell Salehi, Psy.D., clinical psychologist with Carilion Clinic. “Focus on what small changes you can make and what you can control, then let those things build up over time.”
Are you always telling yourself that you’ll start your weight loss on Monday? Or maybe after the holidays? Stop putting off your weight loss—start tomorrow!
“You don’t have to be perfect on day one, and weight loss isn’t all or nothing,” said Dr. Salehi. “Remember that weight loss is a mindset, and just try to improve each day; if you get off track one day, just get back on the next.”
3. Dreading exercise.
Exercise doesn’t have to be boring, it can be fun! Try different types of exercise until you find what you like.
You may not enjoy time on the treadmill, but a rowing machine could make you happy. Maybe group classes or getting some friends involved would be fun for you.
“A gym isn’t the only place to exercise,” said Patrick Dunham, clinical training manager for Carilion Wellness. “There are great ways to exercise at home with inexpensive equipment like jump ropes, hand weights or a yoga mat. Or get outside for a jog, a hike or a swim.”
No time to exercise today? You can still stay on track with your weight loss, just be sure to pay attention to what you’re eating and don’t indulge.
4. Not planning ahead.
To be successful with weight loss, you need to think about how you’re going to succeed. Schedule your exercise into your day just like you would a meeting or appointment.
Think of ways that you’ll keep your weight loss on track throughout the day, including how you’re going to exercise and what you’re going to eat.
Fit your new healthy lifestyle into your day any way you can. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, take a 10-minute walk during the day, share favorite healthy recipes with friends or coworkers.
5. Treating it as a diet rather than a lifestyle.
A diet is a short-term fix, but a lifestyle is the way you live every day. A healthy lifestyle is not only about what you eat, but your level of activity and your way of thinking about your health.
If you think about your weight loss as short-term, you might be less likely to succeed.
Consider how your life will be different—and better—by making healthy changes.