The vast majority of people who lose weight on a diet will regain that weight within a year.
Why is it so hard to make it stick?
Here’s another way of looking at it…
Diets don’t work because they are aimed at your mouth and stomach.
Training plans alone don’t work because they are only aimed at your body.
Real, lasting transformation comes from your BRAIN.
The reason why most weight loss methods don’t work LONG TERM is that:
…they address the surface level problem (the unwanted excess weight)
…and the problem behind it (eating too much/not exercising enough
…but not the ROOT CAUSE (thought patterns, mindset, body image, self-esteem)
So most changes don’t stick.
It’s like paying a team of people to clean up a river that’s full of rubbish, without doing anything to stop the people dumping all their litter in it upstream.
The river will be in better condition for a little while, but until they stop the cause of the problem, the dirty water will just keep coming back.
In the weight loss world, this is the person cutting calories, cutting out certain foods, and starting an exercise plan, but not addressing the underlying relationship with food that caused the weight gain in the first place.
If food is a comfort and an emotional support, and you don’t get other things in place to help deal with that, there’s a high chance you’ll end up back where you started.
You can try a load of different diets and methods of losing weight (and you probably have done already right?) but until you shift the MINDSET and focus on building self-esteem, body-image, and finding healthy ways to feel good, weight loss is likely to be fleeting and short-lived.
So what can you do? Sometimes you need more in-depth guidance than what I can give in this blog post, but here’s some things that might help:
- Listen to your inner voice.
Are you pretty hard on yourself a lot of the time? Bit of a perfectionist? Constantly beating yourself up for little things?
If you’re constantly talking to yourself in a way you would NEVER talk to your friends, that’s something you can and NEED to start changing.
Whenever you notice a critical thought that’s popped into your head, stop it immediately. Could you cut yourself some slack? Think of what you would say if a friend was saying that to herself. How would you reframe it to be positive instead?
- Find ways to build your self-esteem.
Do things you are good at, and enjoy the feeling of being good at them. Help others. Volunteer. Create something. Sign up for a challenge. Make a list of things you like about yourself. Take some time out. Do something just to give to others without expecting anything in return.
We are all programmed with a desire to contribute in some way, so this can be a good avenue to explore. Doing things for others will help them, make you feel good, win you more friends, and give you an improved sense of self-worth. BUT don’t mistake this for doing everything for everyone – you need to take time for yourself too.
3. Look for things you like about your body.
Your body is amazing and deserves love and appreciation, not criticism and self-loathing. If you have stretch marks and scars from having children, like one of my clients said, that’s a war wound and you should be proud! Your body created and gave birth to another human being! Whatever flaws you feel you have, try to understand that they are nowhere near as bad or as obvious as you think they are. Plus, everyone else is too busy worrying about their own perceived flaws to notice yours anyway!
So, what do you like about yourself? What would your friends say are some of your best features?
Focus on how your body performs – it’s capable of doing so much. Nurture, value and appreciate it with quality food and exercise, and it will respond by getting stronger, healthier and even more capable.
4. Find a way of eating that you enjoy
Food is amazing. Use it as a way of showing your body love and respect. It can feel SO good to eat a healthy meal that tastes delicious, and leaves you satisfied and energised after (rather than on a sugar rollercoaster and feeling bloated and stuffed).
Appreciate healthy foods – find and try out some new recipes, explore and discover some of the amazingly delicious healthy meals that can be created.
Still allow yourself some of the less healthy foods you enjoy too, and when you have them, enjoy them! Never beat yourself up for eating a certain food. All foods are wonderful and fine to be enjoyed in moderation (yes even cake, chips, pizza or whatever else you really enjoy!). The only problem is if you have too much of it, but even then berating yourself after wont help. Assess how you could do better next time, and then move on.
5. Do exercise that makes you feel good.
Exercise can make you feel fitter, stronger, more energised, and EMPOWERED. Endorphins from fun and rewarding training sessions can replace some of the good feelings you get from food. There’s no type of exercise you HAVE to do – just do the things you enjoy the most. All exercise is good exercise! If you haven’t tried weights training, I would massively encourage you to give this a go. As a woman, you wont get big and bulky. You’ll simply get stronger, more toned, and find it easier to lose weight.
6 Find other ways to replace the comfort you get from food.
Going for a walk or run, calling a friend, being in nature, meditating, having a nice hot drink, planning a holiday or day out, reading a book, repeating a mantra or affirmation to yourself, visualising your goal, all can help.
7. Adopt a winning attitude.
If you want to become unstoppable, it’s really a matter of eliminating all the things that are getting in the way of feeling how you want to feel.
How do you choose to see things?
Healthy eating can be boring, hard work, and mean you miss
out on your favourite foods.
OR it could be fun, giving you a load of new recipes to explore and a ton of nutrition for your body. It means you no longer feel rubbish after eating a load of sugar and fat, and instead feel clean, lean and full of energy.
Exercise can be uncomfortable, a slog, something you have to do to lose weight.
OR it could be fun, a challenge, a way to see and feel how amazing your body can be. Something that helps you become stronger physically and mentally, do things you never thought you could, and feel awesome and empowered.
You could see yourself as someone who tries and fails, who’s bottom of the pile and destined to be overweight and unhappy.
OR you can decide that NOW is the time, past experiences are lessons learned – not failures. You deserve love, respect and to treat yourself well, you are AWESOME, and you’re going to make the changes needed to get to where you want to be.
You can see it as a diet with an end, a form of punishment for over-eating.
OR you can see it as a lifestyle to be enjoyed and a constant journey of self-improvement.
The choice is always yours.