If you're familiar with our Weight Loss Plan (and maybe even if you aren't), you may think that a successful weight-loss journey is one that's struggle-free. It starts the day you snap out of your old habits and start eating and exercising the right way, and NEVER ends. Yes, you read that correctly, it NEVER ends. It is a lifestyle that you are going to choose and you deserve! It is a constant struggle and takes constant effort- it will absolutely get easier.
The choices you make will become easier, your exercise routine will become enjoyable, you will start to change the way you look at your challenges- you will start rejoicing in the triumphs. We want you to focus on the good rather than continuing the poor self-talk and concentrating on the bad.
That said, expecting ups and downs is the perfect way to make them work for you, rather than against you. We asked several of our most successful patients who have gone through our Lifestyle Transformations weight loss program what they think are the most common challenges. Here's what they said--
Challenge #1: Shame
One patient said: "My biggest mistake? Skipping my accountability check with Kim if I think I had gained some weight. That's when I need help the most!"
My Advice: We have an understanding that this is a lifestyle change- with this said we expect a fault, a cheat, a fall off track, an emotional indulgence- Knowing you strayed off track can be upsetting but instead of punishing yourself, learn from the lesson. Try to understand why you lost sight of your goals. Did you consciously eat off plan? Were you having a bad day so you gave yourself a pass? Was it a social outing that you didn’t want to miss? Do you have someone in your life that isn’t very supportive? You may feel tempted to stop keeping your food journal but the most important person you need to be honest with is YOURSELF. Don't stop the journaling- instead kick it up and add a section where you write down your emotions.
Challenge #2: Unrealistic deadlines
One patient said: "Every time I say I want to lose weight by a certain date or event, I wind up not losing anything and sometimes gaining. That has been my biggest downfall."
My Advice: You need to set SMART goals. This means Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. You need to set realistic goals- to lose weight healthfully takes time and a lot of effort. Usually within our program the average weight loss can be anywhere between 4-10lbs in the initial 4 weeks. You should also be making a lifestyle change and not just trying to lose weight for a specific occasion. Stress also is a factor in not losing weight.
Challenge #3: Temptation
One patient said: "I used to say, 'I'll never eat X again' in order to lose weight. 'Never' is a long time, and restricting foods from my diet just made me want to eat that restricted food even more!
My Advice: If you have favorite foods that are very high in calories, and you really love them, deciding you'll never eat them again is a recipe for disaster. You need to define the word moderation. This definition can be different for different foods. For example in my opinion eating a slice of cake when you are trying to lose weight moderation should mean once every 3-6 months-again it’s how compliant you want to be and what you are willing to do. If it’s a cup of coffee you don’t want to give up we can make that cup of coffee better- adding stevia instead of sugar and adding almond milk instead of cows milk- your moderation could be defined to once per day or week depending on your goals.
Challenge #4: The "diet" mentality
One patient said: "When I think of weight loss as 'this is how I'm living my life now,' instead of calling it a 'diet,' it is less overwhelming. Just 'something I do.' Otherwise, I get hung up on 'I can't wait until I can eat ‘X’ again.'"
My Advice: A lifestyle is a much better idea. Understanding why you are making the choices you are supposed to make. Understanding the difference between a weight loss eating plan and a maintenance eating plan is important. Giving yourself the ability to live and enjoy the social connection between human behavior and food while focusing on not over indulging is vital.
Challenge #5: Plateaus
One patient said: "When I read the stories of people who have been really successful at this, they have hung on despite plateaus and gains. Being impatient is probably my biggest mistake."
My Advice: Having the understanding that you will most likely reach a plateau at some point in your journey is key. We have many different techniques to get you over those plateaus. Increasing exercise or changing exercise, changing the foods you’re eating more regularly, doing a detox- these are all ways we can help you through those plateaus.
What about about you? Are you facing weight loss challneges and looking for help? Enter your questions or comments in the box below, I'd love to hear from you.