5 reasons you’re not losing weight
‘I can’t do it’, ‘I won’t succeed’ or ‘I don’t have time’. Do you recognise those niggling thoughts? Then it’s time for a fresh approach! Start swapping negative thoughts for positive vibes because happy minds make healthier decisions! Here’s 5 common reasons why you might not be losing weight and how to navigate around them:
1. You’re a perfectionist
What’s your vision of a perfect healthy lifestyle? ‘Many of us believe that perfection is possible if only we try hard enough,’ says psychologist and personal development coach Honey Langcaster-James. ‘But, while working towards a goal is a positive thing, it’s not beneficial if the hurdles are unrealistic.’
So how do you make the change? Set yourself achievable goals! ‘If you follow the rules 80 per cent of the time, that’s a high standard but a realistic one,’ says Honey. ‘If you try to achieve the other 20 per cent, life is likely to get in the way.’ This means staying committed to healthy eating, but allowing yourself wiggle room!
2. You’re feeling low in confidence
‘Emotional eating tends to happen when you’re tired or feeling negative,’ says Honey. ‘Try to find another outlet in line with your goal. So, if you’re angry, try a boxercise class. If you’re stressed, do something therapeutic.’ Plus, use the ‘carrot’ approach. ‘Many people with low self-esteem are good at beating themselves up, but not so good at praising themselves. But giving yourself positive messages such as “I’m doing great!” is more helpful than negativity. So when you choose the stairs over the lift, give yourself a mental high-five.’
3. You’re scared of change
‘Old habits make us feel safe whereas changes to our routine can feel daunting,’ says Honey. So start repeating something positive! ‘When you get into a healthy new habit, it becomes easier to do so because, by repeating the behaviour, you’re building and reinforcing a neural pathway in the brain,’ she explains. But don’t change everything at once. ‘Get one new behaviour under your belt before you tackle the next one.’
4. You’re not asking for support
Leaning on others for support is proven to help you reach your goal. It might be time to buddy up, and some of the best future weight-loss buddies are in your meetings or online. ‘Talking to like-minded people can be incredibly motivating and inspiring,’ says Honey. And don’t play a guessing game. ‘If you want more support from your partner or friends be specific so they can help you as much as possible!
5. You’re feeling deprived
You know the drill: you tell yourself you can’t have something and it becomes all you can think of. ‘Feeling deprived can make you snap, then say yes to everything,’ says Honey. But losing weight doesn’t have to mean cutting out the food you love. ‘What’s key is gaining more satisfaction from appropriate portions of treats, so you don’t feel deprived,’ she says. ‘Have a small treat, but pay attention to the taste and texture of every single bite.’ And choose foods that satisfy. Protein can help you feel fuller for longer, while foods high in fibre, such as fruit, vegetables and whole grains, give a slow, steady release of energy.