July 11, 2012

Top Ten Reasons Why "You" Can't Lose Weight

It's pictures like these that
make me not want to change
my eating habits...so boring!
I love that title. It really pulls you in..doesn't it? I use "you" in the general sense and am not talking directly to you...or maybe I am. At any rate, when I saw this headline in the news this morning, of course, I had to look (just like one has to look at the two headed snake at the circus). Unfortunately, when I clicked on the headline, the server or some stupid thing crashed. So instead, I decided to make up my own list based upon my experiences over the years with my own weight loss and working with others (not to mention my years of education and research....got that going for me).

10  A focus on weight loss will not lead to long term weight loss.
It's a fact. When we focus on pounds lost over the weeks or even days, we do get frustrated when they don't fall off as fast as we would like (or were promised). So what do we do? We yell at our jiggly bits in the mirror and stomp off to find a bag of Doritos. We quit the gym because it isn't doing anything. We do not practice patience...and patience is what we need to succeed. Focusing on what will make your healthier (i.e. eating well and exercising for health) will help to curb those pesky feelings of urgency and also motivate you to continue (even when those irritating jiggly bits overstay their welcome).

9  "Your" values are not in line with your goals.
Let's be honest, I value a plate of nachos drowning in cheese (coupled with a nice glass of red wine) way more than I do losing weight...at least for the moment. I know this, I work with this, and I am having a hard time losing that last five because of this. I have also accepted this and am not ready to change it quite yet. If you can couple your values and goals together, you will be more likely to succeed. Meanwhile, you can find me at the local pub on Friday afternoons with my chips and booze.

8  "You" are changing your diet and not your lifestyle.
The way we live has everything to do with our weight. It influences how we eat and what we eat. If you just focus on eating differently but still rush around with no time to cook...chances are good you will end up sliding back to old behaviours.

7  "You" believe all the food hype.
For many people, if Dr. Oz says drinking heated berry juice is going to help them shrink...they are going to do it. Don't fall into the trap of mindless followership. Be your own nutritionist; find your own answers. It is very easy to figure out what is fact and what is fiction just by going onto the Internet (while wearing your critical thinking hat). Eat whole food, eat predominantly vegetables, avoid sugar, and processed stuff....simple in theory; harder in practice. Note: Scholar Google is your best bet for "credible" research.

6  "You" drink your calories.
Fruit juice and pop are the same thing. Gatorade, Powerade..you name it...they all contain calories and no sustenance (did you know by adding a pinch of salt into diluted fruit juice, you have your own hydration drink...just sayin').  Switching to water, alone, may just be what you need to see that weight decrease. Hate plain water? Just add a lemon wedge, cucumber wedge, or even frozen berries to add flavor.

5  "You" don't have time to cook.
Put simply, if you don't have time to prepare your food, you will not succeed at losing weight and keeping it off. You must tweak your schedule to allow for even 20 minutes to prepare a breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It's well worth the habit change. Nuff said?

No time to cook? Try bacon in a bottle!
4  "You" don't get enough sleep.
Research is now suggesting a link between sleep deprivation (sleeping less than 6 hours a night) and weight gain over time. Lack of sleep influences the munchies the next day....and make no mistake, you won't be searching out a carrot.

3  "You" are chronically stressed out.
Stress is evil and will make you do things, say things, and feel things you wouldn't normally do, say, or feel. It influences our eating habits, it influences our sleep, it influences how our bodies absorb nutrients and heal after a good workout. Stress is related to weight gain and obesity so manage it and your weight will follow!

2  "You" are unaware of the reality of your eating habits.
Almost every time I ask a client to record what they have consumed in a week, I hear the very same thing over and over again. "I cannot believe I eat that much (insert, innocent-in-moderation-but-deadly-in-large amounts, food item here)." Most often, one of the best things you can do is become aware of your eating habits, make a small change, and see the pounds slowly pack up their fat cells and move on (hopefully to someone else and not back to your bum).

1  "You" continue to rely on exercise.
Many of my own friends and colleagues (having worked in the fitness industry) have used exercise as a weight loss tool and are now finding it "strange" that they can't lose like they used to (as they did in their 20s and 30s).  Research shows that due to the change in our bodies into our 40s and 50s, exercise should be used as a health promotion tool and not for weight loss. Go for a walk, ride a bike, lift some weights, but do it for the health of it.

So there ya go. Kathi Cameron's top ten reasons for weight loss frustration! Of course, I didn't add hormones and PMS but when you feel like a tick about to pop or you can't see your ankle bones anymore, you have my permission to go out and buy that bag of chippy goodness...you deserve it (kidding of course).


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