“Fitness is like marriage. You can’t cheat on it and expect it to work.” – Bonnie Pfiester, trainer and motivational fitness speaker.
- Your weight loss dream
Weight loss goals should always be coupled with adopting a healthy lifestyle. Staying fit and healthy is more than just staying slim. Weight loss should be about getting fit and healthy, having more energy, boosting your immune system and less incidence of illness. If you wonder at your always-slim-BFF polishing off a whole pack of chips, it would be just a matter of time before the effects catch up. Your body always remembers what you eat; it’s a fallacy that “you can eat whatever you want if you are slim”.
- You can eat anything you want, provided that you burn the calories.
First, it’s not easy to burn calories given the time and effort you’ll need. For example, a 1000-calorie burger will require running for 60 minutes at eight miles per hour for a 200-pound person to work it off. It’s much easier not to eat the burger.
Second, if you put junk in there and sweat out to burn it off, where is the question of nutrition? There will be no space for adequately nutritious food in your stomach if you fill it up with empty calories.
- Weight loss as a battle to be won
Enjoying your new healthy lifestyle would make it less of a fight. If you feel you are always battling with cravings and exercise schedule, it means you haven’t discovered enjoyable ways to be fit and healthy. Give in to cravings once a week and remember to get right back on track the next day. Find what kind of workout fits your schedule and lifestyle. Read these 7 ways to stay fit without trying too hard.
- Weight loss diet plans with mostly “Don’ts”
If all of a sudden, you stop your body from eating what you’ve been eating throughout your life, it’s sure to rebel. A better way is to list down healthier versions of your favorites and also prepare a list of “cheat meals” you can allow yourself once a week. Here are 5 simple ways to make a diet plan work.
- Too much emphasis on one type of nutrient
A protein-only diet (like protein shakes) or fruit-juice diets are becoming popular as a means to weight-loss, but they are not sustainable in the long run. Once you return back to normal diet, the body weight also returns, sometimes even more with more cravings because the body tries to compensate. Your body needs a good balance of vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats, and carbohydrates to be healthy. Too much emphasis on one nutrient will throw your diet off-balance, says Pooja Makhija (the dietician who helps many Bollywood stars stay in shape) in her book “eat.delete.”
- Liquid calories- the silent killer of weight-loss goals
Okay, so you avoid cola, soda, and other fizzy drinks so now you are eating and drinking healthy, right? Wrong. The supposedly healthy fruit juices, smoothies, and cocktails can spike up blood sugar levels; not to mention the packed or canned ones which are stripped of nutrients and left with only sugar. If you have no option but to take the easy route by drinking nutrients (due to lack of time or resources) go for freshly made vegetable juices without sugar, of course. Another excellent tool for weight loss is water- it increases metabolism, makes you feel fuller, helps avoid water retention and has zero calories- every single thing that’s essential for weight loss.
- OMG! It’s time to workout
Once you start dreading your exercise sessions, you miss the fun part of it and eventually stop trying. If you can’t dedicate time for a long workout, you can sneak in short exercise sessions in your daily schedule. Play outdoor games with family, find an exercise buddy, join weight loss groups on social media, watch motivational videos on weight loss and fitness or read health blogs 🙂 anything that steers you towards a healthy weight loss plan. Read Gym is not the only way to stay fit and healthy. for more ideas.
- Lack of planning and preparation
Once you decide to get fit and healthy, the first thing you need to do is prepare yourself physically and mentally:
- Set aside sufficient time for cooking healthy stuff, especially if your family’s not going to eat the same food as you.
- Add work out sessions to your daily schedule.
- Get some help to take care of the kids when you exercise.
- Plan your meal ahead of time, catch up on meal prep and lunch box ideas.
All these take time and effort but within a month or two it would become a habit which sticks to you for life. (see more tips on How to mentally prepare yourself for successful weight loss)
- Obsession with weight loss
When you start off, losing weight might seem like an almost impossible task. It may be a cliche, but always works: break down your weight loss goal into smaller ones. For example, if you want to lose 30 kilos, aim for 2 to 4 kilos a month. By doing this you are taking the pressure off yourself in more ways than one:
- allowing enough time for your mind and body to adjust to your new lifestyle.
- picking a range rather than a number which again reduces pressure.
- comparing yourself with your previous self and not with someone else, because each person’s body is different.
- not putting your health at risk by aiming for a quick-fix solution.
You can always increase your activity levels step by step to push yourself harder or tweak your diet with more and more healthier options, once you get comfortable with your current weight loss plan.
Resist the urge to weigh yourself every day, there are other ways to find out if your weight loss plans are working – try out the pair of jeans which you couldn’t fit into earlier or try walking up the stairs, running or cycling for longer than usual to see if you have more energy.