Have you tried to lose weight time and time again? You lose a little, only to regain it again after a while. If this sounds like you it may be that you are choosing to lose weight for the worst reason, and this is key to why you haven’t been successful.
So what is this reason that sets you up for failure from the start? It’s dissatisfaction.
Isn’t that a good motivator?
We’ve all heard stories about that person who became fed up with their life, and one day decided that this was the day they would change. They underwent a complete lifestyle transformation, became fit and healthy, and never looked back.
Unfortunately for the majority of us, we don’t reach that level where the benefits of change so drastically outweigh the temptation of convenience, comfort, or familiarity. We may feel motivated for a while, however soon we fall back into old habits… because it’s easy.
What exactly is dissatisfaction?
Examples of dissatisfaction are having a decent proportion of our thoughts dedicated to feeling unhappy with ourselves, with how we look, disappointment in ourselves for not having more willpower, feeling that we are unworthy because of our body shape or size, feeling self-conscious etc.
What do all of these have in common? They come from a place of negativity, include critical or scathing self-talk, and tie our worth as a person to our physical characteristics or what we see as a weakness in character.
How is this unhelpful?
It all comes down to how our brains are wired to respond to rewards or punishments. What studies have found is that in general most of us respond so much better to rewards than we do to punishment. We get the reward of enjoying a delicious meal, and this has more of an effect on us than the guilt we feel after eating it.
If all of our thoughts around our eating come from a negative place that makes us feel guilty, ashamed, or unhappy then these unkind thoughts can function as a form of self-punishment. And this just can’t compete with those lovely happy chemicals we get from eating something tasty.
How can we use this knowledge to our advantage?
If you can educate yourself on good ingredient choices, and learn methods of healthy meal preparation, chances are you can come up with recipes that are both delicious and right for a weight loss plan. You get the double reward of really enjoying your meal or snack, as well as positive feelings because you made a healthy choice.
Celebrate each healthy change you make, and come from a positive perspective where you are encouraging yourself to make small, achievable, long-term changes. Understand that an all or nothing approach is incredibly unhelpful and that you are instead looking to tip the balance from mostly unhealthy behaviors to mostly healthy behaviors.
Include some planned guilt fee treat foods as part of a balanced meal plan. Find ways to incorporate movement into your day a little more. Understand that you are making changes that you will continue for life, that make you healthier, improve your energy levels, your fitness, and your mindset.
The take-home message
Celebrate every little positive step that you take, don’t dwell on a slip-up, and keep track of your progress in more ways than just the results when you step on the scales. And of course, if you have important reasons to need a real weight loss kickstart you can always consider our proven weight loss program.