Successful weight loss is no easy feat. Every weight loss journey has inevitable challenges and obstacles that can halt your progress right in its tracks! To make matters worse, some of the biggest obstacles to successful weight loss are completely out of our control. For starters, humans are biologically adapted to conserve and store fat. When we lose a drastic amount of weight, our bodies work very hard to prevent us from shedding those extra pounds by increasing our hunger signals and decreasing our metabolism. We are also faced with the enormous obstacle of overcoming daily temptations for unhealthy food in our environment. We are perpetually surrounded by an abundance of high calorie foods that were strategically manufactured to fulfill our innate desire for fat, sugar, and salt. Let's not forget about the everyday obstacles of a demanding job, ever growing financial, relationship, and family responsibilities, and a propensity for stress eating. Of course people have trouble sticking with their weight loss goals! Overcoming obstacles to successful weight loss requires making healthy lifestyle and behavior changes that support you in sticking with your nutrition and exercise program. You can take the first steps to weight loss success by 1) finding your motivation, 2) getting some accountability, and 3) setting up your support system.
1. Find Your Motivation
Tapping into your true motivation for weight loss is essential in ensuring your weight loss success. Telling yourself that you want to lose weight is just not powerful enough to sustain the motivation to consistently make healthy changes. Identifying what you truly hope to gain from losing weight will connect you with the aspects of weight loss that are most important to you. When you have a meaningful outcome that you can identify with, it is much easier to make those healthy choices. Your motivation can be absolutely anything in the world, as long as it is important to you. Your motivation can be about looks, feelings, professional accomplishments, respect from others, being a better parent, and the list goes on! Ask yourself these simple questions to uncover your true motivation for losing weight, and be as specific and detailed as possible in your answers.
- What makes weight loss really important to you?
- What good things will happen if you reach your weight loss goals?
- Why do you really want to lose weight?
2. Get Some Accountability
Relying solely on your internal desire and motivation to lose weight is usually not enough to keep your momentum going when you are faced with a never-ending set of obstacles to reaching your goal. This is precisely why accountability is arguably the most powerful tool to help you stay the course to successful weight loss. Having that gentle, yet firm social pressure to keep going can make all the difference in finally attaining your weight loss goals. Get creative and try enlisting accountability from different sources. Try these tips for increasing your accountability.
- Sign up for a weight loss challenge. If you have a competitive nature try signing up for a weight loss challenge. Many workplace wellness initiatives have weight loss challenges with amazing prizes for winning teams. When your success depends on the success of others and vise vera, you are more inclined to skip your midday candy and go for some fruit instead.
- Get social. If you are a social butterfly, take advantage of your social tendencies and workout with friends, track your food via electronic social apps like My Fitness Pal and YouFood, and let all your closest friends and family know about your weight loss goals. Let people in your social circle hold you accountable to your weight loss goals.
- Get accountability from an expert. The weight loss journey is almost always a very personal and emotionally-charged experience, especially when your previous attempts at weight loss have failed, you have more than 10 pounds to lose, and/or food is an integral part of your social, cultural, familial, and emotional life. Enlisting accountability from experts who can help you work through your private highs and lows, while giving you expert knowledge and non-judgmental support and feedback is the absolute best way to ensure your weight loss success. Contact me HERE if you want to know more about the benefits of working with a Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist and health coach.
3. Set Up Your Support System
However big or small, we all need some support to be our best self. Doing it alone is just not an effective option for making big changes to your life, especially when it comes to your health. Needing support does not make you weak, nor does it make you incompetent, it makes you normal! Humans are social creatures by nature and having support from others is an innate need to survive and flourish. Having a strong support system makes you feel grounded and less fearful of the unknown. You are better able to cope with uncomfortable emotions and experiences, which gives you the courage you need to take risks and try new things. The benefits of support are countless and priceless! Support can come in many forms, and everyone is different in the amount of support they need to ensure their success. You will only know how much support you need to succeed if you put yourself out there and ask for help!
- Get support from loved ones. Losing weight can be an uphill battle if the people closest to you are not on board with your new healthy changes. Family members and close friends can be your biggest supporters or sabatogers, so make sure you take the time to communicate with them your weight loss goals and ask for their support.
- Get support from an online or in-person support group. Millions of people around the world are trying to lose weight! Take advantage of this and connect with a group of people who are working toward the same goals you are. Chances are you will experience similar challenges and you can support one another in overcoming them.
- Get support from an expert. Losing weight is not as simple as following a diet, and enlisting support from a professional that you connect with and trust can help you reach your goals more effectively and efficiently. Weight loss experts that are trained in lifestyle and behavior change methods can give you all of the tools and support your need to reach your goals. They help you find your motivation, provide accountability, empower you, and inspire you to consistently do things that make you feel amazing! Contact me HERE if you want to know more about the benefits of working with a Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist and health coach.
If your weight loss diet is just not working, try something new! These simple strategies will help to ensure your weight loss success, so you can finally reach your goals.
What are some of your strategies for sticking with your weight loss routine? Share your success stories in the comment sections!
Author: Tamar Samuels MS, RDN, CDN
Tamar Samuels is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and the founder of All Great Nutrition, an unconventional nutrition and health coaching service for anyone who wants to transform their lives to become their happiest and healthiest self. Tamar's nutrition and health coaching program helps you develop sustainable self-care behaviors that nourish your body and mind for a lifetime. Through her personalized and holistic approach, you will finally achieve your greatest wellness goals...on your terms! When she's not working with awesome people like you, she loves lounging in her Brooklyn, New York apartment with her lazy dog Shiloh.