Weight loss , like many things in life is a battle won in the mind. Developing the correct nutritional plan, resistance training and supplementation protocol is only half the battle when it comes to weight loss. continue reading to find out what we think the 5 Crucial Elements For Weight Loss Success are.
Understanding: when you’re starting a process of change it is important to spend some time understanding what you’re doing at the moment and why. What are your habitual eating and activity patterns and how did those come about? Think about your healthy as well as unhealthy habits, for instance, what’s happening on the occasions when you feel naturally inclined to choose a healthier option. Most people can recognise the tendency to reach for sweet things on a stressful day. How are you feeling and what thoughts come up before making a healthy choice?
Recognising what your patterns are is a good first step in reinforcing habits or making adjustments as needed. Understanding is also about being kind to yourself and recognising that there are likely to be days when the best intentions get thrown off track. Take a deep breath, and another one, then move on. One “bad” choice won’t completely derail your progress, but feeling guilty about it afterwards might do.
Preparation: This is important because it makes it easier to cope when circumstances are beyond your control. For instance, making lunch for work ahead of time and carrying a piece of fruit or some nuts around with you means you aren’t stuck trying to make do from a limited range of fast food options. Also, see if you can find ways to create the sorts of circumstances when you’re more likely to make healthy choices. For example, if you think it might be stressful day ahead planning to take some time out, like a 10 min walk in the fresh air, could help you switch off and feel more relaxed. That might help make it easier to stay on track. Also, keeping plenty of healthy snack choices available means that if you do need an extra energy fix you can have something that you feel good about.
Consistency: This is really important because change takes time. It is the repeated efforts we make that add up to biggest cumulative effect. This doesn’t necessarily mean eating the same meal day in day out, or following the same workout routine week in week out. It’s about setting a new baseline somewhere just outside your comfort zone and maintain that for long enough that the change can happen. Instead of having a large caramel latte every weekday make it a maximum of three a week. Stick with that new routine until it feels normal and not a challenge, then adjust. Find an adjustment that feels like a stretch, but one that you can keep going with for long enough for that to become the new norm. Then find a new stretch.
Patience: None of us learned to walk overnight. Weight gain doesn’t appear overnight. Weight loss won’t happen overnight. It may take a number of attempts to find the combination of food and exercise that works best for your body as it is at the moment. This can be really frustrating when we want to see results *now*. However, everything you try that doesn’t work is part of the learning process that brings you closer to finding something that does work. Allow your body time to adapt. It does a LOT on a day to day basis, just keeping you awake and breathing uses up quite a lot of energy, then we go and add in work, gym and social life. But it will respond to being looked after, kept moving and fed well, given time.
Relax! There are so many instances in life where the things we strive the hardest for are the most elusive. Particularly so for weight loss. The effect of worrying about it is that stress hormones are released, giving the body one more thing to process and makes it more likely to hang on to all that ‘stored energy’ in case it’s needed. Focus on enjoying the process, find the fun in figuring out new recipes, see what your body is capable of in a workout, and hopefully you’ll find something that you can keep going with over the long term.
Sometimes that little bit extra support is the difference between achieving your goals and not. At Oxfordshire Personal Training we try to teach the above elements to help you achieve weight loss whilst applying the knowledge and science of Personal Training.
Please let us know any questions or comments you have here and our expert personal trainers will answer them for you.