Do you know exactly what you need to do in order to lose weight (eat right and exercise), yet you have a hard time sticking to it long enough to enjoy any long-term results? Are you positive that you could lose weight once and for all if you could just figure out why you sabotage yourself when you’re finally starting to reach your health and fitness goals?
Losing weight certainly isn’t easy. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication. But, it also takes something more. And, it’s this “something more” that most people fail to acknowledge which is what keeps the weight right where it is – on their body instead of melting off like they wish it would.
Being Overweight Isn’t About Food
For most people, being overweight isn’t a food issue at all. It’s an emotional issue. It’s using food to cope with life’s ups and downs. It’s eating to celebrate a success, console a loss or ease a frustration. Food doesn’t judge, hold grudges or talk back. It simply makes life better.
That’s why it’s so difficult for many people to lose weight. Letting go of certain foods can be a very difficult thing to do. It’s a loss that is painful and hurts. And what may an emotional person sometimes do when they hurt? They eat. Thus, the cycle begins.
If you are the person who uses food to try to solve issues that involve everything but true physical hunger, the only way you’re going to lose weight for good is to learn how to deal with life. You have to be able to celebrate, grieve and fear without food. You have to find a friend in yourself, not in the food that is on your plate.
So, How Do You Make Weight Loss Happen?
First, you have to identify the emotions that repeatedly send you to the kitchen. For example, do you eat out of boredom, fear or anxiety? Are you a person who craves food when you’re tired, lonely or depressed? It’s different for everyone, so you need to pay attention to what specific emotions drive you to want to eat when you’re not physically hungry.
Once you figure that out, you have to find a way to deal with the emotion that doesn’t involve food. For instance, if you’re tired, take a nap if possible. If you’re lonely, call a friend. If you’re anxious, do something to deal with the anxiety like going for a walk or writing in a journal.
Food will never solve anything other than physical hunger. It just can’t. So, if you’re using it to ease your pain, give you comfort or distract you from what’s really going on in your life, you’ll never be able to lose the extra weight until you decide to tackle your emotions and feelings head on.
Do you know what the great thing is? Once you do this the weight will just begin to melt right off. When you start to use food only for its intended purpose, which is to provide your body fuel and energy, you’ll no longer crave those extra calories. You won’t need them because you’ll be dealing with life the right way; a way that actually deals with it instead of hides behind it or buries it.
But You Still Have To Know a Little About Diet and Exercise
Even if your weight began as an issue that was emotional, you still have to have a basic knowledge of what to eat and how to exercise to get it off. Do you think you know how to do this?
To effectively lose weight, you have to consume fewer calories than you use. Some people like to reduce their food intake to achieve this goal while others increase the amount that they exercise. The best choice? A little bit of both!
Your Diet Plan:
Try to aim for a diet that is rich in the following:
- Lean protein: fish, chicken, turkey, lean beef and pork.
- Complex carbohydrates: brown rice, wheat bread, quinoa and oatmeal.
- Fruits and veggies: all kinds, the greater variety of colors you eat the better.
- Low-fat dairy: Greek yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese and milk (choose low-fat or no-fat options).
Eat every three or four hours during the day so that you don’t let your body get too hungry and start a vicious craving cycle. As a benefit, when you feed your body regularly, you’ll enjoy more energy and fewer mood swings.
Your Exercise Plan:
In addition to watching what you eat, you’ll also want to increase your activity level. If you already have a regular exercise routine, then that’s great! If not, now is the time to come up with a way to get yourself moving more.
The best way to incorporate exercise into your life is to pick something you enjoy doing. Otherwise, you’re less likely to stick with it. Not sure what sounds good to you?
Think back to when you were a kid. What activities did you enjoy? If you liked to play tag, then maybe you should consider a team sport. If jumping rope was your thing, no one says you’re too old to do that now!
Whatever you do, commit to doing it consistently. The more active you are, the better it is for your heart, weight and all your body’s basic systems. Not to mention that exercise is also good for your mood and helps to reduce stress.
Always remember to do some form of strength training, also known as weight lifting, too. Muscular strength and overall fitness tend to decrease as you get older unless you keep your muscles active and continue to work them on a regular basis.
Try to lift weights, whether you’re using free-weight exercises with barbells and dumbbells, using machines or even using your own body weight as resistance. Focus on working out 2-4 days per week. This will give your body a great overall workout, while keeping your fitness at a level that will support a long and healthy life.
So, what’s it going to be? Are you finally ready to lose weight once and for all? Sure it’s scary, but it’s so worth it and so are you!