Lifesaver on Weight Loss Hurdles
We all have days like this when our
motivation is low and our need to
or be a couch potato takes over. But it's best to bust those excuses before they
become a well worn mantra of failure.
Cultivating true resilience is a lifelong process.
Lifesaver #1: Use the
Corny but proven: You get by with a little help from your friends. Nine out of
10 women in Werner's study said they relied on their friends for
support – but not just any friends. It's about quality," Werner says. "People
who survive adversities usually have one or two close friends from early in
life." Having a social life is one thing, but having someone to talk to is the
#2: Mine that Silver Lining
In order to remain resilient, you need to learn how to dig the positive
treasures out of the muddiest pit, but – pessimists, stay with us – true
optimism is not just thinking annoyingly happy thoughts all day long. Rather,
it's believing that you have the power to bring about good results, or at least
fix the bad ones, says Susan C. Vaughan, M.D., an assistant professor of
clinical psychiatry at Columbia University in New York City".
Lifesaver #3: Look for
The gym may have closed down or
membership fees may be astronomical, but
keeping fit and exercising needn't cost a penny or be painful or inconvenient.
Why not start a walking club with others who want to
lose weight? This is a
great way to socialize and keep each other motivated - not to mention an
enjoyable way of earning extra exercise points. The courageous among you
could start a beginners' jogging club. Set yourself realistic goals and see
yourself improve. Exercise isn't something that should be constricted to the
realms of dieting and weight loss, it should be, and indeed anyone who
undertakes any sort of regular
exercise will tell you, it is fun.
Lifesaver #4: Create
Something you do for a couple weeks to a month is not going to change your
life. Create habits that you know you'll be able to keep up every day for the
rest of your life, and, even if it's one
habit at a time, dedicate yourself to
making the changes for good. This way, your weight loss will be for good, too!
Celebrations like weddings, parties, leaving dos and birthdays don't have
to be a weight-loss nightmare. Again, pre-planning helps. Decide to budget for
the occasion by sticking to your weight-loss program and
exercising up to the
Lifesaver #5: Be
If your expectations for weight loss are too high, you're bound to get
disappointed, and your frustrations could lead you to stray from your
eating and exercise efforts. Set a realistic goal for your weight loss -- no
more than one or two pounds a week -- and keep in mind that you may occasionally
Lifesaver #6: Plan your
Meals in Time
Cook your foods on the weekends. Freeze lunches for work and always have a
protein bar or energy bar in your purse or duffel bag. This way when plans
change your diet doesn't have to. Always have almonds, water, and protein bars
with you at all times. Plan your meal for the day in advance (chop
vegetable, soak beans, stock fruits); in order to prevent jeopardizing your
diet. Once you have a goal and diet plan on paper, you are ready to
get behind the starting line of that race track. If you do stray drastically
from your healthy eating, don't throw in the towel in despair. Forgive yourself
and get back on the straight and narrow the very next day.
Lifesaver #7: Learn to
Cope with Stress
A recent Harvard study found that the most common triggers for stress-related
weight gain are work and bills. In men, hot buttons include feeling a lack of
authority, and in women, family pressures and perceived life constraints.
wired to eat when we're under stress. Evolutionarily, that was a good thing. If
you needed to escape a dangerous situation, high calories would give you the
energy to do it; but in today's modern society, the stress-food response no
longer works in your favor. "Every time you reach for food when you're stressed,
you deepen the wiring," says Mary Dallman, PhD, a neuroscientist and professor
Emerita at the University of California, San Francisco. To compound the problem,
the release of stress hormones causes a surge of insulin, which turns extra
calories into belly fat.
Lifesaver #8: Avoid Deprivation
Depriving yourself of your favorite foods is a powerful trigger for
overeating. Humans naturally want what they can't have. In order to avoid
certain foods you tend to focus on them more, increasing the risk of bingeing.
Plus, a diet of low-calorie foods simply isn't satisfying, so it's easy to eat
too much. A study in the Journal of Consumer Research, found that when
people go to "healthy" fast-food restaurants such as Subway they choose sides
(such as chips), beverages, and desserts containing up to 131 percent more
calories than they would have consumed if they'd gone to a restaurant they
perceived as less healthy. Focus on fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains,
and eat healthy but calorie-dense choices such as nuts in moderation. Any food,
including chocolate or butter, can have a place in a
To reintroduce foods you've come to think you shouldn't eat, experiment with
them mindfully. Pay attention to every single bite.
Quick weight loss is inspiring, but it is important to think ahead too: you
need to retrain your palate and eating habits and reassess your
physical activity so
that you can lose weight and stay slim. You cannot expect to achieve miracles in
a few days, but you will see a difference within three or four weeks if you eat
properly and exercise regularly. Losing weight successfully is like getting
fitter: you need a horizon - or goal - ahead of you to help spur you on.
Dated 31 July 2013