Are you sabotaging your weight loss goals?
The journey to weight loss is full of struggles, and losing fat is even more difficult. Even if you’re doing everything right – exercising regularly, maintaining the proper diet, and taking the stairs instead of the elevator – you could still struggle with shedding fat.
One possible reason? Mental roadblocks could be stopping you from achieving your ideal weight.
11 Mental Roadblocks that Sabotage Your Weight Loss Goals
Below is a list of mental roadblocks that may apply to you. Some of them will affect your progress more than others, but keep in mind the ones more likely to affect your routine.
Seeing food as a reward: Most people develop the habit of looking at food as a bonus or prize they are entitled to after an achievement. When changing eating habits to lose weight, you should avoid rewarding yourself with food.
Viewing food as pleasure instead of an energy source: The human body needs food to survive. Food fuels the body. While the body can obtain energy through unhealthy food, do you want it to?
When we choose to use food as a form of pleasure, we may consistently choose foods that taste good. Usually, it is the unhealthy food we choose. Unhealthy food will fill you with energy, but you could miss out on vital macro and micronutrients that come from foods that are not considered as palatable (e.g., vegetables).
Living a sedentary lifestyle: One problem with the modern technology-driven lifestyle is that it leaves you sitting down for most of the day. Sitting for too long increases your chances of developing specific health problems.
When combined with an abundance of food, you have a health disaster waiting to happen. Because of the sedentary lifestyle most of us have become accustomed to, prioritizing physical activity is very important.
Indulging too much on the weekends: Typically, you may spend Monday through Friday training at the gym and watching what you eat, but then you indulge over the weekend. This likely negates all the hard work you put in during the week. We have to accept that healthy living is a lifestyle and not an activity reserved for only certain days of the week.
It is okay to enjoy some of your favorite foods, but be mindful. Moderation is key. Any habit or routine that can disrupt the progress you made should be monitored. Address those habits and work on ways to manage or eliminate them.
Blaming others while failing to take personal responsibility: It is easy to point the finger and blame the busy schedule or tight deadlines for your inability to create and sustain a healthy lifestyle.
Anything worth having will never be easy. If it were easy, everyone would do it. You must understand that only you can make this change. Maybe you know the saying, “When you point one finger, three fingers are pointing back to you.”
Your inability to stick to a plan: You cannot simply wake up one morning, decide to start your weight-loss journey, and then hope for the best. This mindset will leave you unprepared to deal with any setbacks you encounter (and trust me, setbacks will happen).
Develop a plan, set a goal, establish targets, and then work towards achieving the goal!
Expecting too much from yourself too soon: Losing weight, achieving that ideal body, or being able to lift those heavyweights, are lofty and ambitious goals.
People often make the mistake of thinking they can achieve them as soon as they start. This attitude sets them up for failure.
Many people give up on their New Year’s resolutions by March because they try to do too much too soon. They expect everything to happen within days or weeks.
You must understand that changing habits is never easy. It is a gradual process that requires immense patience, dedication, and focus. It also comes with setbacks. Your goal should not be perfection but progression.
Eliminating entire food groups: If you want to stop eating a lot of carbohydrates, you may give up on consuming them entirely. This isn’t an ideal response. It might help with weight loss, but it could lead to nutritional deficiencies and other health conditions. Some carbohydrates are good for you and have a positive place in your diet.
Rather than eliminating an entire food group, start monitoring the types of food you consume from within that group. For example, removing all carbohydrates could make you miss out on the fiber in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and nuts.
Your partner isn’t supportive: Anything done in twos always helps. Having a partner accompany you during your weight-loss journey will keep you motivated, but only if you both actively participate.
Even if the person you spend the most time with isn’t accompanying you, it can hurt your efforts if they continually suggest ordering take-out or going to restaurants. Having support is beneficial when trying to lose weight. However, this isn’t always possible.
We cannot control the decisions and actions of others, only ourselves. Our partner can unknowingly (or knowingly) derail us; however, it is up to us to decide what action to take.
The inability to develop goals: Some people don’t begin a workout with a goal in mind; they just start. This may seem okay to some people, but goal setting is a vital part of your weight-loss journey. It helps you determine where to go and how to get there.
Establish specific, measurable, realistic, time-bound, and often-reviewed goals. When it comes to weight loss goals and losing a specific number of pounds by a certain date, this can be tricky. Outside of surgery, we cannot dictate to our body how many pounds to lose.
There are many factors that come into play when attempting to burn fat and lose weight.
It is much easier to set diet and lifestyle goals that would eventually stimulate weight loss. For example, your goal may be to drink 8 cups of water per day.
Your plan for achieving it is to work your way up to 8 cups by drinking 4 cups each day for one week and then increasing to 6 each day the second week and so forth until you reach your goal in four weeks. This plan is a specific, measurable, realistic, and time-bound goal that can get reviewed weekly.
Failing to plan means planning to fail: This is another reason for unsuccessful weight-loss attempts. When beginning the weight-loss journey, it is ideal to plan in advance. Consider things like schedule, routine, and your ability to stick to the meal plans you choose.
Effective planning includes creating a chart of what you plan to consume and preparing it well in advance. Meal pre-planning allows you to choose your dishes wisely and makes sticking them out easier. In addition, pre-planned meal charts help reduce on-the-run meals.
Many people will provide you with advice regarding the next steps in losing weight quickly, and while you can follow them, you’ll likely end up back on the same path. This is because, more often than not, we don’t realize that some of our behaviors keep us from achieving our weight loss dreams.
We engage in some self-defeating behaviors without even realizing it, despite their hindrance in our weight-loss journey.
Recognizing self-sabotaging behaviors is only a fraction of the weight loss puzzle. By identifying behaviors and patterns that are self-defeating, we can correct them and speed up our weight loss efforts.
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