If you chose shedding pounds as one of your New Year’s resolutions, you have lots of company. In fact, you’re part of the majority.
But the facts are bleak. Most who set out toward this goal will not be successful. Statistics show that if you’re dieting, chances are that not only will you eventually regain the weight you lose, but you will also be primed to end up even heavier than when you started.
We in the health field see this pattern over and over again. What’s up with that?
Weight loss IS generally a good idea. A lighter body can make you feel and look healthier and more energized, not to mention more pain free. Rather, what sets people up for failure are their strategies. A sustainable plan involves more than a simplistic intention to “drink more water and eat more vegetables.”
Further, a successful pounds-dropper must realize that what’s between her ears is paramount. A person’s choices and thinking have the potential to see her through to victory…or derail her, again.
If only you understand the reasons so many weight-loss attempts fail, you can protect yourself from the same devastating fate. Let’s assess your plan for weight-loss success—and even better, correct course right now, while the new year—and your resolve—are still young.
- Did you set a goal that combines SMART steps with AWE?
Remember my steps for creating an action plan that ensures success, with the key words “SMART” plus “AWE”? (Click here for a refresher.)
In short, if your goal wasn’t small or realistic enough and/or didn’t include how, when, where, and why you’ll succeed, then you’re winging it, which never works. Take a few minutes now to be proactive and add that “secret sauce.”
- Did you choose a program that is healthy, reliable, and has a good probability for your personal success?
No, not the plan for your friend, but for YOU. That means it has features that are adaptable for your personal lifestyle and also customizable. A quickie, one-size book or handout won’t give you what you need for the long term.
- Are you feeling too hungry, especially in your enthusiasm to jump in and get started?
I know you’re hungry for success—and I applaud that drive! But what I’m asking here is about actual, physical hunger for food. If your body tells you it’s time to refuel, you should listen.
Diet plans that restrict calories tend to fail. Sorry, it’s just biology. You can’t sustain deprivation for long—and if you try to, your body will think you’re starving. A survival mechanism kicks in, slowing your metabolism so you can hang on to every calorie for dear life. The result: You keep the weight, and even add more.
In his new book, Always Hungry, endocrinologist and obesity expert Dr. David Ludwig says that the key to weight management is not how much you eat, but what you eat. He stresses that what causes out-of-control craving is foods with a high glycemic load, which sets off hormone imbalances that change the way the body processes fuel, ultimately setting the weight gain spiral in motion. Those culprit foods then—think refined grains and sugars—are the ones to avoid, not food in general.
In short, eat, even while you’re working off pounds. Just be sure that the foods you choose are the nutritious, energizing foods your body needs, not items that will only make you hungrier.
- Are you repeating this process over and over again on autopilot?
That old plan won’t work now—you know so because it didn’t work before. What you need to keep this from being just another fleeting diet attempt is commitment to a new way of living and eating for the long haul this time. Dig deep and name your biggest “why” this is important to you—or you’ll be shedding the plan, not the pounds or the frustration.
- Has your past pattern been to comfort yourself with food when the going gets tough?
It looks something like this: Start strong, then reach a plateau, become discouraged, turn to your best friend—you guessed it, food—for comfort, and regain the weight just lost.
Please understand this truth: The process of weight loss ebbs and flows. You may drop a few pounds one week and nothing the next. This is completely normal.
Prepare now for those highs and lows. What will you do next time you encounter speed bumps or discouragement that might come up?
- Are you defining yourself by the number on the scale?
…or maybe by the judgment of others? Either way, that’s a surefire recipe for guilt and shame, and ultimately, failure. Those external measures of confidence and vitality won’t keep you motivated.
So how about changing your measuring stick? Instead of judging your value by your weight, learn to identify and nurture your many other attributes and qualities, gifts, and talents. These are what you should call on when you ask yourself how you’re doing in your quest. It’s a matter of mindset. Changing that internal soundtrack takes time and practice, but it’s essential to finding success in this—or any!—goal.
- Do you have good, reliable help?
How many times have you done this alone before, and how many times have you started and stopped again? (Probably more than you care to remember.) Perhaps what it comes down to is a lack of support. Find an expert who can help you handle this process—both the internal and the external. You need someone to offer support and accountability, to walk alongside you as you take those steps toward success.
Weight loss may be regarded as one destination along a whole lifestyle journey—but it’s an important stop. As pounds drop, energy, drive, inner confidence, and radiance grow. You begin to feel, with certainty, that you are not simply on the right track, but unstoppable. Want to discuss how to make 2016 different? Just click here to get started: Contact Form. A member of my team will quickly be in touch to get you on the road to the most vibrant, elegant, empowered—simply BEST—version of you.