Losing weight can be a frustrating, anxiety-inducing process, but it doesn't have to be if you have the right attitude. Find out about some common weight loss mistakes you may be making and stop sabotaging yourself
Giving Up Too Soon. Falling off the exercise and diet wagon happens to everyone. It's tempting to give up on exercise after weeks (or months) of failing to stick with a program or skip workouts completely if you run out of time. It's also tempting to ditch healthy eating after a massive Oreo-fest, but renewing your commitment after a boo-boo is the most important thing you can do to succeed.
Solution. No matter how long it's been since you've exercised, do something active right away, like a quick walk, to help you take control. If you don't have time for your regular workout, use whatever time you have to be active. Ask yourself which is better: exercising for 10 minutes or not doing anything at all. If you ate too much, admit your mistake and move on. One mistake (or two...or three...) doesn't equal failure!
- Expecting Immediate Weight Loss. After weeks of exercise and healthy eating, frustration often sets in when the scale doesn't move. Remember, you didn't gain weight overnight and you won't lose it overnight either. Spending too much time scale-watching might lead to a maddening desire to quit exercise forever.
Solution. Focus on the immediate benefits of exercise. Pay attention to how you feel while you're working out. You should feel energetic and alert. You may notice you sleep better, your body feels stronger and you're less stressed. The benefits of exercise go way beyond weight loss and appearance!
- Doing The Same Thing and Expecting Different Results. It's important to do exercises that you enjoy, but if you've been doing the same ones for months (or even years), you've probably reached a weight loss plateau and, even worse, complete boredom with your workouts.
Solution. Change what you're doing. It can be as simple as choosing a different walking route or changing the amount of weight you're using. Try something new and do it every six weeks. Your body needs regular challenges and so does your mind, so don't allow yourself to get into a rut.
- Having The Wrong Attitude. People often view exercise as punishment, something that cancels out the naughty things you ate yesterday. Obviously, no one wants to spend time punishing themselves so changing your attitude about exercise can go a long way towards motivating yourself to do it regularly.
Solution.Exercise should be a reward, not a punishment. Being active is the reward your body deserves for working so hard each day. Our bodies love activity (even if our minds resist it!) so think of exercise as your gift to yourself--something that will make you feel good now and will add to your quality of life for years to come.
- Having Unrealistic Expectations. Six-pack abs, thin thighs and a sculpted body. Don't tell me you don't dream about this! We all want perfect bodies, but, for many of us, it's just not going to happen, whether it's due to genetics, body type or some other factor we can't control.
Solution. Set realistic goals. Not everyone can achieve six-pack abs, you know. And, honestly, visible abs have no function other than to look great in bathing suits (and, how often do you wear a bathing suit? I wear one 2 weeks out of the year, if I'm lucky!). Set a goal that means something--getting stronger so you can play with your kids, or strengthening your back so you have good posture. Give up on the idea of trying to look like someone else. You're you. Don't you want to be the best YOU possible??