Does losing weight seem to you like an unpleasant trip into your masochistic self? Time to face some advice you don’t hear often but helps tremendously.
1. Stop The Exercise You Don’t Enjoy
Yes, running five miles burns more than 400 kcal. But what if it makes you feel miserable? The key to sustainable weight loss is doing fitness you enjoy. Because that’s the one you’ll keep doing.
Burning 2,000 kcal / month from going for walks is better than the potential 8,000 from running you’ll never reach – because you are fed up after three weeks.
2. If You Hate Exercise, Admit It To Yourself
Over the years I encountered many people who try combining dieting with exercise and for some it’s too much. They hate fitness, give up on it and figure they might as well forget about losing weight.
It is true that having a normal weight and being active is the best combo of all, but if you really can’t get yourself to exercise, settle for the second best: concentrate on keeping your weight in the healthy range. Sedentary people of normal weight are still healthier than overweight active people.
3. Stop Eating Food You Hate
Yes, the apples, carrots and salads the bla diet told you to eat have fewer calories than nachos, pizzas, cookies and all their evil-minded brethren. But what if you hate carrots?
Forcing yourself to eat food you don’t enjoy doesn’t work, because keeping it up becomes harder and harder. Pick lower calorie foods you at least find bearable. If nothing else works, you can even lose weight with fast food.
4. Stop The Total Deprivation
This is to the land where diets live that tell you to sustain yourself on 1,000 kcal / day. They take tremendous willpower because they make you hungry all the time. Worse, they also limit the amount of nutrients your body needs to stay healthy.
Don’t expect yourself to lose in a month what took you years to build, plan a bit longer and eat the amount you should be eating for healthy weight loss.
5. Find Out About What Made You Overweight
Most people concentrate on the symptoms when they think weight loss: the extra pounds they want to get rid of.
But how did the pounds get there? Yes, by eating too much. But why did you eat too much? Was it stress or depression? Are you a comfort eater? Analyzing what makes you overeat and finding a better coping mechanism goes a long way.
6. Be A Bit More Forgiving To Yourself
The majority of dieters encounter a bad day during their diets, when all cravings are go. They pig out like there is no tomorrow. Afterwards you can divide them in two groups: those that think all was worthless and give up and those who take it as a minor setback and plod on.
The latter group is right. It’s impossible to eat in a day what you didn’t eat in a month. In fact, a single day of weakness might keep you on course. Better arrive at the finish line a little later than not at all.
7. Find Out Why You Want To Lose Weight
I very strongly believe that fitness and healthy weight are key to a long and enjoyable life. But what reigns even higher for me is a person’s happiness. It’s better to be a happy overweight person than an unhappy normal weight person.
Don’t try to lose weight to impress someone; find out why you want to lose weight and then do it if it’ll make your life better.
Picture courtesy of Lindsey Turner.