“Losing weight is easy,” said no one ever.
Building muscle is a piece of cake! Ooooh … Did someone say “cake”?
We’re more than one month into a new year, and those New Year’s resolutions to eat right, exercise more, and shed some pounds may have already been forgotten. In fact, 80 percent of Americans who make New Year’s resolutions fail to keep them after February 1, according to Business Insider.
So what are some of the top reasons weight-loss resolutions don’t stick?
1. Not seeing changes fast enough.
You didn’t gain weight overnight, and you won’t lose it overnight either. To see results, you need to be consistent over time. Remember, it takes six weeks for you to see results in yourself, eight weeks for your friends and family to see it, and 12 weeks for the rest of the world. Stick with it.
2. Setting your goals too high.
Don’t tell yourself, “I want to lose 25 pounds in three months.” Healthy weight loss is 1 to 2 pounds per week, for an average of 4 to 8 pounds a month. While 25 pounds in three months IS possible, you will drastically need to change your lifestyle in order to achieve it. Also, the more weight you have to lose, the faster it will come off. For example, someone who has 100 pounds to lose will find losing 25 pounds to be a lot easier to achieve than someone who only has 25 pounds to lose.
Instead, set short-term goals. “I want to lose five pounds this month.” Not only is this physically more achievable, but it does not seem nearly as overwhelming.
3. Not having a plan.
If “working out more and eating less” is your only plan, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Plan your workouts and meals in advance, and hold yourself accountable. Having a workout schedule and weekly menu will take the guesswork out of, “What am I going to do/eat today?” which could often lead to skipping your gym session (because you tell yourself, “I can just go tomorrow”) or straying to the vending machine (because you didn’t pack a healthy snack and find yourself ravenous at 3 p.m.)
4. Not having support.
Losing weight is hard! It’s even harder when the people around you aren’t supportive of your efforts. Let your friends and family know what your goals are. This should make them less likely to try to convince you to stray from your plans.
5. Choosing a workout/menu you don’t enjoy or that doesn’t fit your lifestyle.
If you hate running on the treadmill, then don’t run on the treadmill. Try a kickboxing class. If you love chicken, don’t commit to a vegetarian diet. Try healthy chicken recipes instead.
If you don’t choose activities and foods you can see yourself sticking with longterm, the process will get really old, really quickly. Also, what works for one person may not work for another. There is no one-size-fits-all diet and exercise program, and it’s important to remember that that is ok!
The secret (if there is one) to maintaining a healthy lifestyle is to find one that works for you. The one you can commit to. The one you will actually do.
What have you found to be a hindrance to losing weight or getting in shape, and how have you overcome it? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!
Next month, we’ll take a look at the one diet everyone seems to be talking about these days: Keto.
How much salt in your diet is too much? We dive deep into this subject in last week’s Wellness column. Read more here!