Lifestyle Changes And Overcoming The Challenges Of Weight Loss.
What is the connection between lifestyle changes and weight loss?
So, whats does a healthy lifestyle and weight loss have in common? Well the elements needed for a healthy and sustainable weight loss could be deceivingly simple. In one of my articles – The Simple Truth About Weight Loss, I emphasized the importance of regular exercise and ‘’proper diet’’ for a sustainable weight loss. Understanding lifestyle changes and the psychological challenges of sustainable weight loss is a very important ‘ingredient’ for a successful weight loss.
While it is correct to seek to achieve weight loss through a proper diet plan and exercise programming, it is equally important to understand and prepare for the healthy lifestyle needed and the psychological challenges that comes with it. The first 6 weeks of lifestyle changes aimed at achieving weight loss is usually the most critical as one is faced with various challenges; new exercise technique to master; a new way to think about food; a new way to approach eating and drinking etc. Lifestyle changes could be a tricky and daunting task. To remain in control of your lifestyle changes you need to understand the various roles willpower and discipline play in this process.
Willpower simply put is the ability by which a person decides on and initiates action. E.g. deciding to do something about your weight by registering in a gym or seeing a dietitian. Discipline on the other hand involves training oneself to perform a task in a controlled and habitual manner. In other words discipline will make you take that 30 minutes to exercise or to follow your dietitians instructions even when the ‘’excuse’’ of not having time emerges.
Healthy lifestyle changes for weight loss.
It is true that most people struggle to develop the habitual behavior needed to lose weight but If one slips up during this period it may not be due to lack of willpower. It may be due to the resistance to change as we transition from ‘’willpower’’ to discipline. Be aware of and recognize this ‘’trap’’ and just keep keeping on, and soon you will develop a new habit and things will get better. Being disciplined is not a walk in the park, however understanding a few things could make the journey easier.
Firstly, you need to come to terms with the fact that you want to or need to change. This may stem from a realization of your self-defeating behaviors like overeating, inactivity, unhealthy food choices etc. which could lead to more serious health and psychological issues, like diabetes, high blood pressure or cholesterol, low self-esteem, low body image etc.
Secondly, understand and accept that it is a continuous journey and not a one stop quick fix. It is a lifestyle change and this has its challenges as mentioned above. Bearing this in mind, you may need the services of a reputable and knowledgeable personal coach who understands your needs and suits your personality. Or if money is an issue find a friend or family member to help support your course – You don’t have to this alone.
Thirdly, know that you will only fail if you don’t have the discipline to be consistent. As mentioned above, the first six weeks are the hardest to manage, as your old habits are still present and strong.
Finally, your barometer of success in terms of your weight loss journey can’t depend on the reactions and responses of others. That is not to say that it is wrong to be recognized or acknowledged for your efforts. Just don’t make it your only source of motivation or inspiration. Take it one day at a time, you can do this. YES YOU CAN!