Weight Loss Lies We Tell Ourselves
Saturday, January 25, 2014
LifeTime WeightLoss in Anika Christ, Mindset, excuses, weight loss advice, weight loss lies

On the way to weight loss (or in the midst of it!), we often find ourselves tripped up by the mental games we tend to play. For some of us, it’s the insecure emotional messages that sabotage us. For others, it’s the mental tricks we engage in that hold us back from facing full reality about our situations (or our daily habits). Finally, there are those common misguided justifications that can sidetrack us for longer than we’d care to admit – and even keep us from getting out of the starting gate. The best remedy? We can come clean about the excuses we use and the lies we tell ourselves that hold us back from the success we deserve! Do any of these six sound familiar to you? Read on and consider what rationalizations have been part of your journey.

“I’ll start on Monday.”

Don’t be tempted to start your weight loss journey with this lie! The overused Monday start date stems from the idea that you have to begin and follow a plan perfectly right at the start of the week and allow for no mistakes. Many of us get caught in this type of all-or-nothing thinking, which often leads us to throw in the towel midweek and again plan to “re-start” at the beginning of the following week. News flash: you don’t have to be perfect, and you can choose to start practicing healthier behaviors at any time or day during the week. Instead of thinking, “I’ll start tomorrow,” challenge yourself to instead think “I can start today and quit tomorrow if I really want to.” Not only will the frustration you’re feeling today likely be gone by tomorrow, but you’ll push away that useless procrastination excuse and find inspiration from positively serving your health today.

“I have a slow metabolism.”

For some reason, I usually hear this one from my female clients. Most often, it stems from the idea that their “age” has created a metabolic barrier. Alternatively, they’re eating so few calories with no success that they assume they have no effective metabolism left and all is lost when it comes to weight loss potential. Know that there are barriers that impact how functional your metabolism is, including lack of sleep, stress, sex hormone imbalance, insulin resistance, thyroid imbalances and nutrient deficiencies. Addressing a dysfunctional metabolism can be an option at any age. It’s important for all of us to practice behaviors that can positively impact our metabolism, such as managing our stress, getting enough sleep, focusing our diets on whole, unprocessed foods as much as possible, and getting adequate exercise. If you still feel stuck or at the mercy of a less than optimum metabolism, your next step should be checking your blood to identify what those exact barriers are and working with a holistic health professional on an effective treatment protocol.

“I can eat more because I exercise.”

This might be one of the most overused excuses when it comes to weight loss! It reflects the assumption that if you're active at the gym, you're burning more calories and, in turn, must compensate for that with more food. I have clients tell me the only reason they work out is to feel like they can eat more food. Now if you're an athlete who trains hours upon hours each day, you absolutely should be compensating with increased nutrient intake to balance out what you're utilizing during your intensive training. But if you're the average individual who has a sedentary job (even if you work out every single day), compensating with extra food is going to sabotage your weight loss goal. Get rid of the idea that you need to exercise in order to eat more. Instead, think of all of the other benefits exercise brings when it comes to weight loss, including adding lean tissue to your body frame, supporting detoxification and better sleep, and boosting feel-good hormones that promote happiness.

“I eat healthy most of the time.”

I often hear this vague misrepresentation during my individual consultations. It usually revolves around the notion that we have to eat "perfectly” in order to have success. (Maybe, too, it's that people think they need to represent themselves well when consulting with a nutritional professional!) The claim, however, often gets in the way of facing reality and addressing the eating barriers that are most likely hampering our success. During a consultation, I’ll usually go through the day or two of eating to see what we can discover and what we can improve on with daily nutrition habits. Ask yourself “in the past couple days, have I had protein at every meal?” or “do I get in at least 5 servings of vegetables each day?” Knowing your daily practices helps you set up concrete goals for improving your health and eating habits. Birthdays, happy hours and vacations are going to come up and (perhaps) tempt you away from some of your healthier behaviors without a perfect eating environment. It’s important to know you don’t have to be perfect and that you can be completely honest. Everyone has an area of opportunity when it comes to improving their eating habits.

“I’m not doing enough.”

Most often with my clients, they’re doing too many things all at once. The central goal in leading a healthy life and following a weight loss plan is to continue to build on healthy behaviors and habits each and every week. When our goals are manageable, they’re easier to stick to and can become long-term habits. When you begin a plan with too many aggressive changes, you might see initial success, but you’ll also be less likely to keep the full set of new practices long-term. When making any change, it’s important to ask yourself, “Can I see myself embarking on this change for the long haul, or do I see this as more short-term?” Also, remind yourself that it took time to get to where you are today. It will take time to get to where you want to be when it comes to body composition and weight. Although focusing on one small behavior change at a time (e.g. going to bed at the same time every night this week) may seem small and make you think you aren’t doing enough, it holds an important spot in the big picture of your process for making effective, progressive and lasting change.

“I drink plenty of water.”

If you’ve never tracked or monitored your water intake, chances are you’re not getting enough! Most often, I encourage 64 ounces of water each day as a bare minimum for adults. Optimal intake is recommended at about half your weight in ounces each and every day. Water is powerful when it comes to how your body functions and feels on a daily basis. The bigger you are, the more water you need to drink to help support your energy, your nutrient needs and your body’s detoxification (especially when your goal is to break down and release fat from your body). Since your body is at least 70% water, don’t starve it! Instead of assuming “you’re good,” log your water for a week to see what your typical intake is and slowly increase as needed.

Thanks for reading today, everyone! What lies have you told yourself (or been tempted to tell) during your weight loss/transformation journey? What tactics did it take on your part (or on that of a supportive figure/group) to “get real”? Share your thoughts and stories!

Written by Anika Christ, Senior Program Manager of Life Time Weight Loss

This article is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations in this and other articles is at the choice and risk of the reader.



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