On paper, losing weight seems like the easiest thing in the world. Eat fewer calories than you burn off, and the losses will come. So why, in reality, is it so difficult? Well, there are lots of reasons, and it’s more complex than you might think.
Our relationship with food can be less than optimal. Many people overeat for feelings of comfort, or because they experienced insecurity around food when they were younger.
Their subconscious brain is telling them to eat more and ‘get it while they can’, knowing that there were periods of deprivation in the past. Even if logically you know that food insecurity is no longer an issue for you, these subconscious drives and desires are deeply rooted and will always make themselves heard.
Others have been sucked into a ‘diet culture’ mentality, forcing themselves to restrict- which leads to inevitable binges and weight gains once the willpower wears off. Lots of people find that time is an issue, long working hours mean convenience food grabbed on the go tends to be what they reach for. And with an abundance of highly processed, unhealthy and convenient foods, it can be hard to completely avoid them.
One of the biggest problems when you become overweight, particularly if you’ve been this way for a long time is that you will have likely developed many habits around food that can be difficult to unpick. You might have a sugar and carb dependency which will need to be withdrawn from, and your body’s satiety hormones will be all out of whack. These hormones are essential for regulating appetite and keeping you full, so when they’re not working properly it’s easier to spiral and continue to overeat and gain more weight.
Lack of exercise is another factor. Again, time can play into this with lots of people claiming they don’t have enough time. But actually, energy is likely to be the main reason. If you’re already overweight and eating badly, your sleep may also be affected, and all in all, it can make you feel tired and sluggish. This means that when the opportunity does arise to exercise, it’s the last thing you feel like doing. All of these things combined create a one-way journey to weight gain and all of the issues that come along with that. If you’re ready to make a change and are serious about it, here are some things to consider.
Overhaul Your Entire Lifestyle
Instead of seeing this as a weight loss journey, consider it as a whole new healthy lifestyle. Overhauling everything means that you can build healthy new habits and will be less likely to slip back into old ones. This means resetting your body clock and going to bed at a better time to get more sleep. It means quitting your soda-drinking habit and starting to drink herbal teas and plenty of water. This does not take advanced clinical research but we all know that reducing sugar is always a good idea
It could mean rethinking the hours that you work- if you’re self-employed especially, do you struggle to switch off? Instead of answering emails in bed at 11 pm, decide when your working day ends and then turn off your phone. Stop smoking, cut back on drinking and stop using illicit drugs. While it might seem like some of these habits aren’t linked to weight loss, they will all help. Creating a happier and overall healthier you will mean you’re more able to stick with changes around food and exercise too.
Consider Medical Intervention
Depending on your weight, you might decide that you’re unable to go it alone. There’s no shame in asking for help. As we’ve already established, weight loss is hard and complex and if you’ve tried and failed to do it by yourself you may just need a boost. If your BMI is very high then you might be a candidate for weight loss surgery.
Otherwise, there are a number of safe, legal and effective anti-obesity medications on the market these days. Many of these help to suppress your appetite making it easier to stick to a healthy diet, your GP may be able to point you in the right direction although you will more than likely need to pay privately.
However, if you feel that it’s just your appetite that holds you back from being able to diet successfully then this can be a brilliant option. Other options to kickstart a longer-term weight loss are things like a ‘very low-calorie diet’, known as a ‘vlcd’. These are made up of meal replacement packs containing all of the nutrition you need for around 800 calories a day. Most obese and overweight patients can lose a significant amount in a short time, once you see results it can make it easier to continue with your weight loss journey in the long term. Talk to your doctor for more advice about what’s right for you.
Find an Exercise You Love
Finally, finding an activity you’re passionate about will massively help you to keep the weight off long term. Not everyone loves feeling the burn at the gym, so if you know this isn’t for you then attendance will stall once your motivation runs out. If you have an activity you genuinely enjoy, you’ll stay fit without even thinking about it. It might be walking such as hiking in beautiful mountains or swimming. You could check out a dance studio like danceartsmiami.com and experiment with different types of dancing. These are fun, fantastic for your health and well-being and something you could even rope a partner into too. You could think out of the box, exercise like rollerblading or trampolining can be great fun and take you back to your youth! Once you start to lose weight and naturally have more energy, you’ll probably find activities you enjoy much more easily if you’re open to giving them a try.
Losing weight and keeping it off long term is one of the best ways to invest in your health. You’ll prevent numerous weight related illnesses such as diabetes from occurring, you’ll feel more energised and your self esteem will improve too. As simple as it might sound, losing weight isn’t easy. If you’ve tried and failed before, don’t be afraid to try again- do something different this time. Consider all of the advice above and put a plan into place. Your future self will thank you for it.