“What if it doesn’t work?” “What if I don’t lose as much as I want to” and the scariest of them all, “What if I end up gaining back all the weight I lost?” These are some of the most frequent questions raised after any weight loss procedure.
Experiencing worry is a normal part of the process, but I have found out that the only way to beat this is to take charge. Any weight loss procedure is only but a tool to help you on your weight loss journey but in order to achieve long term success, you have to show up for yourself daily and work towards building sustainable, healthy eating habits that contribute to your overall lifestyle change.
First things first, your relationship with food is the baseline for everything. Simply knowing the rules of healthy eating doesn’t automatically result in you following them. To start off, you need to evaluate what factors whether conscious or subconscious drive your eating habits and how to manage them. How many times have you eaten as a response to anything other than actual physical hunger? Does eating certain foods result in feelings of guilt and shame? It is important to work on unlearning your current habits while simultaneously learning sustainable behaviours that help you not only to lose weight but keep it off.
See our programme; psychological correction of eating habits for more information on this.
Work on changing your dietary pattern. Research has shown that moving the focus from one specific nutrient to your overall dietary pattern has better health and weight management outcomes. A dietary pattern focuses on the variety, quantity, combination, quality and frequency of every food and beverage you consume. Instead of stressing about cutting out certain foods that are labeled as “bad” redirect all that energy into including foods of a healthy variety into your diet. This looks like having a larger serving of salad or kachumbari on the side with your fries, having more fruits rather than processed juice or soda or enjoying some grilled chicken instead of deep fried drumsticks.
Include physical activity in your routine and be intentional about it. Most people think that the only form of physical activity that counts is going to the gym but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Brisk walking, swimming, home workouts, dancing or even taking the stairs goes a long way. It is recommended that you do at least 30 -45 minutes of exercise every day at least 4 times a week. Choosing something you enjoy and changing it up every once in a while, will help you stick with it long term.
Trust the process. Yes, I am well aware this is the most cliché advice ever given but in this case, it is also the most valuable. You didn’t gain all the extra weight in a month and you are not going to lose it all that fast. Be kind to yourself and allow yourself time to work on changing your lifestyle and incorporating better eating habits. You will make mistakes through this journey, but that doesn’t mean all the effort you have been putting in has gone to waste. What matters is that at the end of the day, you are able to recognize the mistake, acknowledge where you went wrong and get right back on track.
Losing weight is only half the battle; Maintaining the loss is the ultimate flex.