I had a conversation yesterday with a good friend of ours who has recently been diagnosed as pre-diabetic. She is in her 40s and is worrying about how to make changes to reverse this condition.
The reality is that although she is super busy with work - and she will readily admit this - she has excess weight, eats a carb-rich diet and doesn't do enough physical activity.
She is scared because she doesn't have the tools to be able to fix these.
While losing excess weight is good for your health, taking off those pounds can be stressful. You check the bathroom scale each morning wondering why the numbers don't drop down faster. You go to social events thinking about what you'll be able to eat instead of looking forward to seeing your friends.
The pressure can come from external sources too. Your doctor may be telling you (as is the case with our friend) that you need to lose weight for a variety of reasons. You may compare yourself to images you see in the media and feel like your body comes up short.
It is possible to reach your weight loss goals with fewer distractions and less discomfort.
Try this process for shedding the pounds without the stress.
Make Your Choices Automatic
Making decisions requires effort, especially when you're trying to resist something tempting for the sake of longer-term gains. By changing your environment and your thinking, you can make healthy choices automatic.
Try these activities to form healthy new habits:
Focus on Changes That Have Most Impact
Would you rather spend your day thinking & focusing on your diet or being free to focus on the activities you love?
If you make a few major changes to your eating habits, you can relax and devote the rest of your energy to other things.
Develop Social Support
Any goal is easier to reach when you have partners on your side. Reaching out to others can even make losing weight seem fun.
These activities will bring you support:
Designate 'Cheat' days
The number one reason for people not achieving their weight loss goals is because they are relying too much on will power.
Will power will give you the initial enthusiasm to make changes, but if you consider these changes to be too restrictive on a daily basis it becomes way too easy to skip out once. This is a slippery slope until quickly everything is back to before.
Instead designate a cheat day or two... every week.
You will look forward to these and anything goes - no restrictions... no judgement.
Having cheat days will make the remaining days easier to stick to the plan and achieve those goals.
You can do it!
Take the stress out of losing weight. Adopting healthy habits, targeting your efforts, and reaching out for support can make dieting more pleasant and successful. You're more likely to reach your weight loss goals and enjoy your life while you're shaping up.
Our friend has seen the results of strength training for my wife and is now looking to starting training with me, along with adopting these steps. She'll modify her diet & habits, strength train three times a week, designate cheat days and her family, myself and my wife will support her through this.
If she can do it so can you.