Weight loss that lasts a lifetime is built on a foundation of self-knowledge and self-management. That means if your goals are to get to a healthy weight, keep the pounds off and develop a weight-friendly lifestyle, you’re going to be making a lifetime commitment.
When you consider the benefits, however, it’s clear the challenge is well worth the effort.
In terms of losing weight and keeping it off, self-knowledge can be a powerful tool for helping you stay on track. To get started, here are some questions to ask yourself:
Why are you losing weight.
Who are you doing this for? An external reason, such as trying to win someone’s approval, is much less effective than an internal reason, such as wanting to feel healthier or be able to follow a passion like being able to travel more easily.
Do you prefer routine or spontaneity? Technology tools or non-tech aids? Having the freedom to make lots of choices or the ease of having others make them
for you? When you’re trying to accomplish a goal or change a behavior, what gets you moving? Do you love competing against others (or yourself)? Does the fun of socializing with friends motivate you to tackle group hikes ? Are you determined to meet your weight loss goals in order to keep up with your kids (or grandkids) Figuring out your preferences and motivators will help you figure out what weight management approach will work best for you.
Do you follow a specific diet?
In general, weight loss experts emphasize the importance of creating healthy eating and nutrition habits, structuring a healthy lifestyle and learning to make healthy choices overall as opposed to following a specialized diet.
But for some people, the motivation that comes from an initial quick-hit of pounds lost or taking away all decision-making is what enables them to at least get started with weight loss. If that sounds like you, then creating your long-term healthy weight management model can be your next step. Knowing yourself – or exploring this question – will help you decide what approach will work best for you.
Willpower can only take you so far; it’s much more dependable to develop strategies and systems that make it easy for you to make the healthiest choices. For example:
Another helpful tool for losing weight and weight management is having realistic expectations. For example, set small, achievable goals such as shooting for a modest weight loss of 2-4 pounds per month. Expect distractions and derailments. Keep in mind, what’s important isn’t that you ate the entire pint of Ben & Jerry’s, it’s that you went right back to your nutrition plan the next day. Know that some days you’ll be inspired, energized and motivated, and other days not so much. It’s a balance.
Look at weight loss as an exploration of what strategies work best for you, and then structure your healthy lifestyle around those. Don’t get discouraged when one strategy doesn’t quite work for you; instead, know that you gained valuable knowledge to apply to your next efforts. Bottom line: it’s natural to occasionally get discouraged about your results, but never with yourself. Self-compassion will help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight much more effectively than self-criticism ever will. Get more resources to help you prioritize your health in the body section of the blog.
Ready to have a non-judgmental coach cheering you on, inspiring you, and sharing tips? This podcast from sustainable weight-loss expert Heather Robinson will help you reach – and maintain – your goals.
Smart phone apps are popular weight-loss helpers, and journaling can be an effective way to reinforce your efforts. Combine the two for an especially powerful weight-loss tool.
Author: Stephanie Sample
August 18, 2017