1. Successful weight loss – get your priorities right
Why do you want to lose weight?
Most people answer that question with ‘to look great’, ‘to fit into size 10 jeans’, ‘to wear a bikini on holiday’.
There is nothing wrong with the answers in themselves. Although I would argue that you already look great. But more about that in a minute.
It’s human nature that we want everything now. We don’t want to wait. So, if you’re focused on getting into those size 10 jeans you’ll do whatever it takes to get there as quickly as you can.
And quicker isn’t necessarily healthy.
So, what if you change your focus? What if you focus on being healthy rather than on how you look and the numbers on the scale?
Being healthy means eating lots of lovely, fresh veggies that are packed full of nutrition. Moving your body in a way that makes you smile. And taking time out, away from the daily grind to re-charge your batteries and focus on you.
Any of that sound familiar?
By focusing on health, you stop wondering about the quickest way to lose weight. What diet is the most effective. What exercise will burn fat the quickest.
You become focused on what is best for your body. The rest will come. The scales will go down. You will look great (because you already do), and you will get into those jeans.
Other useful reading
2. Successful weight loss – get a good night’s sleep
Have you ever had a crappy night’s sleep?
I bet you have. Probably more than one. And you will know how it feels the morning after.
You’re drained, not quite with it, you can’t concentrate on anything, you get ratty really easily and god, are you hungry.
Sleep is so important for our general health.
A good night’s sleep helps us regenerate. It improves our cognition, mental capacities, our immune system, our ability to burn fat, to use insulin, to build muscle and to get rid of toxins.
One study looked at the effects of lack of sleep in animals, and it only took a few weeks without sufficient sleep before they died.
Sleep is really important for our health.
It’s even more important when we’re trying to lose weight.
When you’re tired or low on energy, you’ll crave energy. Energy that doesn’t take a lot to process. That would be simple carbohydrates. Bread, sugar, pasta, pastries. All of those things you should be limiting on a healthy diet.
So, if you want to feel amazing, look awesome and be healthier, make sure you’re getting a good night’s sleep.
Unconditional self-acceptance is one of the most important aspects of looking after yourself.
Love yourself. Just as you are.
That concept is hard to grasp for most. And some worry that if they are happy with themselves, just the way they are, their motivation for change will disappear.
But that’s just not the case.
When you love yourself you want the best for yourself.
You want to eat the best food because you deserve it. You want to move more because your body needs it. You want to take care of yourself because, well, why wouldn’t you.
A healthy lifestyle. That’s what you’ll be after.
And weight loss will come as a result. But it’s not your focus.
Loving yourself is the focus. Being good to yourself is the focus.
4. Successful Weight Loss – deal with stress
Ah, stress, our modern lives are filled with it.
But stress is actually natural. It’s your natural response to potential dangers. It kicks your body into fight or flight mode when you’re faced with a sabretooth tiger.
It shuts down your non-essential systems like reproduction and immune, so all of your energy can be directed to the task at hand, running or fighting.
The thing is, our day to day lives are filled with stress.
Not so much of the sabretooth tiger variety anymore, but the type that is ongoing, never-ending.
It’s the report that is due at the end of the week that you haven’t been able to get to before now because your company is understaffed and you’re doing the job of 3 people.
It’s getting home at the end of a long day and you still need to prepare and cook dinner whilst your kids are playing up, your husband’s shouting at you to calm them down because he can’t concentrate on his equally stressful job.
When you’re in this mode for too long your health takes the brunt, and weight loss is nigh on impossible.
So, if you want to improve your chances at weight loss and a healthy life, get your stress levels in check.
I can see you wincing as you’re reading this.
It’s going to be another one of those new-age, hippy dippy suggestions.
There is evidence to suggest that the simple act of being grateful can reduce stress levels and increase happiness.
What do you mean the act of being grateful?
It’s recognising, acknowledging something that you are grateful for. Whether it’s something small like your first cup of coffee in the morning, or something larger, like your husband, actively acknowledging what you are grateful for can shift negative thoughts.
And remember how important thoughts are?
So, practice being grateful. Being grateful for something. Take a photo of it. Write it down. Whatever you need to do to remind yourself that everything is not as bad as it might first seem.
It will help you have a better day, if nothing else.
6. Successful Weight Loss – have a treat
Life is short.
So, what is the point of always depriving yourself.
Treating yourself is a really good way to incorporate a bit of enjoyment into life. Not just working to pay bills, but to have some fun.
You could use it as a mechanism for hitting your weekly or monthly target, or, as a way to recharge your batteries. Whatever. You’re worth a treat every now and again.
A massage, a facial, having your nails done, a weekend away with the girls, a day shopping, a meal out, a holiday. Whatever it is, it should take you away from doing your everyday tasks, and remind you that you that life doesn’t have to be constantly filled with the mundane.
You should have fun.
Other useful reading
Successful Weight Loss
That was a crash course on self-care.
Get those right and your weight loss efforts will see no bounds.
What’s your favourite way of looking after yourself?