Today is the day to start creating habits for weight loss. I would suggest first starting with changing your focus from others to yourself.
I am not sure quite sure why, but it seems to me that, as humans, we always want to be one step further ahead than where we are. We want to know what happens at the end of the story. We want to see dessert before we order dinner. When we’re teenagers, we want to be adults. The first time our kid makes a soccer goal, we’re already scoping out club teams. When our kids are in elementary we’re already talking colleges, etc.
creating habits for weight loss
And so it goes with weight loss, when we want to lose weight, we expect it to happen overnight. Am I right? It’s crazy, because we certainly didn’t gain the weight overnight. Despite what we tell ourselves, gaining weight happens as a result of thousands of little decisions over a period of time, typically months and years. That is why it is important you start creating habits for weight loss today and be patient because those habits will turn into measurable results.
Do not take short cuts
It’s interesting that we are willing to take the time necessary to train for an event like a marathon, move up the ranks for a promotion or even save for a down payment on a house. We understand what it takes and commit to what it takes to get there. But when it comes to something as important to our lives as managing our weight, of the keystones of our health, we have no patience. Plus, we are willing to take any shortcut available, including crazy fad diets, pills, shakes and even cutting out food groups all together.
stop comparing yourself to others
Okay, so you all know that comparing yourselves to others does absolutely no good whatsoever. Right? You see, when you compare yourself to others, you are looking at their very best (the side of themselves they allow others to see) and comparing it to your worst (because that’s what we do). When we do this, we are literally flying blind people. It’s truly not a fair comparison and does not serve anyone. Period. So, DON’T do it! This habit is a great one when creating habits for weight loss.
I’d like to step back for just a few minutes to focus on some things that could be affecting the speed of your weight loss journey that have absolutely nothing to do with what you put in your mouth or how you move your body. Let’s change our focus to see if we can clean up our act outside of the gym and the kitchen. Let’s get real.
change your FOCUS
- People with more weight to lose would typically lose weight faster.
- Example: If all things were equal except starting weight, someone who weighs 250 would lose more weight faster than someone who weighs 150 pounds.
- People who have more bandwidth for positive change typically lose weight faster.
- Example: If all things were equal except one person was already eating clean and exercising whereas the other person had an unhealthy diet and didn’t exercise, then the person implementing the most change (i.e. eating healthier and beginning to exercise) would lose weight faster.
- People who have lost a significant amount of weight in the past have a lower metabolic rate and therefore lose weight slower.
- Example: If all things were equal except the fact that one person lost a significant amount of weight in the past, that person would lose weight more slowly, because they would have a lower metabolic rate and therefore have a more challenging time losing weight.
- People further along in their weight loss journeys lose weight more slowly.
- Example: If all things were equal except one person was 3 weeks further along into their weight loss journey, the person further along would lose weight more slowly than the person just getting started, because losing weight does cause your metabolic rate to drop.
- Hormones can affect the rate at which you gain or lose weight.
- Example: Thyroid and cortisol hormones, if abnormal, can promote weight gain and weight retention.
- The type of workout you chose can affect the rate at which you lose weight.
- Example: Strength training must be part of your workout routine (minimum of 2 times per week) to build lean muscle. When muscle levels decline, your metabolism will too. Be sure to add strength training to your 150+ minutes per week of moderate-intensity physical activity.
- Your genetics affect weight loss.
- The estimates are that 20 major genes and 200 minor genes (out of about 24k total genes) impact fat storage and weight management.
- Your sleep habits affect weight loss.
- Your body increases production of the hormone Leptin when you sleep. Leptin is involved with regulating appetite, telling your brain when you’re full and when it should burn and store calories. During sleep your body increases its production to tell your brain that you have plenty of energy, you’re not hungry and you don’t have a need to burn any calories. It follows then that when you don’t get enough sleep, you have too little leptin in your system, your body doesn’t think you have enough energy and tells your brain you’re hungry. When you consume additional calories, your body takes the necessary steps to store the calories as fat so that that it will be available as energy the next time you need it.
- Your age affects your weight loss.
- As we age our metabolism slows down, and we lose muscle mass which in turn, you’ve got it, slows down our metabolism.
I hope that I’ve given you some food for thought and some perspective. It’s my hope that you’ll be kind to yourself and your body and start creating habits for weight loss that are good choices.