If you’re overweight, there’s a darn good chance you’ve tried to lose the extra pounds many times. Many, many, many times. And you’ve probably had no shortage of advice on how to do it from magazine articles, websites, friends, your mother, and a few people you didn’t even ask.
So how’d all those weight loss attempts work for you? Probably not how you hoped.
But it’s not all your fault. Weight loss is not a simple, one time proposition. In addition to finding the right combination of healthy eating, solid nutrition and activity, you need to battle the fear of failure, constant hunger pangs and the frustration of a weigh scale needle that seems to move in the wrong direction.
Start With Stopping Your Weight Gain
If your attempts to lose weight haven’t worked, maybe you should shift your approach. Considering the challenge of losing weight, maybe you’re asking too much of yourself to suddenly not only stop gaining weight, but lose significant amounts of it too.
The Hidden Causes of Weight Gain
The overall cause of weight gain is fairly easy to understand. Anyone who eats more calories than they burn will gain weight. But many of the real reasons for gaining weight are anything but simple. And you might not even be able to know them even if they are happening to you.
The first cause listed below will quickly give you an idea of the sneaky places that the causes of weight gain can hide in your life.
1. Trying to Lose Weight
Believe it. A major cause of weight gain is trying to lose weight the wrong way. Hopping from one fad diet to another; suddenly working out like you’re training for the Olympic marathon; drastically cutting calories.
While all of these might produce some weight loss in the early going due to the loss of water weight, the chances of any of them helping you sustain a lower weight are very low.
In the meantime, they all could damage your health, lead to muscle loss and increase your risk of diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure.
Even if they come out of it with their health intact, most people regain 30% to 65% of their lost weight within one year.
2. You Think Losing Weight is Just About Calories
If you set out to lose weight with long term plans for a healthier diet and more physical activity, it’s better than yo-yo dieting. But it still reduces weight loss to the, “eat less, burn more” equation.
While the equation works in theory, putting it into practice is not easy.
In addition to watching what we eat, we need to get a firm grasp on why we eat. Let’s say you manage to start and stick with a good workout program. To reward yourself, you’ve fallen into the habit of picking up a fruit smoothie on the way home.
Workout. Smoothie. Without thinking.
Mindless eating, when we sometimes don’t even realize we’re eating, or we feel we’re eating well when we really aren’t, is a major cause of weight gain. (a 16-ounce fruit smoothie can pack on 300 to 600 calories – more than a 130 lb. person burns in an hour of moderate bicycle riding).
That’s a simple example to highlight that your relationship with food can be as much of a hurdle to weight loss as lowering your calorie intake or changing your diet. To successfully stop gaining weight, you should become mindful of issues like emotional eating and social eating, which could be packing on the pounds without you knowing it.
3. You Don’t Get the Help You Need
So trying to lose weight means changing your mindset about how to do it; overcoming the emotional attachment you have with food, and getting your body to not overreact when it suddenly notices that you’re cutting down on its nutrition and energy (which is nothing short of sheer panic for your body).
And you’re doing this alone?
If so, you’re making it an even greater challenge than it already is. You’re also making success a lot more difficult to achieve. And when the frustration, anger and embarrassment set in after you fail, guess what? You might turn to food for relief. And here come the pounds again.
Don’t be afraid to give yourself every chance of success. Ask a trusted friend or family member to help, or even join you. If you decide to go to a gym, get a personal trainer. If you decide to eat a healthier diet, talk to a nutritionist. And don’t drastically change your diet or exercise levels without talking to your doctor.
4. You Use a Weight Scale
This last one is just to highlight that most of what we usually do to lose weight can actually help us put it on. Losing weight isn’t a trip from point A to Point B; higher weight to lower weight. It’s a lifelong journey.
Imagine what an incredible achievement it would be for you to start eating healthily and exercising well and you keep it up for an extended period. But imagine how lousy you’d feel if you only lost five pounds.
Judging your success only on what the weigh scale tells you is also a great way to discourage yourself from staying on track. And a great way to gain weight.
If you’re looking for help to stop gaining weight, and actually lose weight in a healthy sustainable way, talk to the nutritional consultants at your nearest Herbal One Centre.