We often remind our readers and clients that long-term, permanent weight loss requires lifestyle change, not merely a one-time “weight loss plan”. Those who lose the weight and keep it off are those who change their habits permanently.
Having said that, there is of course a “losing” phase to your lifestyle change, during which you’re burning more calories than you consume and the number you see on the scale is dropping. That’s why you began this journey. If you experience difficulty getting that number to drop, it could be because you’re sabotaging your lifestyle change in one of these common ways.
You lack magnesium. Magnesium is an important mineral that no one really thinks about. If you’re not getting enough in your diet, your sleep can actually be disrupted. And we know that when sleep is disrupted, lack of energy and cravings for sugary foods occur. Make sure you’re getting enough magnesium by adding almonds, leafy greens, and tofu to your eating plan. A supplement might be a good idea, too.
You only exercise to burn calories. If you view exercise as something you have to do, just to burn some calories, this can set up a mindset of “compensation”. You know how it goes: “I walked an extra fifteen minutes today; I can have cookies after dinner”. The problem is, most people overestimate the number of calories burned through exercise, and therefore over-compensate when rewarding themselves with treats. The end result is that you’re actually consuming more calories now!
Try to engage in movement because you’ve found something that you enjoy, and because it’s good for you. Exercise should be a regular part of a long-term lifestyle change, not something you do temporarily with a focus on calories burned.
You’re skipping breakfast. As it turns out, Mom really might have been right about this old lesson. Those who skip breakfast are missing an important opportunity to rev up their metabolism for the day. You’re also likely to be starving by lunchtime, and more likely to over-indulge in unhealthy fare. Focus on protein at breakfast, which will get you going while staving off cravings throughout the first part of your work day.
Your eating plan makes you miserable. No one sticks with changes that make them miserable. So if you’re forcing yourself to eat foods that you hate, you’re more likely to eventually give up on the entire lifestyle change. Yes, it is important to eat a variety of foods from each food group, focusing on fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats… But don’t force yourself to eat kale three times per week if you hate kale. Try another leafy green instead, or experiment with different recipes and methods of incorporating the right foods into your diet. Identify dishes you do enjoy, and focus on those.
Of course, sometimes you know that you need to make a change, but simply don’t know how. That’s the whole point of our weight loss program! Give us a call, and we’ll help you evaluate the changes you want to make, and make a medically sound plan to accomplish your goals.