Why Does Losing Weight Feel So Hard?
Transforming your perception of the weight loss struggles
Do you have the impression that losing weight is very difficult?
I certainly had this impression most of my life.
After a few weeks (or days) on a new diet or exercise plan, I would start to find it all too tiring. The “healthy” food was not so delicious after all, the workouts took a long time and suddenly I would feel that I deserved a treat for my effort.
A little treat would turn into a whole weekend of binging, so I would go right back to the starting point.
Does a story like this sound familiar to you?
That’s why I’m going to explain to you why losing weight may seem hard and how you can destruct this idea to make your journey much more enjoyable.
Are You on Autopilot?
One very interesting thing about our brain is that it keeps most of our lives in the background, that is, it forms habits and routines that dictate our behaviors automatically.
That’s very practical, right?
This keeps us from getting bogged down in little operational thoughts to perform usual activities.
Imagine what your life would be like if you had to think carefully to drive or brush your teeth?
If you feel that losing weight or changing your lifestyle today is too difficult, you may be feeling overwhelmed with your new (not automatic) tasks. That’s because the routines you were doing before probably didn’t require much effort in relation to the way you ate, moved and/or slept.
Sleeping as little as usual. Getting home tired and ordering pizza as usual. Skipping training lazily was usual.
So now that you are trying to “just do it”, it can all seem very challenging. But this is mostly because your new behaviors are not the new norm yet and you still need to think a lot about everything.
Remember how hard it was to tie your shoes when you were little? It took time and practice and even some help at times. Making new changes is the same. Once your new habits are truly incorporated into your routine, it’ll all become easier.
What Habits Are You Trying To Create?
Do you want to move more?
Be specific about what you want to do, how many times a week and the time. Determine as much detail as possible.
Do you want to eat better?
What does this mean in practice? When and how will this happen? Who can help you?
Important — be realistic about the habits you are trying to create.
Think about the way you eat. Are you weighing and measuring every ounce of cherry tomato you eat and recording every bite in an app on your phone?
If so, does any part of you feel that this can become an unconscious action? Do you envision yourself automatically doing this every day for the rest of your life?
Confession: I’ve been that person for many years. I weighed even the eggs I ate and knew how many grams of carbohydrate there was in 100g of a variety of fruits. One day I decided to stop weighing my food and never looked back. If it was a habit or an automatic routine, I would have had a hard time stopping.
Choose wisely what you are really willing to incorporate into your life and the “price” you are willing to pay.
Life X will give you body X.
Life Y will give you body Y.
There’s no point in living life Y just for a while and getting upset because that body Y didn’t hold up.
If an ultra-defined abdomen will cost you Saturday wine with your friends and you’re not willing to cut it forever, be honest with yourself.
Never forget that the ultimate goal should be to build solid habits that are really achievable for you. Don’t invest your energy in things you don’t see yourself doing in a few months or years. The new habits that will sustain your healthy weight loss are forever.
What I Like To Do, Not What I Need To Do
I encourage you to create a lifestyle that you truly enjoy, just as you enjoyed your old lifestyle.
For this, be clear about the benefits you will get from these new habits. What will you gain if you change your routine?
The more aware of the process gains, the less you will perceive difficulties on the way.
The changes you are looking for are possible but will require considerable effort in the beginning. However, they will never really become habits if they are charged with anxiety and do not give you a feeling of happiness and well-being.
If you have just started your journey and are super motivated, use that motivation to overcome the challenges of this early phase and insist on your behaviors to consolidate.
Finally, making new habits can become easier as you create rewards for yourself when completing the new activities according to your goal.
Did you go for a walk 10 days in a row? Maybe it’s a good time to schedule a manicure.
Did you eat 2 fruits every day of the last week? What about taking a few hours to read that book you would love to read?
That way you begin to associate these new activities with a good thing, so you will increasingly want to do them — it’s almost like training a dog.
Each of these activities needs to be what you like to do, not what you need to do for a certain period of time.
I am a Brazilian girl (living in Sao Paulo with my fiancé — and another 20 million people). I love coffee, books, and good food. I also really enjoy studying and learning new things that allow me to further develop myself both professionally and personally. I have a degree in Food Science and hold a Ph.D. in Agri-food Marketing. In addition, I am a Certified Nutrition Coach and an enthusiastic Nutrition student.__
There is a power that comes alive when women free themselves from the food prison in which they have learned to live, when they realize that they are capable and deserving of feeling fantastic in their own bodies, and that confidence is a state of mind — not a body lotion which you get the right to use when you reach a weight-loss goal.
My work is dedicated to nurturing, celebrating and sharing this message.