As busy mompreneurs, I know we hate to waste time with useless activities, so let’s stop wasting our weight loss energies. There are weight loss strategies and behaviors that many of us do on a weight loss journey that are NOT helping our cause. It isn’t because we are trying to self-sabotage (although sometimes we are!), but rather, we have some beliefs and ideas we have been fed about how you have to go about weight loss to be “successful.”
I have made plenty of mistakes along the way, so let me save you the trouble.
And in the end, I might just save you a bunch of money, a bunch of time, and a bunch of heartache!
I am pretty sure we have all said this at some point or another: “I work out so I can eat ___________.”
Similarly, your FitBit or My Fitness Tracker or whatever tracker you are using, has told you that because you ran on the treadmill for 1 hour, you can now eat XX amount more calories.
These ideas about exercising to eat or earning back more food is faulty because it suggests two things:
Exercise is meant to be a way to develop muscle and strengthen bones, improve fitness, improve mental health, help you sleep better at night, etc. Exercise is NOT an efficient way to lose weight on its own. It is meant to compliment and enhance your weight loss.
Food tracking apps and devices that also track calories burned in exercise are typically off by a margin of error of about 20% in gauging how many calories you have burned or even eaten for that matter. Trackers are not super reliable in regards to calories burned, so don’t trust that all of the sudden you can start adding calories back in. In fact, adding those calories in could ruin the progress you are making.
If you are counting calories, then stick to the calories you have calculated for eating food, track your food, and consider exercise extra credit. Unless you are training for a race, you don’t need more calories, you might just need to reallocate calories (for example, eat more protein, add a carb at a certain time of day that you notice you bonk, etc.)
Remember: You cannot out exercise your nutrition. Yes, moving your body is a good for you, but your nutrition is more important.
There is no product, and I mean no product, that is going to miraculously make you thinner or burn fat. If anything promises that you will lose 10 pounds in 2 week by drinking it, wearing it, or eating it, run the other way. It’s either illegal or it’s a waste of money. Quick fixes give you the illusion that you can eat whatever you want, whenever you want, without repercussions.
I get it. We perceive weight loss as a long, sucky road. But let’s turn that thought on its ear. What if weight loss process was enjoyable?
There is no express train to your goal. The process of losing weight allows you to face and deal with the emotions that come up with it. You don’t want to miss this part because I guarantee that the emotions you face in your weight loss journey are showing up in other places in your life. The weight loss process is an opportunity for massive growth.
Rather than spending your money on fat burners, eat in a moderate calorie deficit, move your body, fuel your body with whole foods most of the time, and stay open to the mindset shifts. Trust me, it is way more fun this way.
Weight loss is not one size fits all, and for some, eliminating sugar and white flour, or eliminating dairy, or eliminating alcohol might work.
Then you know you are in a good spot to sustain weight loss in this restrictive fashion.
However, if you are restricting or eliminating food groups and:
Then it is a sign that you are being too restrictive. You may find that even your calorie intake is too low and that is counterproductive! Being too restrictive leaves us feeling tired, depleted, resentful, and poised for a binge.
The subconscious belief when you restrict is that you are out of control and you don’t trust yourself to make decisions that are best for you.
And you know who makes the best decisions for you? YOU. Even when you work with a coach or trainer, it is a collaborative effort, to help you develop that trust within yourself.
Follow the 80-20 rule of 80% whole foods and 20% other foods, and weight loss mode is way more effective and fun.
I don’t care how good your memory is, you likely will gain amnesia when it comes to those 2 bites of ice cream, that handful of goldfish, and the chicken nugget you ate off your kid’s plate. You remember the healthy dinner you made, but you forgot that you had a second helping.
If you don’t want to track calories, fine. But you still need to track food so you can see trends such as:
Tracking your food makes you conscious and aware of not only what you are consuming, but your behaviors around food.
You won’t need to track food forever but getting in the habit of tracking is a great strategy to get the ball rolling.
Whether you love it or hate it, you likely are using the scale as a tool for weight loss. This is where you measure whether pounds have been lost or gained. The scale is a very useful tool, but it is only one tool in your toolbox.
The scale might not go down after 4 days of you eating on your plan, moving your body, and feeling good abut yourself. And if the scale does no go down, have the last 4 days been a waste of time? NO.
The last 4 days your digestion improved, you have more energy, you feel really proud of your commitment you kept to yourself, and the bloat you have in your belly is down. #win
If you only rely solely on the scale, you rob yourself of celebrating your wins and being aware of progress. You start letting the number on one of your tools dictate your mood.
The scale will fluctuate because you are a normal human, so other tools to use to help you gauge and feel successful are:
Spoiler alert: you are not happier or more worthy when you lose weight. Most of your problems will be there no matter your weight.
Weight loss is never just about weight loss. There is something there that we are discontent about it.
There is fear or anxiety within us that tells us we aren’t worthy or lovable and that love, a new job, a better sex life will come with being thinner. Being a size 2 only puts you in a smaller size, not in a different mindset.
The first work that needs to be done in a weight loss process is work on wrapping our brains around worthiness and love at this very moment.
Listen, you can come from a place of self-hatred or self-love and still lose weight. The weight loss journey and actions you take will likely be the same, but the way you think of yourself dictates how sucky the process will be. I vote for not sucky because you are more likely to stick with the process if it doesn’t suck!
The power resides in your thoughts. You are less likely to continue the weight loss struggle cycle when you start addressing the feelings instead of trying to bury them.
If you have spent a lot of time in self-hatred, it might be a stretch to switch to the whole "I am worthy right now in this body!" mindset. Shit, some days I still work through that.
Perhaps you can shift the thought to "I have a body and soul that deserves all the good stuff." You have a choice to change your thought at any moment. And having choice feels good.
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