It seems every other ad on television offers some miracle diet for rapid weight loss. While these methods may yield results, they only work if one remains on the specific meal plan. Unfortunately, studies show that most people who subscribe to extreme dieting for weight loss regain the weight lost and more.
One of the reasons diets fail is due to our personal relationship with food. Emotional eating is a real problem for many and can lead to food addiction and obesity. Another reason diets are unsuccessful is because many who diet consider it an unpleasant experience. Here are a few tips to help you break free of dieting’s vicious cycle:
- Perception is everything. Nutrition is a lifestyle not a life fad. Self-assess your perception of nutrition and dieting. Permanent weight loss is not achieved and sustained through temporary measures. You must be committed to the changes you are making and that requires consistency throughout.
- Food is fuel. Drastically restricting your calories is like attempting to drive cross-country on fumes. Understand that your body requires sufficient energy to function properly. Even at rest, your body requires calories for basic tasks (nervous system, brain function, etc.). Restricting too many calories lowers your metabolism and can lead to other issues like fatigue. Make sure you are consuming sufficient calories to support your efforts.
- Commit to consistency. Rome was not built in a day and you did not pack on added pounds in a day either. Commit to your new way of eating, remain consistent, and most importantly, do not allow setbacks to derail your entire effort. If you consume something at breakfast that you should not have, do not let that be your excuse to order a pizza for lunch. Pick up where you left off and keep going.
Fitness is a multibillion dollar industry and the variety of fitness options available are plentiful. While many women are exceedingly comfortable in the gym, a significant number of women still avoid strength training. One reason for this aversion is the fear of becoming “bulky”. While there are some women who build significant bulk, they are not your average fitness enthusiast. They have supplemented, dieted, and trained for many years to achieve that degree of fitness. If you are one of those women buying in to this myth, you are doing yourself a disservice. Strength training is your friend.
Multiple studies show that strength training is highly effective in the battle of the bulge. Incorporating a strength training regimen elevates your metabolism for periods longer than cardio. Because muscle is denser (requires less room) than fat, you will actually become smaller. In addition to the physical benefits, there are also health-related benefits to support why strength training should be an essential part of your regimen. Here are just a few of those reasons.
- Strengthen your bones. Bone density loss is a condition of aging. Strength training is an excellent way to improve bone density and it can also help to prevent osteoporosis.
- Maintain lean muscle mass. Strength training helps you maintain muscle mass and strength, both of which we lose as we age.
- Improve heart health. Did you know strength training is also good for your heart? Committing to a regular routine can reduce your risk of heart disease and lower your blood pressure.
Implementing a strength training routine two days per week into your weekly activities can yield great results. Do not be intimidated by weight training. If you try it and find you do not like handling weights, try resistance bands or even body weight routines. Something is better than nothing.
Whether you are a professional athlete or a fitness enthusiast one thing is certain, injuries are inevitable. While no one wants to be sidelined, repeated wear and tear over time increases the odds of sustaining an injury, requiring time away from your routine. This is where mental toughness comes in. Setbacks can be discouraging and hinder your ability to stay focused. How fast you get there is not what is important.
There are several things you can do to reinforce the discipline you will need to get you over the injury hurdle.
- Focus on the positive. Instead of honing in on your limitations, concentrate on what is still available to you. While that ankle sprain may prevent you from certain lower body exercises, it does not mean you are prohibited from other exercises. Be sure to talk with your physician first and take it slowly.
- Maintain good eating habits. Many people underestimate the power of good nutrition. Stick to your healthy eating plan during times of injury. Nutrient-rich foods not only aide weight management, they also help with the healing process. For example, broken bones benefit greatly from foods rich in calcium. If weight loss is your goal, you may have to modify your macros to accommodate your reduced activity.
- Be honest with yourself. Acknowledge all of the emotions that come your way. It is normal to be upset, frustrated, and even depressed when injured. Do not deny your feelings. Instead, express those emotions. Here’s a tip: Maintain a journal throughout your injury. Document your emotions. For each negative emotion or negative aspect you list, jot down a positive.
Optimal fitness begins with a healthy mindset. Exercise the discipline necessary not to derail your progress up to this point. Everything counts, so make your actions count toward your ultimate goal.