I recently found a great quote and my new mantra. “Excuses make today easier, but tomorrow harder. Discipline makes today harder, but tomorrow easier.” There will always be a wide array of excuses to choose from and there will always be a tomorrow that absorbs your empty promises. Making the conscious choice each day to further yourself on your journey is difficult, but it is the only way to reach your destination! Luckily, there are a few changes you can start to make in your daily routine to ease your way into your new lifestyle.
Being self aware is key when it comes to weight loss, but it should not come at a cost to your mental health. Mistakes are to be expected, don’t spend too much time beating yourself up over it! Be patient with yourself, it is a big adjustment. Next time you feel you might slip up, choose to be more mindful. Mindfulness is about being present in the moment you are in now while also calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.
We all have made poor choices when it comes to food, but what would have happened if we had waited five minutes before grabbing that second helping? What if we grounded ourselves in those few seconds it takes to grab another bite? What if you called a friend and realized you weren’t hungry, just bored? By stopping yourself and getting in touch with your body, you may realize eating at that time will put your progress at risk.
Being mindful also helps us avoid that “all is lost” moment. Sometimes when we cheat on our diet we think all progress is lost and we have to start all over. That mindset makes it easier to say “Well I already messed up and today is ruined, I might as well keep eating whatever I want.” As soon as you realize how easy it is to recover from a couple extra cookies, the easier it will be to get back on that diet. If you fall off you have to get right back on! If not, that “all is lost” moment will make it even more difficult to recover your progress, like a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Keepsakes that Keep you on Track
For some, it may be helpful to see their progress as a tangible thing. Many people keep a weight loss journal for motivation! Not only does it help you take accountability for the food you eat, it also keeps track of your progress. Sometimes what stands between you and a binge episode is being reminded how far you have come and all that progress you don’t want to lose.
While keeping a journal it is also important to keep in mind that weight loss is not linear! Your weight will plateau eventually, but that does not give you permission to give up! It is completely normal for your weight to fluctuate slightly but that shouldn’t discourage you from journaling. It will be a great keepsake when that weight is gone, especially the bad days you wrote about. The frustration you log will be a great reminder of how hard you worked to get where you are. Try and fall in love with the journey because it’s temporary if you succeed!
Setting yourself up for success
Setting yourself up for success starts with a healthy kitchen! Getting rid of your junk food does not eliminate the craving… but it makes it less accessible. The longer it takes to get ahold of the temptation, the more time you have to rethink that urge. Keeping your kitchen stocked with healthy foods like lean meats, whole grains, and plenty of vegetables is key to crushing your cravings. Also- you don’t want to lose money by letting the organic groceries go bad so that’s a bonus incentive!
The best way to avoid binging is by not skipping meals! Although less food= less weight makes sense on the surface, it rarely works out that way. If you skip breakfast and have a light lunch, by the time the evening comes around you’ll be ravenous and want to eat everything in sight! You may even associate this as a “reward” for being “good” during the day so you deserve to pig out at night. All this does for you is create an unhealthy relationship with food- which only makes weight loss more of a struggle. It is much better for your mind and body to equally space your calories out throughout the day.
Hydration is also a simple way to start setting yourself up for weight loss success! Being properly hydrated also helps to regulate body temperature, keep joints lubricated, prevent infections, deliver nutrients to cells, and keep organs functioning properly. Drinking water before every meal is also a great way to manage overeating. Filling up a 1-2 liter water bottle in the morning and finishing it before bed is a fantastic weight loss goal to start with. Once you master hydration, you’ll be ready to start identifying and tackling your more challenging goals!