The 5 Most Common Weight Loss Challenges and How to Beat ThemArticle posted in: Lifestyle
For many people, losing weight is an ongoing battle that requires strategy, perseverance and commitment. We often find ourselves struggling to meet weight loss goals after initial weight loss success, which causes backsliding, returning to old habits and weight loss challenges. Luckily, with the South Beach Diet, you get a healthy approach to weight loss, which is designed to help you through each phase of your journey.
But whether you’re on the South Beach Diet or not, it’s important that you understand the common pitfalls of the weight loss journey and why they occur. That’s the only way you’ll be able to overcome them and get back on track with your weight loss goals.
Here are the five most common weight loss challenges and how to beat them:
1. Your Social Life Involves Eating Out… A Lot.
With the endless amount of food trucks, theme restaurants and pop-up beer gardens, it’s hard to navigate an environment with so many tempting choices and challenges begging you to forget about your weight loss goals. Maintaining a fulfilling social life means you may not want to say no to a girls’ night out or joining your family for a meal at your favorite restaurant… and you shouldn’t have to. Luckily, there are some things you can do to avoid gaining pounds from going out.
Solution: Make Smart Choices With the Menu
To avoid falling behind on your weight loss goals, you need to be deliberate about what you eat and drink when you’re out. Stick to the classic one drink per hour rule so you won’t be drinking a day’s worth of calories at the bar. Not only is this safe, but you will be able to avoid losing control (try double-fisting with a water to stay hydrated and feel fuller so you don’t move on to post-drinking appetizers).
When you are dining out, you may be tempted by the wafting smells of fried foods and huge sizzling platters. Scroll the menu for entrees indicating a healthier cooking style such as “baked,” “grilled,” or “broiled” (make sure to substitute fries with a salad or other healthy sides at all costs). The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says there is a healthy way to order off a restaurant menu because “restaurants honor requests, so don’t be afraid to be assertive, ask menu questions and make special requests to meet your nutritional needs.” If you don’t see something that fits your low carb diet, be specific with your ordering and don’t hesitate to get a to-go box!
2. You Overeat Due to Emotional Distress
From arguing with a spouse to stressful work situations, daily life can make it easy for you to reach for comfort foods. Using food to distract you from your may feel right at the time, but may result in you feeling worse both physically and emotionally. To avoid eating out of stress, boredom or emotion, you need to identify the cause of your binging and learn how to stop the triggers before they start.
Solution: Take Pause to Understand and Satisfy Your Emotional Triggers
You are going to feel pain, stress and frustration here and there—such is life. Coping by eating may sound all too familiar to you but when you get the urge to reach for a teary-eyed pint of ice cream, ask yourself, “Why am I doing this and what am I looking to get from eating this?” Try substituting comfort food with a warm bath, a cuddle with your favorite pet, a good book, a quick walk or a supportive friend. All of these things can cause you to pause and get a handle on your emotions so you can get back on track emotionally and physically.
3. You Lose Your Motivation
Unfortunately, weight loss is not an overnight journey. You may think that things will be suddenly different for you, but the truth is that healthy and long-lasting weight control comes with time through building and maintaining healthy diet and fitness habits. You may find that to continue seeing results, you need to adjust your methods.
Don’t get stuck in a rut and allow it to turn you back to your old bad habits. Understand that losing weight requires re-evaluation and change because as Mayo Clinic research shows, “as you lose weight, you lose some muscle along with fat” and since muscle is a major proponent of a high metabolism, “as you lose weight, your metabolism declines, causing you to burn fewer calories than you did at your heavier weight.”
Solution: Reinvent Your Weight Loss Routine
If you have given up because you stopped seeing results, you need to give your routine a jump-start. You need to decrease your calorie intake and increase your physical fitness because as Mayo Clinic asserts “using the same approach that worked initially may maintain your weight loss, but it won’t lead to more weight loss.” We know it’s easier said than done. But if you can try cutting out just 200 more calories from your diet plan, you will start seeing new results.
You can also try mixing up your workouts to avoid boredom. If you’re a slave to cardio, try adding in some resistance training. Increasing your muscle mass will help your body torch more calories. (Not sold on the weight lifting? Check out these 10 other reasons to start lifting weights.)
4. You’re Busy… with No Time for Healthy Routines
Sometimes it feels like time is the enemy of healthy living. Making good choices when it comes to healthy diet and exercise is hard to do when you have a job, kids, pets and hopefully, a social life. If you find there aren’t enough hours in the day to eat quality, healthy meals while fitting in the recommended workout routine, you are not alone.
Solution: Focus on Eating, More Specifically, Breakfast
What we eat tends to have more bearing on our weight than how much we hit the gym. If you live an on-the-go hectic lifestyle with no time for eating right, trying to schedule hours of workouts into your week might feel impossible. So turn your focus to healthy eating. Not eating is simply not an option because eating too few calories can cause your body to go into starvation mode (slowing metabolism) and trigger you to overeat throughout the day.
Breakfast truly is the most important meal of the day and it can entirely shape your diet for the day. A spokesperson for The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says “eating breakfast can reduce irritability and tiredness” throughout your day, allowing you to focus and mange everything life yields (including your diet). People who eat breakfast are also “less likely to eat a large amount of calories later on in the day.”
5. You Lack Healthy Eating Know-How
Juggling all of life’s activities and challenges leaves many modern women and men at a loss when it comes to cooking, eating, exercising and losing weight in a healthy manner. Before you turn to the next fad diet or trendy weight loss track, you may want to consider the healthy eating programs that exist specifically to help people find the best way to lose weight and, here’s the tricky part, keep the weight off. If you are clueless when it comes to frying versus baking and healthy fats versus non-healthy fats, it’s perfectly OK to seek a little help.
Solution: An Easy Diet Designed for Healthy Eating and Weight Control
A healthy weight loss meal plan can be the answer to your prayers and challenges. Choosing the right program matters and, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, “effective weight loss programs include ways to keep the weight off for good” and should “promote healthy behaviors that help you lose weight and that you can stick with every day.”
The South Beach Diet helps you lose weight while also teaching you healthy meal habits for life. You’ll try your hand at preparing your own healthy meals based upon the South Beach Diet principles (and using delicious recipes from our Recipe section), or you practice ordering healthy options while out on the town.