Despite eating all the right things and taking plenty of exercise, you are beginning to feel frustrated and ready to give up because the scales aren’t moving? Does this sound like you?
I understand how you feel and I know it's both disappointing and demotivating. There are numerous reasons you may not be seeing the progress you would like to – here are some of the most common and some ideas on what you can do to get things moving in the right direction.
Set your goals
At the beginning of your wellness journey, you know why you are making the changes to your diet and lifestyle. It could be losing a certain amount of weight before the summer or by your next birthday. Over time it's easy to forget your Why and continue to mechanically follow your program, while finding it boring and restrictive. Focusing on weight loss can lead to discouragement, especially when the figure on the scale fluctuates and the rapid changes we wish for aren’t forthcoming.
At the start of your health journey identify your goals and split them up into short and long-term goals
- Make sure your goals go beyond simply weight loss
- Focus on other areas, such as increasing energy levels, improving meal choices, how you look and feel about yourself, etc.
- Remember it’s about making intrinsic changes to your lifestyle, which are sustainable over the long term.
Clothes are a great indicator – are you able to comfortably get back into an old pair of jeans?
Create a vision board
We all have busy lives and it’s very easy to get distracted and forget the reason for embarking on the journey in the first place. This can result in the onset of negativity and self-doubt. Many of us list our goals, but it has been shown to help when you can see them clearly, allowing you to implement and put them into action.
Achieve your goals by visualisation, focusing the mind and staying on target.
- Create your health vision board – you can do this on your Urban Remedy dashboard. Use motivational quotes, happy photos, pictures and affirmations. Look over your vision board often, especially when you are lacking in motivation – it will help to keep you on track and to inspire you.
- Remember that your vision board will constantly change, so update it often.
- Keep it where you can easily see it. Don’t let it become a distant memory.
Influence your mind, harness your intention and you will bring about a positive change.
Most people focus on what they eat and forget to track how much water they are drinking, opting for tea, coffee or other caffeinated beverages to keep on top of their thirst. Since caffeine is a mild diuretic, this is not good news for hydration levels. The truth is…. Water is VERY important.
Don’t wait to feel thirsty – Your body is often thirsty and not hungry!
- Track your daily water intake – a good way to measure your consumption is to carry a water bottle and keep on refilling it.
- If hunger strikes between meals, try drinking a glass or two of water before you reach for a snack – you might not even need to eat after that!
- Constipation or an unclear urine is a sign of not drinking sufficient water
Living in warmer climates, high levels of activity = drink more water.
How active are you in your daily life? I'm assuming you are probably doing some sort of structured exercise daily. Perhaps you go to the gym, take group classes (circuit training, yoga, pilates, zumba, etc.) or maybe you use a personal trainer. But what happens during the rest of the day? Often people fall into the trap of a sedentary lifestyle for the rest of the day, happy in the thought of having done an hour or so of structured exercise. The important thing to realise is that just the one hour of exercise is not enough.
Keeping active through the day and track this activity
- Track your daily activity levels – you can use a simple pedometer or an app on your phone.
- Monitor the distance or number of steps you are walking, plus the flights of stairs you climb.
- The recommendation is 10,000 steps daily.
- Start with a lower number of 6,000 steps and gradually build it up.
Ask yourself "Are you consistently eating healthily and exercising?" Be honest with yourself – do you have more “cheat days” than you care to admit to. Having just one or two good meals every once in a while will not make you healthy. It's easier and more beneficial to make small but sustainable changes and stick to them rather than making extreme changes, which makes it easier to cheat. Don't worry, this doesn't mean you can’t ever have a cheat meal!
Being consistent is the key. Here’s how:
- Maintain a food and exercise diary and update this daily, as it's easy to forget what we are eating. Be sure to include your snacks.
- Allow yourself either a cheat meal or a cheat day, but not too many.
- Reflect on your recent efforts and be honest with yourself.
- Allow some time to see the results – don’t look for instant results.
Ask yourself how long you have given yourself and is this enough and realistic?
Have you been on the wrong program?
Have you been following the same nutrition and fitness program for a long period of time without seeing any positive results? Maybe it’s time to make some changes. It’s possible that a key element to your progress is missing and unless you identify it, you will not see results.
Review and assess your program regularly to make sure it’s the right one for you
- Find a program that challenges you
- Identify the key elements for an effective program for yourself
- Remember that different things work for different people
Don’t expect to see changes by just doing the same thing repeatedly
More often than not people feel that nutrition is “common sense” and can be done solo. After all "How hard can it be to lose weight or know what to eat?" While it is true that nutrition is indeed not a “rocket science,” the truth of the matter is that it can be very hard to stay accountable to yourself. It’s easy to keep changing course, not try for long enough or not even give it your best shot. You can feel stuck or isolated and that’s when not having support can be counter-productive.
Find an accountability partner who will motivate and support you.
- This could be a qualified health practitioner, a friend, or a group of people who have the same health goals.
- Involve your family so it is sustainable.
Accountability makes you more responsible.
In this article I have touched on seven significant reasons that might be holding you back from your goals. However, there are so many other factors such as lack of sleep, the existence of an underlying health condition, needing to make time to meditate, slowing down your pace of life, etc., so take a long look at your lifestyle and see where you need to make some changes.