Almost everyone will try to lose weight at some point during their lives; whether it is for health reasons or simply to look better at an event, the goal is the same. Weight loss is such a complex area and there seems to be conflicting advice all over the internet and in health shops, doctors and from friends and family.
It can be hard to know which advice is best to follow and which behaviors really will help you lose weight. Often without realizing, we are actually engaging in self-defeating behaviors which will only make it harder to lose weight overall.
Self-defeating behaviors are those that prevent you from your goal, in this case, losing weight. It might be that they actually cause you to put on weight, or simply to stay as you are. Either way, they are not helping you achieve your goal of weight loss.
Below are 5 common self-defeating behaviors that sabotage your weight loss efforts.
1. Ineffective Planning
When trying to lose weight planning becomes a key habit that you need to get into. It is all too easy to be at work, out for the day or busy in whatever way when you realize you are hungry and you haven’t prepared lunch. As you’re short on time, you go to the nearest café or fast food restaurant and try to order sensibly, possibly choosing a salad. This may seem sensible, but often salads at these places are full of calories and will definitely not help with your weight loss.
The best case scenario is to prepare meals for the whole week on Sundays, this way you know that when you get home you have a healthy meal waiting, and you have something good to grab for lunch as you leave for work or school. This type of pre-planning allows you to prepare the most healthy and thoughtful meals, which will avoid on the run eating which is typically not healthy at all.
2. Getting Distracted
Weight loss takes dedication, time, and effort and unfortunately, it is all too easy to get distracted in daily life. For example, you may have the best intentions to go to the gym, but when you receive a phone call or an offer to go out, the gym doesn’t happen. These distractions will prevent you from succeeding at weight loss as they end up preventing you from doing the very things that will help you lose weight.
Make a decision to not let such distractions get in the way, turn off your phone on the way to the gym, ignore everything else in the moment where you are focusing on your weight loss plan. Tell friends at work that they can support you by not asking you to lunch until further notice as you will be bringing your lunch for a while. You are the only one that can make weight loss a priority.
3. Making Excuses To Justify Behaviors
When trying to lose weight those few extra drinks or that quick stop at the fast food restaurant will seriously derail your plans. As humans, we have in built mechanisms to justify these behaviors to ourselves, to make them seem acceptable. For example, “oh well I am late for an appointment so I have to stop at McDonalds.” By doing this, we don’t realize the effect they have on our weight loss efforts and can actually end up putting on weight instead. It is best to be realistic about what we are doing and not blindly justify any behavior we do, as weight loss will be incredibly difficult then.
This is where planning also comes into play, and you should make a list of all the possible contingencies and how you will deal with them.
4. Not Asking For Help
Weight loss can be hard at the best of times, add stress into the mix and it can be even harder. For some people, formal help is needed; this could be simply from friends or family or possibly health professionals. There is no shame or weakness in asking for help, and it can actually make a huge difference to weight loss. It is worse to keep struggling alone and not ask for help and wonder why there is no weight loss.
5. Fear Of Failure
Failing is always a possibility but it does not need to be feared and it certainly should not be a reason to not try. It can be tempting to put off starting a weight loss plan for fear of failure but if you don’t start, you definitely won’t lose any weight. Only by getting over this initial fear and actually trying to lose weight will you see the results. There may be setbacks along the way, but this shouldn’t stop you from going forward.