Last week we saw a few tips to help you start off your weight loss journey. This week we’re going to take a look at your mindset.
I admit I’m not a fan of exercise, although I believe one would definitely achieve better weight loss when a diet is coupled with exercise. Unfortunately, I’m one of those who prefer watching people working out, and I honestly think there’s nothing as depressing as torturing myself on a treadmill when I could as well be doing something else that I love.
Like most people who have struggled to get fit, I have tried different methods to achieve the weight I longed and dreamed of. And as someone who has tested most of the strategies and tactics out there, I advocate eating the foods you love while trying to maintain your weight. I will explain why you should eat these foods to achieve the body you want.
But before we proceed, I want to share what I experienced when I was trying out one of my so-called weight loss tactics. When I initially started dieting, I challenged myself to avoid eating my favorite foods—at least those that were rich in carbs and fats. I love pizza and shawarma, and sometimes it would break my heart to watch other people eating these while I order a plate of salad. The days when my spouse and I ate out with friends became horrific to me. I do love salad, but come on…it is mere torture watching everyone else around me sinking their teeth into a spongy layer of pastry, meat, and cheese. Aw!
I did lose weight when I started out. Then, I started accumulating all the extras that I had lost when I started cheating once in awhile (actually, I had more cheat days than days on which I ate a healthy and balanced diet). At the end of a few months, I had to stop and ask myself what the heck I was doing. Was it worth sacrificing what I loved to eat, losing weight, then gaining weight again? Did I enjoy this weight loss-weight gain cycle?
Many are those who crave to eat a meal but force themselves not to do so for fear of gaining weight. But the truth is, this scheme is not sustainable and you end up going back to your old eating habits. Subsequently, you might feel guilty that you failed or put the blame on your “bad genes” for not being able to achieve your desired body weight. Worst of all, these results could have a negative effect on your confidence and mentality. If you’ve also been on the weight loss roller coaster and have often found yourself falling off the wagon, remember that you’re not alone.
It is important that you take control of the way you think and the way you view your body. Your body is a temple that you want to take care of. Feed it, pamper it, pimp it…whatever. But remember that your body needs a healthy and balanced diet. There’s this theory that suggests that when you start depriving yourself of food, your body responds by fighting back the possible weight loss. In other words, your mind programs your body to counter starvation. A person who is in the middle of a crisis and has nothing to eat for a day or two doesn’t die. The body tends to fight starvation by allowing enzymes to kick in and regulate the system so that the person will not die. Fat burning enzymes slow down their activities, explaining why you don’t really lose weight when you starve yourself. This is really one of the secrets of successful dieting. You will understand more of this concept as we delve further.
The secret is to convince yourself that you are actually not on a diet so your body will not activate the emergency mode to decrease the activity of fat-burning enzymes. When you’re able to have this mindset, you’ll eventually get the results. You can actually eat the foods you ditched from your diet and still lose weight.
You must understand the concept that your body triggers the regulation of fat-burning enzymes a week after you restrict calorie intake. It is important that you know how your body works to incorporate the steps better. This would mean that you need to plan on when you eat a healthy and balanced diet and when you can cheat. These two should go together. Make it a point to include your favorite foods to make this plan effective.
When starting out, you’ll forget the following situations that you experienced before:
- You don’t have to be anxious now since you know when and how to control your cravings and appetite.
- You’ll also be more motivated and feel less pressurized as you are free to eat the foods you love while losing weight.
Remember the cliché sentence “The mind is powerful?” Your mindset is important as you embark on your weight loss journey. Dieting is not about being a prisoner in your detention camp. Dieting is a way of living and you want to make sure that you enjoy it to the fullest. In the days when I was still practicing medicine, I would tell my patients to avoid their scale and focus on eating healthy and measure their progress judging by the way their clothes fit.