The weight-loss journey is exactly that: a journey. No journey is perfect, and you’re bound to experience hurdles, set-backs, and challenges that could make you want to give up. But keep in mind that the harder you work, and the more you stay focused, you’ll eventually meet your weight-loss goals, even if it does take you longer than you initially intended.
Are you feeling lost, frustrated, or tired of your own weight-loss journey? Remember that you’re not alone, and that millions of other people are feeling exactly how you are. Take a look at the following hard truths about the weight-loss journey.
1. Weight loss may not be consistent
At some point in your journey, you may have a successful weeks-long run in which you shed pounds consistently every week. Suddenly, you find that you’ve gained some weight back, or seem more bloated than usual. Keep in mind that sometimes, your weight will fluctuate due to hormones and other physiological mechanisms that may have nothing to do with diet and exercise. For example, women may retain more water during their periods and think they did something wrong to trigger weight gain. If you’ve been working hard and notice a bit of weight gain, don’t focus on it too much. Instead, stay focused on pushing yourself during workouts and on eating a nutritious diet.
2. You will probably face setbacks
Life isn’t perfect, and you may end up facing setbacks once in awhile that throw you off track from exercising or eating healthy foods. When this happens, don’t beat yourself up, and keep in mind that stressing about your setbacks will cause more harm than good in regards to your health. Just accept this small defeat, and jump back into your weight-loss plan as soon as possible.
3. Never feel guilty about your progress
If you don’t meet your weight-loss goals within the timeframe you had in mind, you may feel guilty or as if you’re a failure. These types of emotions may have you feeling like you should restrict your diet even more or exercise even harder, when in fact, these types of behaviors can result in further frustration and increase the risk for injury. Weight loss works differently for everyone, and you may have to take a longer route than others to get there. Never feel guilty about lagging behind your weight-loss goals. Just remember that you’re doing the best you can under the circumstances.
4. You may receive bad advice
If you’re practicing good nutrition, you may hear friends and family say things like, “fast food is okay in moderation,” or “one more cookie won’t hurt you.” While these individuals may think they’re looking out for your happiness and well-being, you can’t allow statements such as these to interfere with your weight-loss journey. Only you are accountable for your personal health, and only you knows what works and what doesn’t. Furthermore, you may even know more about nutrition than your friends do, even if they are thinner. Take advice from friends and family with a grain of salt, and don’t feel pressured to do what they tell you.
5. Getting enough sleep helps more than you know
Many Americans tend to disregard the importance of sleep, especially given how busy the traditional American lifestyle can be. In truth, lack of sleep disrupts your entire body’s hormonal balance, from your reproductive hormones, to your thyroid hormones, to your hunger hormones. Lack of sleep can actually cause you to overeat, as well as influence you to make poor nutrition choices.
If your current sleeping environment is low in quality, make sleep a top priority as soon as possible. For example, if your bed is too small and uncomfortable, consider buying a larger, more comfortable bed. If early morning light and noises keep waking you up, invest in black-out curtains that can block out both light and sound. Do whatever it is you need to do to improve your sleeping environment, and benefit from better workouts, better nutrition, and effective weight loss as a result.