Weight loss - The application is hard
In our everyday lives, the best laid plans can falter for a whole variety of reasons. A busy day at work can disrupt your lunchtime exercise, working late can mean dinner is a high fat takeaway instead of a healthy home made meal. Having children in the house also brings a wide range of temptations, from pinching their high fat snacks to finishing their dinner as you clear the plates.
Add in nights out, celebrations, comfort eating, reward eating, lethargy, tiredness, convenience and a whole raft of other daily factors, and keeping to the simple theory is anything but simple.
So what can you do to avoid these temptations?
What makes weight loss difficult?
To identify the changes you need to make, you have to first sit down and look at where you’re going wrong. You have to be honest with yourself and admit your weaknesses. There will always be a good excuse to not make the right choice, but most of the time it isn’t really good enough.
Your weight is determined by a combination of factors, including genetic, metabolic, behavioural, environmental, cultural, and socioeconomic causes, and each makes it hard to lose weight.
- Metabolism is a big factor in how easily you can lose weight. While most people will put on a pound for every 3,500 extra calories, heavier people will find it easier to lose a pound than lighter people, because their metabolism is faster. This means that weight loss will get harder the more you lose. Your metabolism also slows down with age, often coinciding with a less active lifestyle, making losing weight doubly difficult.
- Behavioural factors include reward eating (when you deserve that tub of ice cream) and comfort eating (when the boss has been mean to you and that bar of chocolate makes you feel better), along with other more complex psychological factors. You need to find alternative ways of rewarding and comforting yourself, or in the case of deeper issues, seek the help of a qualified therapist to help you deal with your problems instead of hiding your feelings with food.
- Environmental factors are the easiest to blame – there are always biscuits at work, the chippy is so convenient when you’re running late – but are also the factors that are most under your control. Simply not having fattening foods in the house will create a less tempting environment, while buying easy-to-prepare, yet healthy meals, will lessen the draw of the fast food outlet.
- Cultural factors, such as it was someone’s birthday so the cake had to be eaten, or everyone went for a curry so I had no choice, are also convenient excuses for eating the wrong kinds of foods. These peer-pressure moments require a combination of strong will on your part and understanding on the part of your friends and family. If you cannot rely on either of these, it may be better to just say no and stay home.
- Socio-economic factors are often blamed because people believe that it’s cheaper to eat badly. However, with a little careful shopping it is just as easy to shop healthily on a budget.