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Spokane, 6 Tips to Keep Your Weight Loss on Track

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Spokane, 6 Tips to Keep Your Weight Loss on Track

Failure has so many negative connotations — especially in the context of weight loss. If your goal is to shed pounds, any result that doesn’t involve a lower number on the scale can feel like a major setback.

The truth is, a lack of success when it comes to diet and exercise is not the exception; it’s the rule.

Biologically, weight loss isn’t easy, and setbacks are inevitable. There are many reasons we fail when trying to slim down, but the key is to learn from — and not feel derailed by — detours. The road to your goal may be windy, but you can still arrive at your desired destination by using any setback to your advantage.

There are plenty of reasons to struggle with weight loss, anxiety and stress being major factors. So if you’re “doing everything right” but your stress levels are sky-high, your body might think it’s in danger and cling to extra fat. A lack of gut microbe diversity, inflammation from processed foods and too little sleep can also be roadblocks to weight loss. 

Another reason, fad diets and yo-yo dieting. When you restrict on a fad diet or over-exercise, we actually can end up hurting our metabolism. You can also wind up resenting the way you’re eating and feel guilty for eating something deemed ‘bad.’ In turn, this can set up a vicious cycle of restricting and bingeing, leading you to feel even more like a failure. 

This yo-yo dieting cycle can also make you think a lack of willpower is the issue (and make you feel badly about yourself) — when that’s rarely the case. 

Additionally, we are all different. Since we all have different genetics, lifestyles and vary in age and gender, there’s no one diet that could possibly work for everyone, and we need to figure out what works for each of us individually.

Fortunately, failures are opportunities to learn about your body, preferences, triggers and patterns and use them to fuel your weight-loss journey. Here are six ways to do that:

If you often feel like you’ve failed, an important first step is to reframe the way you’re thinking, suggests Jaime Coffino, PhD, MPH, a postdoctoral research fellow at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine. For example, try telling yourself something like, “I didn’t lose weight this week, but I can still make decisions that are in line with my weight-loss goals.” Showing yourself compassion goes a long way toward reaching and sustaining your goals, she says.

In order for your body to feel safe (and for you to lose weight), it needs to know there will be periods of sufficient nourishment, rest, sleep and recovery, explains Rickel. Take a look at your stress levels, remembering stress can be emotional (work deadlines, toxic relationships) and physical (being in a caloric deficit for too long, exercising intensely without rest, or not getting good sleep). Sometimes, it’s even necessary to have a period of taking in more food and working out less (with a focus on sleep and recovery) to prime your body for weight loss, she says. “This can seem counterintuitive and frustrating, but remember that your body’s resistance to weight loss could be its attempt to keep you alive.”

Drastically slashing calories and jumping on fad diets isn’t sustainable. “Yo-yo dieting is dangerous, as rapid, short-term weight loss is typically followed by weight regain and additional pounds — the brain’s way of building in a safety net, as weight loss is often seen as dangerous, a sign of an inhospitable environment,” says Davidson. Learn from this by making your commitment more long term. Moderate changes in both your eating and exercise habits aren’t overly stressful to your physiology — and are more certain to lead to long-lasting changes, says Rickel.

The number on the scale might be your goal, but bigger reasons — including health concerns, the wish to be more capable of engaging in activities, wanting to be around for your children, or feeling less pain in your joints — tend to motivate long-term change better, says Davidson. “Motivation is key, and to internalize it, it’s important to have a vision of what you are striving toward.”

Instead of ruminating over the bad, reward the good. “Our brain will encourage us to do things for which we are rewarded,” says Davidson. Find ways to reinforce the healthy changes you’re making, whether that’s getting new workout gear, pampering yourself with a hot bath, or planning a fun weekend outing. Small rewards along the way make things more enjoyable and also encourage you to keep going.

Nothing should be off-limits when it comes to a healthy, well-balanced diet that promotes weight loss. Even dessert can be a secret weight-loss tool. That said, it’s important to focus on hydration, getting high-quality protein (to help rebuild your cells, muscle and organs) and healthy, complex carbohydrates (to provide for your energy needs), says Davidson. In particular, plant-based diets like the Mediterranean diet could be especially helpful for weight loss. “The Mediterranean diet has consistently shown positive results as it’s not about deprivation. Instead, it focuses on more nutrient-dense choices with higher quantities of vegetables, fruits, healthy fats like olive oil, and limited amounts of meat and dairy fats.” If you’re having trouble finding a diet that works for you, don’t be afraid to reach out to a doctor or registered dietitian who can help tailor a plan for your individual needs and lifestyle.


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