• Have you, like many others, tried losing weight healthily on multiple occasions? Even though these goals are often very hard to achieve, they seem even harder to maintain. Let’s bring the barriers concerning this popular objective down. A team of researchers conducted a study on the matter and identified a list of setbacks in healthy weight loss. 1Elfhag K, Rossner S. Who succeeds in maintaining weight loss? A conceptual review of factors associated with weight loss maintenance and weight regain. Obesity reviews : an official journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity. Feb 2005;6(1):67-85. Zoom in on a few pro tips to help you overcome these problems!

    What Is Keeping You from Reaching Your Healthy Weight Loss Goals

    1. Weight cycling (yo-yo effect)

    It is generally well-known that variation in weight is not ideal to reach your healthy weight. The “yo-yo effect” can be described as a perpetual cycle of weight loss followed by weight gain. In each cycle, weight gains increase. So, avoid depriving yourself to limit your desire of overeating in compensation.

    2. Sedentary lifestyle

    Integrating physical activity in your daily life helps boost your basic metabolism (calories burned while at rest) and, thus, helps controlling your weight. Plus, there are many mental health benefits as well, which contribute to personal fulfillment, sleep cycle improvements, stress management, and general feeling of well-being.

    3. Constant hunger

    Many diets preach restriction regarding food intake. However, fasting only amplifies your desire for “forbidden” foods. Avoid this state by eating filling foods. For example, prioritize ingredients that are rich in protein (Greek yogurt, nuts, legumes, eggs, etc.) and fibers (fruits, vegetables, cereal products, whole grains, etc.).

    4. Dietary disinhibition

    If you have difficulty recognizing your hunger signals (stomach rumbling, lack of energy, decreased concentration) and your satiety signals (decreased interest in food, feeling of satisfaction), a healthcare professional such as a nutritionist can help you getting in touch with those cues.

    5. Cravings (binge eating)

    Try satisfying your cravings by adopting a healthy and balanced lifestyle that gives you the latitude to eat those foods you adore! Yes, even chocolate and chips. It’s essential to include less nutritious foods in your diet once in a while. So don’t feel guilty when you decide to treat yourself. This way, you will avoid craving these foods everyday.

    6. Emotional and stress eating

    Nowadays, there’s a large variety of foods available on the market. Sometimes, it’s easy to find comfort in your favourite meals or treats. That’s only normal. But since the products we choose on such occasions are rarely nutritious, it would be better to prioritize different strategies to deal with your stress or negative emotions.

    Here are some suggestions for you:

    • Read a book
    • Take a walk
    • Call your best friend
    • Knit
    • Follow an online course
    • Visit your local library.

    7. Presence of stress factors

    This barrier goes hand in hand with the previous one. It is essential to learn how to manage your stress without resorting to comfort food. Find the most efficient strategy to help you deal with it. Meditation, breathing techniques, yoga, sport, and drawing are some examples.

    8. Lack of social support

    It is recommended to be well surrounded when trying to lose weight. Social support from your loved ones (partner, family, friends, colleagues, doctor, nutritionist, etc.) is essential and can greatly help you reach your goals. Plus, they will certainly be happy to help you in a difficult moment and will encourage you in every step along the way.

    9. Dichotomous or contradictory thoughts regarding diet

    Avoid depriving yourself from your favourite foods and stay far away from the “everything or nothing” school of thought. Balance is essential if you want to maintain new habits on the long term.

    10. When the motivations behind the weight-loss objective don’t come from you

    If you went to work every morning but had to give your salary to someone else at the end of the day, needless to say you wouldn’t be very motivated to do your job. The same concept can be applied to weight loss.

    If the desire to lose weight doesn’t come from you, it will be very difficult, perhaps impossible, to reach this goal. First and foremost, you should always do it for yourself.