Have a Strong Support System In Place
No man or woman is an island, and if you are trying to lose weight without letting your family and friends in on it, you might be cutting off a support system that could help you on your way. Many people find that a workout buddy adds accountability and makes exercise more fun.
A personal trainer can not only show you the proper form, and the right exercises to do, they can also offer you positive tidbits to keep you focused when the world around you is distracting you. If you want to cut through all the mumbo jumbo and get nutrition suggestions customized to you, a consultation with a nutritionist can work wonders.
Just be sure that your family and friends are supportive, because many times those around you don’t like it when someone they know starts making positive changes. You might get negative feedback from those closest to you, which can be disappointing and enlightening at the same time.
Take a Holistic Approach
Take the whole body into consideration when you are looking to lose weight. It’s easy to get into the mode of less calories in, more calories out, but you’re more than just a mouth and stomach. All of your organs are designed to work beautifully together, and you don’t want to sacrifice the health of an internal body part for the appearance of an outer one.
Even things that you wouldn’t connect to weight loss can have an effect on the body and the mind. Good oral hygiene, keeping up with your skin, nails, and hair, all go into the way that you view yourself, and your self esteem.
Focus on feeling good and the weight loss should be a natural byproduct. We all know which foods make us feel bad after we eat them (even though they may taste great for a moment while eating them), so by treating yourself as good as possible you’ll naturally slim to your healthy body weight and size.
Take Tips from Other Cultures
Americans take a lot of flak for being one of the most obese countries in the world, so sometimes it’s good to see what’s working for different cultures living abroad. Sometimes it may involve dialing back technology and doing things the way our ancestors did. Other times it’s about taking a more spiritual approach to weight loss.
For example, in the Okinawa prefecture of Japan they follow the Confucian phrase of hara hachi bu, which means eating until you are 80% full. This is a great way to prevent yourself from overeating, and has been attributed to long lifespans in that region, as well as BMI’s that are in the healthy range.
Countries that walk more as part of their natural lifestyle have the lowest rates of obesity, and studying indigenous tribes that are still somewhat nomadic you very low levels of obesity and fewer instances of chronic diseases. These are just two examples of ways to improve your health by looking at what others are doing in different regions of the world.
Lose the Scale (Or Use It Every Day)
There are two schools of thought when it comes to weighing yourself during your weight loss efforts. The first says to throw the scale out, and just focus on how you feel, and how you look in the mirror. The other says that you should weigh yourself daily so you can chart your numbers and watch your progress on a micro level.
You’ll have to decide which way you want to go, because having a scale around can actually be demotivating if you weigh yourself at intervals and find that you’re not losing as much as you wanted to. It’s a good idea to get a starting weight so you’ll know how far you’ve come later, but then put it in an inconvenient place until enough time has passed so you can see how you’re doing.
In Kyushu University in Japan they studied the effects of multiple weigh-ins per day for obese trial subjects. They then graphed the results on a spreadsheet and could see visually where they stood on any given day. If you want to replicate this system you don’t have to weigh yourself more than once per day, but make sure you weigh yourself at the same time each day to keep the data controlled.
Drop the Guilt Associated with Food
Feeling guilty about the food you eat, or about being fat is actually helping you to stay fat. You’ve got a strong focus on what you don’t want, which yields more of the same. You don’t have to drag yourself down so low that you hit rock bottom in order to make positive changes in your life. Realize that you’re not alone if you’ve got some weight to lose, and in fact the deck is stacked against you.
It’s easy to buy and eat foods that are bad for you. It’s easier to not get exercise than to get moving. It’s simply the way our society is set up. So you shouldn’t feel guilty if you’ve let yourself go, you should feel encouraged for wanting to get yourself back on track. Your loved ones will thank you, even if they don’t verbalize it.
The feeling of encouragement is much more motivational than guilting yourself into eating better and exercising. It can even lead to feeling inspired to do those things, which is the feeling you’re really after.