3 Tips for Sustainable Weight Loss – Tampa Bay and Lithia FL
Weight loss – just those two words can bring up feelings of frustration, defeat, annoyance. There isn’t always a positive and proud association with those words – but there should be! Which makes it heartbreaking to know that so many people (family, friends, and maybe even you yourself) have ill feelings when thinking of embarking on a weight loss journey. But, why exactly? Why is weight loss so difficult to maintain long-term, what makes it so difficult often?
The answer – the focus is on the number on the scale and not on the “why” you are doing this. The focus is on the now, and what “has” to be done to get results in the quickest way. But, the truth of the matter is – short-term changes generally only provide you with short-term results. Whereas, long-term changes will give you long-term results. The difference between those – habit change and mindset!
There is no doubt that when embarking on a weight loss journey, guidance and tools are helpful, and often necessary to find that success you are looking for. Which allows meal plans, tracking daily intake, macros, tracking exercise, etc., extremely helpful – but not the end all be all. It’s less about “which plan is going to work for me now?” and more about “What can I learn about myself and my body, while following this style of eating, so I can confidently continue fueling MY body the best I can going forward?” THIS is what fuels habit change and long-term success. The reason most people don’t reach their weight loss goals are that they focus on what they must give up rather than what they have to gain. Turning on your curiosity and intuitiveness can make the journey more enjoyable.
Here are a few examples of what changing your mindset can look like:
|Short Term Thoughts and Actions
||Long Term Habit Change
|This is what my meal plan says, and I must stick to it.
||I want to find a more balanced way of eating, so I am going to use this meal plan as a tool to build my intuitive eating skills.
|I need to exercise this week because if I don’t, I won’t lose weight.
||I know that physical activity will help me feel more energized and able to play with my kids more, so I am going to try 3 different classes out to see what I enjoy most.
Do you see the difference there? Although taking action in the short-term gets your momentum going, it’s the mindset you have, and keeping your meaningful WHY in the forefront of your actions, that makes the true difference. The way you shape your goals and mindset will determine how long your motivation will last, in turn, impacting your success with true behavior changes. Because let’s face it, when you say you “have to” do something – does that really make you “want to” do it? No.
So, how exactly do you begin creating new, long lasting habits? Here are 3 helpful tips to get you thinking and acting differently when it comes to your weight loss goal and working to change your lifestyle for good.
#1 – Dig deeper into the WHY behind your weight loss goal.
Losing weight isn’t the actual end goal. That might seem shocking, but it’s the truth. Weight loss is only a surface motivator, which can come and go (especially when you see those natural fluctuations that aren’t TRUE reflections of your fat loss). It’s all the internal motivators that are the true drivers of your success and will always be there. Rely on those! Take some time to think – WHY do you want to lose weight? What are the outcomes you want to experience, see, and feel by losing weight? What will life look like for you when you have reached your goal? WHY is THAT important to you?
#2 Be realistic with the here and now.
After you have dug deeper into what makes losing weight meaningful to you, set realistic and small expectations for yourself. Take time to evaluate what your week ahead looks like, what is feasible for you to accomplish, and what isn’t? Maybe that means, you plan for 7 dinners this week because you know you’ll be stressed and won’t have time to cook, but the week after doesn’t look so busy so you plan for 5 dinners instead. It’s not about what you cannot do, it’s about what you CAN do, consistently over time even if it means a habit will look slightly different week to week.
#3 Get specific and define what YOU want success to look like.
The more specific you are with a habit you’d like to change, the easier it is to accomplish. The more you see yourself accomplish something, the more successful you feel and motivated you continue to be! How you go about doing that is, getting specific – define what you want success to look like for yourself each week. Because unless you know exactly what you are aiming for, how will you know you have reached that goal? Doing this will turn a broad goal such as “I want to eat more vegetables” into a specific, habit focused goal like this “In order to work towards a healthier long term balance, I am going to plan for including 2 vegetables into my lunches and dinners, 5 days this week, and will continue to build on that each week.” So, set yourself up for feeling proud of the habits you are creating for yourself, and get specific with what you want to do!
Hope these tips were helpful, and you can see yourself using them going forward! If you feel you could use added guidance, along with more specialized care that blends your weight loss and lifestyle goals with your health concerns, STRONGLIFE Weight Loss is here to help!
At STRONGLIFE Weight Loss in Lithia, FL, Dr. Justin Scott can help you address any underlying issues, whether you realize they’re there or not, and improve your overall health.
“I hope that you found these tips as valuable as my patients have over the years. If you’re interested in a patient-centered process that takes into account all aspects that affect your health, then I would encourage to visit our website at www.stronglifeweightloss.com to see how we help our patients improve their health and to find if you are a good candidate for our weight loss.”