It’s a battle, a battle to lose weight, that is! In fact, more than half of all us Americans are considered overweight by medical standards, and according to a new study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association, in “2007-2008 the prevalence of obesity was 32.2% among adult men and 35.5% among adult women”. The criteria for being overweight is a BMI >24.9 and for obese, it is a BMI >29.9 (Scroll down for my link to a BMI chart to figure yours out). In addition, 2/3 of us are on a diet any given time! I know very few people who haven’t expressed to me the desire to take off at least a few pounds, and many of us are at odds with our eating habits even if we just want to maintain. So, what are we doing wrong?
I myself was overweight once upon a time (Yes, the tiny photo of me giving a treat to my dog is me overweight), and I started to change my life way when I realized that I like so many of us think in terms of black and white, or just have unrealistic expectations. Here then are some common things that I and maybe you are thinking that can hinder long- term weight management goals.
Thinking in terms of good and bad? We are neither good nor bad, nor are the foods we choose good or bad, but rather, our choices may help us or hinder us in reaching our goals (okay, I think bacon is really bad, and not because of its calories).
Expecting perfection? There is no such thing as perfect eating! I like to practice trade-offs in my eating. If I choose a food that hinders my goal one meal, I try to trade-off with a food that will help my goal at the next meal or during the next day.
Thinking, I just need to cut out…? We can all fill in our own foods that we think, “if I just give up, I’ll lose and keep it off”. Losing weight doesn’t happen if we give up one particular food, it happens when we change our eating patterns.
Thinking, I know what to do; I just need to exert more willpower? Knowing what to do and doing it is more complicated than we think. I also practice, “There is no such as willpower” because it’s too elusive, one minute we’ve got it, and the next we don’t.
Thinking a particular diet will work? Well, they all work at first if we follow them. The question is, how long can we stay on a particular diet? Will real life get in the way?
Expecting too much? How realistic are we being in terms of the amount of weight we want to lose and maintain for the amount of effort?
Taking on too much at one time? What is going on in our life effects us, and it may take up too much of our mental energy. Do we have too much on our plate, figuratively, that is? Have you asked yourself, “Is this a good time to make major changes or perhaps I need to just start really small right now”?
Losing weight and maintaining a desirable weight can be a lot of work. Maybe the first plan of attack should be to evaluate our expectations (Think back to last week’s tip “Realistic vs. Idealistic” Goals), our history of what worked, what didn’t work, our lifestyle and current life circumstances. This way, we have a greater chance of setting ourselves up for success! Can we think of some beliefs and/ or thoughts’, which might be hindering our success?
Here’s to Our Health!
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June M Lay M.S.
Source used: Katherine M. Flegal, PhD, et. al.; JAMA. 2010;303(3):(doi:10.1001/jama.2009.2014). National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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