Author: Dr. Michelle Durkin on 10 October 2017
No you are not crazy. No you are not alone. Yes, you are probably making some common mistakes that everyone makes when they’ve tried to “lose some weight” and weren’t successful. Check out these 5 reasons that I frequently see in patients and tips on what you can do to overcome them.
Setting unrealistic goals creates an atmosphere of “you’ll never get there”. The same if you repeat the same broad goal over and over eg. I want to lose 50 lbs. This leads to loss of faith and a feeling of failure that makes it harder to try again.
What can I do instead? Focus on tasks instead of goals. Start with 3 specific and achievable tasks every 3-4 weeks. A task could be as simple as taking your lunch to work everyday.
These are what we call limited resources. Unfortunately these resources get used up really quickly when it comes to weight loss.
What can I do instead? Find yourself an accountability buddy. The best fit is usually someone that has a shared experience. This is the primary reason Weight Watchers works so well for people, it’s not because they have some special diet. Keeping track of points keeps you accountable.
It is so easy to let new routines fall by the wayside. Even the wording that you use probably indicates a lack of commitment, “I’m going to try eating healthy.” There is no try, only do, if you want results.
What can I do instead? Pay money to be in a group, have a personal trainer, or consult with a health care practitioner. When you pay for something you are more likely to take it seriously and stay committed. The main red flag I see when someone is no longer committed to their weight loss plan is they cancel their appointment. Unfortunately this is exactly when they should be coming in to stay on track.
The quickest way to quit doing something is to make it feel overwhelming. This will occur when decisions are overly complex or time consuming. Women are notorious for spending enormous amounts of time thinking about every little single detail and bogging themselves down in the land of never getting it done. We also overestimate the number of things we can get done and underestimate the time it takes to do them. No wonder we are stressed and just want to take the easy road…wine anyone?
What can I do instead? Keep it to 3 tasks only (yes only 3) and monitor your progress every 2 weeks.
Let’s face it, as humans we are constantly stimulated by rewards, it’s built into our DNA. Why do you think you can’t leave your phone alone if you hear a notification? Your brain gets a hit of dopamine (reward) and that makes us feel great! Unfortunately drugs, alcohol, and sugar also give us powerful hits of dopamine too.
What can I do instead? Even the playing field by giving yourself a hit of dopamine (reward) for staying on track. There are plenty of non-food based healthy rewards that make us feel good so start using your imagination! One that I have used in the past is “the jar of awesome”. You can learn more about it here: Jar of Awesome.
Now I would love to hear from you! Which reason is usually the roadblock for you? Do you have any tips for overcoming one of these roadblocks for someone else who might be in the same situation you were in? Leave a comment below and I’ll be back next week with another edition of Doctor as Teacher Tuesday!
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