7 Tips To Help You Lose Weight If You Are Discouraged
You might be the most positive person, or you may have a negative mindset when you face setbacks. Either way, during weight loss, you are bound to experience some discouragement. Weight loss is a long and hard road that requires lots of goal setting, consistency, and motivation. Sometimes, it may be hard to do all of this while dealing with the daily stressors of life. However, this article will help you gain your motivation back during those tough times. Here, you can find seven tips that will help you lose weight if you are discouraged.
It is never a bad thing to dream big. When you’re an ambitious person, you will be bound to set ambitious weight loss goals. The problem is, in reality, some of these goals may actually be unattainable. For example, a behavioural-medicine specialist revealed that those trying to lose weight actually expect to lose, not two, not three, but four times what they can lose in six months (3). Not only will setting attainable weight loss goals to ease the process, but it will help you stay motivated throughout your journey. This increased motivation will help pull you through periods of discouragement because you will always know your goals are within your reach.
The weight loss journey can be quite stressful if you find yourself in a weight loss plateau (1). It is also easy to get frustrated and stressed out with yourself when you are doing many things to lose weight but just cannot seem to shed those extra pounds (1). However, you may want to know that this stress that you feel sometimes can be the reason why you aren’t losing weight! Stress produces the hormone cortisol— which makes it harder for our bodies to lose weight (1). So if you are discouraged about losing weight, it is definitely going to help out if you indulge in some de-stressing activities, and try to enjoy the process of losing weight.
Our astonishing bodies are designed to adapt— however; this also means our bodies learn too fast for our own good— especially when it comes to weight loss. If you have a daily routine for weight loss, such as working out at a constant time of day, you may be surprised to find out your body keeps track of this time and slows down in anticipation of the weight loss routine (1). The more you exercise, the more you will need to incorporate changes to your system to stay ahead of your body and adequately increase your heart rate (3). To start noticing progress from your workout routines once again, you can try different methods: sprints, different varieties of exercises every time you workout, or even simply exercising at another time of day every day (3).
Looking at Instagram models is actually going to do the opposite of motivating you to keep going— it is going to discourage you even more (3). Even more daunting, comparing yourself to unrealistically thin models can even cause you to gain weight due to unrealistic self-standards (3). To avoid the discouragements this brings, instead of looking at images of much-thinner women (that may even be photoshopped), look at pictures of your own progress! Every two weeks, take a picture of yourself and track your progress. Looking at these images of yourself will motivate you to keep doing whatever you’ve been doing to achieve the changes you’ve experienced.
When you meet your performance goals, you will indeed feel more motivated because your performance is in your control (2). However, when you focus on appearance, you are more likely to experience discouragement because our appearance is not entirely in our control: sometimes factors such as sleep loss, stress, and other external agents play a role in our weight. When you focus on achieving performance-based goals, you will gain the confidence to stay consistent with your goals, therefore, seeing better weight loss results long term (2). For example, instead of setting a plan to lose three inches off your waist, set a goal to do four intense workout sessions a week.
Sometimes, no matter what you do, you cannot change your mindset or gain the motivation to keep going on your weight loss journey. For these challenging times, the best solution is a friend that will keep you accountable. This solution is helpful as they can not only remind you to keep going but encourage you to not give up on your goals when you are insistent on doing so (2). When you have decided to give up, it may be challenging for your accountability partner to confront you if you’re not close to them, so make sure you choose someone who will have no problem standing up to you and giving you the constructive criticism you need to keep going (2).
Sometimes, our emotions are so strong in the spur of the moment that we forget about our longterm goals and begin to overeat. It is worth considering starting a journal to log these times where you have began to eat in response to your emotions— such as overeating due to sadness and anger (3). Journalling these experiences can allow for you to understand what emotions trigger overeating, and provide some insight into what you need to avoid and what strategies you can use to deal with your emotions (3).
(1) Anita Ojeda. (2020, October 02). Seven Things to Do When You Feel Discouraged About Weight Loss. Retrieved from https://anitaojeda.com/seven-things-to-do-when-you-feel-discouraged-about-weight-loss/
(2) Admin. (2021, January 27). 13 Tips If You're Feeling Discouraged By The Scale. Retrieved from https://therelatablered.com/13-tips-if-youre-feeling-discouraged-by-the-scale/
(3) These 23 Weight-Loss Motivation Tips *Actually* Work to Transform Your Mindset. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.shape.com/weight-loss/tips-plans/22-ways-stay-motivated-lose-weight?slide=c9e14647-d33c-4954-9a9d-868d2623c526#c9e14647-d33c-4954-9a9d-868d2623c526