Roughly once a month an old friend will get in touch with me who I haven’t heard from in years. To begin with they’ll ask how I’m doing and we’ll go through the rigmarole of catching up, but after a few questions they’ll then get on to the real reason they’re calling – for advice on how to lose weight or build muscle. I’m a health and fitness writer you see and an amateur bodybuilder, and as such I’m always the ‘health fanatic’ in any group of friends. I’m not offended by this and I certainly don’t really mind – I’m well aware that if I worked in IT I’d similarly be required to answer lots of questions about computers – but what does get me is the fact that these people never learn. They ring up with great intentions, I write them the program or diet plan they’re looking for, and then they promptly give up within the space of a few weeks and never lose any weight.
And why is it? Is it the advice I give them that’s no any good? No – it’s simply the fact that their lifestyles aren’t conducive to getting into shape. They’re hoping to simply change what they eat and then see the pounds drop off, or to start a new training program and stick to it when they’ve learned from past experience that they can’t stick to them and they don’t change anything else.
The point I always try to get across then these days is that it isn’t enough to just change your training program or your diet, you need to look at the other factors in your lifestyle and at the root causes of your weight gain. By getting to the bottom of your issue rather than just trying to change one thing you will be much more likely to see permanent change that actually lasts and makes a real difference.
So what other kinds of things do you need to address? Well it’s different for everyone, but here are just a few things that you might want to consider looking at…
Your Psychology: Sometimes the reason we don’t lose weight or stick at a training program is more psychological than physical. Here it might be that we’re depressed and eating as a comfort for instance, or it might even be that we are punishing ourselves in some way. There are all kinds of unconscious drives and pulls that can make us less likely to be able to stick to our new routines, so it can be helpful to speak to a therapist or to get weight loss hypnosis to get to the bottom of what these might be.
Time: Working out or running regularly will of course take time and no all of us have that time to dedicate to our new regimes. If you find yourself without that time then you need to look at clearing your schedule so that you do, or even simply waking up a little bit earlier so you have an extra hour to train in the morning.
Tiredness: If your energy levels are low then you will find that you don’t have the energy you need to work out and that you start to crave carbs to fuel yourself. Any number of factors could address this issue whether it means just getting more sleep, or eating a healthier breakfast in the morning.
Social Pressure: If your friends all love cake and eat it in front of you every time you go round then this can make it very difficult to eat less. If these social pressures are an issue then you need to speak to your friends and tell them how they could support your new goals, or even ask them to join you so that they become an asset rather than a hindrance.
Jessica Hills is a well know self help blogger. She writes on a wide range of topics affecting life, productivity, health, work, career, aspirations and other important things.
Photo Credit: scott (CC BY 2.0)