Lose 10 pounds. Gain it back. Lose 15 pounds. Gain 17 back. What is the deal with weight loss?
If you seem to be stuck in a forever yo-yo cycle of weight loss and weight regain, you’ve probably struggled with feelings of exasperation and hopelessness. That’s completely normal; it can feel extremely frustrating to give so much effort and see little to no change.
You don’t need anyone to tell you that losing weight (and keeping it off) is hard. But Dr. Robert Snow of Snow Bariatric Center thinks everyone can benefit from understanding why it’s so hard to do so. With that, here are three big reasons why losing weight is so hard.
1. Your habits work against you
Point blank: Habit change is hard. Weight loss, as you may know from your own efforts, is not about short-term bursts of motivation. Weight loss is about sustainable, long-term habit change. To lose weight and keep it off, you must change your behaviors — and your new behaviors must measure up to your values and goals.
This means you may have to wake up earlier to exercise or make your lunch for work. You may have to forego some social outings to get enough sleep. You may need to nix your nightly TV show and go for a walk instead.
It can be tough to accept some of the hard truths about weight loss, but ultimately, your habits govern your success.
2. Your diet doesn’t support weight loss
There is no skirting the fact that good nutrition is the foundation for successful weight loss. For permanent weight loss, you need to pay attention to what you eat almost all the time. This doesn’t mean you can’t have treats now and again, but for the most part, you should avoid highly processed “junk” foods that are high in sugar, calories, and unhealthy fats.
A healthy diet includes:
- Lots of fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains
- Lean proteins
- Fatty fish and other sources of healthy fat
- Lots of water
Portion control is also important. Try taking photos of all of your meals and snacks before eating them, and then look back at them at the end of the day to visualize how much you ate.
3. You don’t exercise consistently enough
If you currently think of exercise as a chore, it’s time to flip your mindset. Fitness can be fun! The key to sticking to a workout routine is finding activities that you actually enjoy and ridding your mind of the notion that fitness means slaving away on an elliptical or enduring sweaty weight rooms.
You can lose weight by adding some of these fun activities to your day:
- Using “exer-games” (such as Wii Fit™ or XBOX Kinect™)
- Playing catch, frisbee, four-square, or other backyard games
If you’re just beginning an exercise routine, start small: Try to move your body for 10 to 20 minutes per day with low-impact exercise, such as walking, and move up from there. Adding exercise to your day can be as simple as parking at the far end of the parking lot.
When nutrition and fitness aren’t enough
If you’ve been trying to lose weight for a while — exercising daily, eating healthy, getting enough sleep, limiting alcohol, and doing all of the other tactics recommended by experts — to no avail, you may be a candidate for weight-loss surgery.
Weight loss surgery is typically reserved for those who have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or greater or a BMI of 35 or greater with a weight-related medical condition. For those who are good candidates, weight-loss surgery can be the final ticket to weight-loss success.
To learn more about nutrition, fitness, or weight-loss surgery, schedule a consultation appointment with Dr. Snow today. Call one of our convenient Texas locations or request an appointment online.