Knocking Down Barriers to Weight Loss Success

If weight loss were easy, if there were no hurdles or obstacles to get past, then the obesity and overweight concern our nation faces wouldn’t be saturating the headlines. Weight loss is hard- no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Instead of ignoring that there are obstacles, determine what the potential roadblocks are so you can strategize and be ready to face them head on! Below are ways to knock down common barriers many people face when working towards embracing a healthy lifestyle.

Lack of time. Take a serious look at your time management skills. More often than not, there really is enough time for exercise, cooking or eating a healthy meal, and planning ahead. If you change your priorities so that weight loss is at the top of the list, then there will be enough time. I remember meeting a mom of four who got up and worked out every morning at 5:30 am in addition to homeschooling her kids. It can be done! A good tip is to wake up early and exercise before going to work, at least a few times per week. This will require an earlier wake-up call, but you will be more likely to exercise during those early hours than after work, when unexpected things often come up. The morning hours are guaranteed YOU time. If you’re absolutely not a morning person, commit to walking 20 minutes at lunch and 20 minutes before dinner. Find a way to work it into your schedule, and treat it like an appointment that you absolutely can’t miss. If you struggle with finding the time to cook or eat healthy, plan and grocery shop for your meals for the week on a day off or on the weekend. This way you will be armed with quick and healthy options at a moments notice!

Lack of motivation. First, you need to find the motivation and support from within. Write out exactly why you want to lose weight. Is it for health reasons? To look and feel good in a business suit? So your peers don’t suspect your age? To just feel better all around and have more energy? Whatever it is, write it out, put it on your bathroom mirror, in your car, or on your desk and read it everyday! Trying to lose weight without any support will easily drain you, though. So after you have determined your self-motivation, go out and join a group or spend time with other people striving to reach similar goals. Social accountability can make a difference –so find a friend or colleague who is also on the road to better health that you can talk to or exercise with. Motivation is easier to build and hold onto when you receive support from others who can relate to what you are going through. 

Too stressed. This is a tough obstacle that we all face, but remember that your extra weight is only adding to your stress. Weight loss is tough, but once you accept that fact and get going, your stress levels will actually decrease. Exercise and healthier eating are excellent ways to cope with life stresses, and they help you feel better both physically and mentally. Start with small goals! Rome wasn’t built in a day. Healthy habits start with daily commitments. Take a deep breath and focus on one or two small, realistic, and achievable goals per week. Maybe this week it’s taking a 15-minute walk before dinner and not snacking after dinner.

It’s too hard. Weight loss is daunting when you look at all the weight you need to lose and all the changes you have to make to get there. Remember that huge project you did in school or for work, though? You got it done, right? And how did you do that? You Broke. It. Down! Strategizing and mapping out your weight loss plan is no different. Watch out for those disappearing intentions that fly away. Make them a reality by writing down each steps and re-reading them! Focus strictly on small goals, such as losing 5% of your body weight or increasing your exercise in 5-minute increments. If you try to change everything all at once, like you are superhuman, then you are setting yourself up for failure.

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