For anyone who begins the journey of weight management, it is all too easy to set yourself up a mountain of a goal, fail at the first hurdle, then give up entirely. If you’ve tried yourself, you wouldn’t be the first to attempt making a change, to only revert back to your old bad habits.
As someone who has become a recently qualified Nutrition and Weight Management Advisor, one of the recurring themes taught is managing the expectations of the client. In most cases, individuals will be highly motivated to be healthier, and with it, a lofty goal they have in mind. However, once that diet change or work out plan comes into effect, that goal seems almost impossible. The progress almost non-existent.
“So how do I manage my nutrition and weight loss better?” I hear you ask. While there are many factors to consider when attempting to lose weight, here are a few simple rules to follow…
– Set a realistic, specific, and time sensitive goal –
Before even attempting to make any changes, it is important to plan out what it is you hope to achieve. Is there a specific weight you want to reach? A specific dress size? Do you want to be able to run a marathon? Whatever it may be, having something concrete to work towards can help you stay motivated.
It isn’t enough however to leave it at that. To make sure you have a goal that is achievable, you must be able to both recognise where you are at now, and figure out how long you think it’s going to take, to reach that goal. For example, you may have decided to lose some weight, in order to fit into an old suit/dress, ahead of a big occasion. But if you’re more than a few sizes up, and the occasion is only a few weeks away, that is setting yourself up for failure. Or worse, losing weight at a dangerous rate.
Instead, when setting your long-term goals, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to achieve them, so as to lose weight at a steady, healthy pace. Know your limits, and figure out what is realistically achievable in the amount of time you’re given. If unsure, get in touch with a nutritional advisor. Ultimately, your goal should look something like this…
I am going to reduce my waist circumference/weight by [insert measurement here], over ‘x’ amount of weeks, by [insert exercise or diet plan here]
Fill in the blanks as desired
– Find support in your social circles –
Even when we feel at our most independent, you are still dependent on someone else for something. Whether thats the people who have grown and prepared your food, to the friend you confide in when life is getting tough. So why should undergoing weight loss be any different?
Losing weight is difficult. For those who have attempted it in the past, you know the struggles you had to face when doing so. But by finding support from those already in your social circles, you can really minimise a lot of those issues. If you know a coworker who’s also thinking about losing some weight, ask them if they want to be your gym buddy. If you live with a partner, see if they want to learn some new, healthier recipes with you.
Whatever it may be, remember that you are certainly not alone. Even if you cannot find support from your current social circles, that are plenty of places online to find support. There are also places in your local area, usually in community centres, that will host weight loss groups you can join up to. Find one in your local community, using this NHS search page
– Let go of your self judgements –
Ok, picture this: You’re out with a friend, and you stop for something for lunch. Your friend appears to be having a hard time deciding what they want, and looks kind of distressed. You ask if everything is ok. They say they’re having a hard time deciding what the healthiest option is, revealing that they’re trying to lose weight, but is having a hard time with it…
In most cases, I would hope that you would be supportive of that friend, and would let them take their time in making the right decision for them. You’d also probably tell them not to be too hard on themselves, and that you’re happy that they’re even attempting to be a better version of themselves. At least, I hope thats what you’d say.
So if that’s the case, why would we not be that kind of friend to ourself? High expectations can lead to strong judgements, especially if we do not reach those lofty goals. When you’ve slipped a little, maybe snacked on something you probably shouldn’t have, and feel those judgements coming in, take a moment to step outside of yourself. What will these self-criticisms really achieve?
Be kind to yourself, forgive your own mistakes, and carry on in your health improvement journey.
Thank you to Future Fit Training for recently awarding me with a Diploma in Weight Loss Management. Click the image below for information about their nutrition courses…