The US Healthy People 2020 goal aimed to bring obesity rates down to 30.5 percent of the population by the year 2020.
The reality is that obesity rates in America have now surpassed 40 percent–with no sign of slowing down. Obese patients, classified as people with a body mass of over 30, are not the only people medical professionals are fighting to save. Even more alarming for the nation’s health is the large number of people who are overweight.
That’s three-quarters of American citizens (including those who are obese) who simply need to lose weight.
Are you struggling when it comes to weight loss motivation? Overcome weight loss barriers, improve your diet, and learn to stick with it with these useful strategies.
Check Your Mindset
Remind yourself that your weight loss journey is just that, a journey. The change will happen, but it won’t happen overnight. Just like a marathon, if you’re out of the post too quickly, you’re at risk of burnout. Slow and steady is the key.
A lot of people motivate themselves with body shaming. They look sadly into the mirror, pinch a roll of fat, and say: I must get rid of all this right away. Motivating yourself in this way can be destructive. A negative mindset often leads to negative results.
Research suggests that your need to lose weight might be due to underlying psychological reasons, not accepting who you are as a person, and a lack of the right kind of motivation for weight loss. Address these mindset issues and you’ll be on track for successful weight loss.
Clear Your Cupboards
Clearing trigger foods from your pantry isn’t about depriving yourself. It’s about making room for healthier alternatives. If you’re not ready to ditch the junk, keep it out of sight in a hard-to-reach cupboard.
Another great technique for keeping yourself on track with good eating habits is to make your kitchen a place you want to spend time in.
Some tips for an organized, easy to use kitchen include:
- Get your knives professionally sharpened
- Create zones in your kitchen for different activities
- Alphabetize your spices
- Buy bulk and store food in glass jars (seeing all that healthy produce is so satisfying)
- Label everything
- Buy a fruit bowl and keep it filled up
- Keep your healthy eating appliances (like that trusty spiralizer) in one place for easy access
Plan your meals and shop weekly, and always keep a back-up of the healthy foods you most regularly eat. That way you won’t be caught short, avoiding the temptation to order in.
Join a Support Group for Weight Loss Motivation
Accountability is everything when it comes to the need to lose weight.
Support groups have been a staple of the weight loss movement since the 1960s. From a group of neighbors getting together to a professional Weight Watchers meeting, there’s a support group to suit every personality and budget.
This kind of social support is proven to help people overcome their weight loss barriers. In-person meetings are usually facilitated by a guide. You get to weigh-in, discuss issues you’re having with the group, and learn new strategies and tips.
If you can’t get to a physical meeting, don’t fret. There are endless options for online nutritional coaching, from websites to apps.
Look to Weight Loss Medications
For some people, an online weight loss program works even better when it’s combined with weight loss medication.
If you’re struggling with losing weight, even after trying diet and exercise, your physician may suggest prescription weight-loss drugs. This approach is particularly beneficial for those suffering health complications caused by their need to lose weight. Sustained-release, implantable medication like Naltrexone is a safe and highly effective medical technique that can help people control their cravings.
Be sure to discuss any side-effects with your doctor before agreeing to take any long term medications.
Control Your Portion Sizes
When it comes to sustainably overcoming weight loss barriers, we’re not talking crash diets. An all-or-nothing approach is never going to work in the long term.
When choosing what to put on your plate, go easy on the foods dense in calories (think grains, meats, legumes, and seafood) but pile it high with fresh vegetables and leafy greens. Eat off smaller dinnerware: a side plate rather than a large dinner plate.
When you grab a snack or start putting dinner on your plate, ask yourself: Will I be happy with this decision in an hour? If the honest answer is no, then listen to your good advice and back it off.
Try to keep well hydrated, too. A lot of the time we think we’re hungry when we need to drink some water.
Watch the Sugar
There’s no denying that sugar tastes great. Unfortunately, sugar is in a lot of processed foods that we eat every day, and when we’re eating sugar in excess, we can develop an addiction to the sweet stuff.
Processed sugar provides a lot of calories for very little satisfaction. Instead, consuming a lot of sugary drinks or candy just leaves you wanting more. That adds yet another set of weight loss barriers.
Satiation is the key to feeling full for longer and with less food. Filling foods include starchy vegetables, legumes, grain-heavy breakfast cereals, and fatty fish. Craving sugar might also be a sign of nutrient deficiency: up your intake of zinc, magnesium, and chromium.
Don’t Give up on You!
Write a postcard to your future self and mail it. Stick it on your fridge so you can look at it every day. Incorporate affirmations into your daily meditation sessions. Set reminders on your coaching app to keep yourself motivated throughout the day.
The strategies available to help you find weight loss motivation are endless. Try out a few, find what works, and then stick to it.
If you’re a physician or registered healthcare provider looking to add to your weight loss patient programs, contact us for more information.