You want to follow the path towards weight management and healthy eating, but for some reason you are experiencing setbacks. What’s really holding you back?
Common obstacles that some people face include:
- Bad habits and old ways - I am afraid to change.
- Boredom - I eat when I am bored.
- Stress - When I feel stressed, I eat lots of biscuits and chocolate.
- Sadness - When I feel sad, I want to have second portions and I don’t want to exercise.
- Happy - I always celebrate the good moments with sweets.
- A history of not losing weight - I have tried everything.
- Cravings - I’ve had my meal, but I still crave salty, sweet or fatty foods.
- Time pressure - I have no time to cook a healthy meal or exercise.
How do I make a change?
Self-awareness is the key to control the harmful effects of bad eating and physical inactivity.
- Identify and acknowledge the triggers that lead you to overeating. Keep a food diary. Write what you eat, when and how you are feeling.
- If you are stressed or feeling sad, go for walk, talk to a friend or a specialist. Food is not the solution.
- Wait 20 minutes to understand your cravings or hunger.
- Avoid food rewards. Try to reward yourself in other ways! Pamper yourself, go out for a walk, call a family member or friend or read.
- Set small goals to make your change seem less difficult. For example, start with walking 5,000 steps per day and slowly increase your goal to 10,000. Once your reach this goal, then try to change the walking pace to a faster one.
- If you are bored, develop a hobby. Visit a friend, take your dog for walk, get occupied by tidying your desk, cupboards or closets, enroll in a new class - occupy your mind with things other than food!
- Avoid eating while watching TV. During commercial breaks, get up and grab a glass of water.
- Eliminate temptations - do not purchase unhealthy snacks for the house.
- Avoid the aisles with junk foods (cookies, crisps, sweets, etc.) at the supermarket.
- Keep sports clothes visible to you and add physical activity into your agenda, like you do with meetings. Discipline is required to create a habit, just like brushing your teeth. With time it will become your routine.
- Being organized is a key! Plan a weekly menu, buy your groceries accordingly and make sure you have healthy snacks available at all times. For example, a low fat labneh and brown bread sandwich with cucumber and tomatoes, a banana, a low fat laban smoothie with strawberries or one small packet of oven-baked crisps (30g).
- Have at least three meals every day and try to avoid skipping meals.
- Talk to family and friends about your goals. Motivation is very important, and getting it from others makes a huge difference!
- Check your weight once per week at most. Do it the same day of the week, with the same scale on a flat surface. Has your weight increased? Reflect and think about your habits and what you can improve on. Has your weight decreased? Congratulate yourself and share the good news with your family and friends!