Whether you’re trying to lose your ‘mum-tum’, those COVID kilos or you have a bigger weight loss goal, you are guaranteed to run into roadblocks. Not enough time, an upcoming birthday party, an endless day of adulting – they all add up to reasons to stop you in your weight loss tracks.
As a PT, I see this all day long. And there are three main mental roadblocks that stop my clients from achieving their weight loss goals. Unlock the roadblocks and success is just around the corner.
Want proof? How about Freya, who has lost 25 kilograms after having two sons despite never training in the gym before. Or Gina, who not only lost weight but gained huge amounts of strength – lifting almost three times her body weight! Or Jo, who lost almost five kilos, centimetres of her waist, dropped a dress size and carved a toned, curvy body of steel in her 50s.
Mental roadblocks are just that – all in your mind. If any of these 3 Mental Roadblocks Stopping You from Losing Weight resonate with you, take the action steps, commit to your health journey and get ready for results. You can do this!
You think you eat less than you do
Research shows we under-report our food intake by almost 50%. All those sneaky spoonfuls, the kids’ leftovers, the snacking on the run, the glass of wine that you think is a standard sevre (100ml) but is more like a super-sized sauv blanc. The truth is, unless you are tracking your calories, you don’t know what you’re eating.
Eyeballing is not enough either. Try this – go serve yourself a ‘teaspoon’ of whatever your guilty pleasure is – peanut butter, Nutella, almond butter, chocolate ice cream. Now weigh it. A standard teaspoon is 5g. But you can bet your sweet peach that your spoonful is more like 15g. Or more!
So we think we’re ‘dieting’ but we’re not. Or we stick to salads and smoothies all week then binge on takeout, eating out or alcohol on the weekends.
And to make matters worse, we over-report our exercise (by around 51%). Smart watches and activity trackers are notoriously inaccurate, and research has found that the more exercise you do, the less you move around the rest of the day. Meanwhile your brain sabotages your efforts, with thoughts like, “I trained really hard so I can eat a little more.”
The only way to fix this mental roadblock? Track your food and get real about what you’re eating. (No idea how many calories you need to eat to achieve your weight loss goal? I can help.)
HOT TIP: Track your food for 3 days using a free app like MyFitnessPal. Be honest! Just because you don’t track it doesn’t mean you didn’t eat it (we see you, sneaky Tim Tam after dinner).
Silver bullet thinking
You start a new program then ditch it after a few days because it ‘doesn’t’ work’. Or you think you’ll be able to focus after Monday, after this deadline, after the school holidays, after COVID. Or you endlessly tweak your calories – high fat? Low carb? High protein? Vegan? You’re constantly looking for the perfect combination that will help the fat magically melt away.
Guess what, the only silver bullet is consistency. It doesn’t matter if your calorie target is slightly off. It doesn’t matter if you choose spin over swimming. It doesn’t matter if Karen followed keto or Susan went gluten-free. What matters is consistency. Stick to the program. Measure your results weekly. Follow your nutrition and training plan for at least four weeks before making any tweaks. And stop second-guessing!
You’ll never know what works for your body if you don’t give yourself time to adjust and adapt.
As for willpower, momentum and mindset? You don’t need it. You need habits and consistency. Stop making excuses and waiting for the perfect time or the perfect program. Just start and stick to it.
HOT TIP: Commit to your weight loss program for four weeks. Stop Google searching and adding in exercises and meal plans from Instagram or Pinterest. Monitor your results, and only then make positive changes.
Setting limits on yourself
“A mum bod is the price I pay for my two gorgeous littles.” Sound familiar? Or what about, “I used to be able to lose weight in a flash, but since kids I can’t lose my mum-tum.” Or “I don’t have a fast metabolism.” Or even “I could never do that.”
Setting limits on yourself is a weight loss killer. And it’s not just that you don’t get started. It might be the reason you yo-yo between losing that three kilos and gaining it again. Sometimes in the same week!
Some simple truths: You can lose weight, if you have weight to lose. You can get stronger and fitter. You can be proud and confident in your skin. You can be even better, stronger and leaner than you were before children. You can be athletic even if you were never sporty as a kid. You. Can.
Setting limits stops you from achieving amazing things. Or makes you comfortable achieving smaller goals, when unstoppable success is waiting for you. Case in point – I always wanted to hit a 300kg leg press. I thought I’d smashed it and my limit was reached, until my husband challenged me to a 500kg leg press. Whaaat? Was that even possible? Yes. It was. And I did.
HOT TIP: Remove limits. Try to run a little further each session. Or lift a little heavier. Or do more reps. Or add foam rolling or stretching to your weekly routine to aid recovery.
Ditch the mental roadblocks and excuses. Invest in your health, and you’ll reap the rewards.