. . . That Aren’t About Food
Maybe hacks is too strong a word, but I know that these five things are so important that you are very unlikely to lose and maintain your loss until you’ve addressed most of them.
Last year I shared some of the ways that I maintain my weight loss in the post here. Today I am joining the Friday Five 2.0 from Fairytales & Fitness and Rachel @ Running on Happy to share the hacks that will help you lose weight, but have nothing to do with food.
It’s not about what you’re eating
I say this often: it’s not about what you’re eating, it’s about what’s eating you. Just changing what you eat will never work long-run — you have to delve into why you’re eating that way.
Think about what you can add/Deprivation
Deprivation never works. It always back fires. Cutting out whole food groups rarely works long term, unless, of course, you have a health issue.
Instead of approaching your eating with the view of what you can’t eat, try to think about what you can add in:
- More fruits & veggies
- More protein
- More vegetarian meals
- More healthy fats (nuts, seeds, avocados)
- More unprocessed carbs (sweet potatoes, potatoes, rice, starchy vegetables)
- More hydration
Unhealthy eating habits often stem from not accepting yourself at any weight, low self esteem, and poor body image. Of course there can be many reasons, but how often have you thought “if I only weighed ______” or “looked like ________”, I’d be happy?
It’s not always easy to love yourself when you’re not where you want to be — I totally get it, because yes, of course, like most women, even at a healthy weight I can still struggle with it. Not all the time, but there are days, especially if my weight is up a little bit and I can see that in my face.
But just like running is almost 75% mental, so is a healthy lifestyle. Your thoughts control your actions. Working on self love is sometimes even more important than what you put into your body, because in the long run, loving yourself will help you to maintain a healthy weight.
Positive affirmations and meditation are both great tools to help you learn to love yourself no matter what. Self care is important, too. If you’re not taking care of yourself, what exactly are you saying to yourself? That you’re not worthy of being pampered? That you are the least important person in your world?
Make it a game
Eating healthy doesn’t always have to feel so hard. Sometimes having a little more fun with it makes it easier. That’s why I’m enjoying the Feel Great in 8 challenge so far — you get points for healthy habits, and each week during the challenge some categories (fruits, vegetable, protein, etc.), increases what you need to do to earn your points. Maybe that’s not your idea of fun, but it’s a challenge (hence the Feel Great in 8 Challenge) and I love a challenge.
What is your why?
I saved the most important one for last. Why do you want to lose weight? What’s your motivation? Looking good is a given; we all want to look good. That’s probably not the real reason why — for the real reason, you have to dig deep. The good news is that once you find your why, you are more likely to be successful — as long as you keep that why in mind.
My why? Well, there are many. Yes, to look good. I worked and do work damn hard to maintain a healthy weight. I have more energy when I maintain a healthy weight — more confidence and self esteem, too, and who doesn’t want more of that?
My real why? To age well. I want to live better, not longer (although better and longer are the real pot of gold at the end of the rainbow). I have watched many relatives age, and not particularly well, including my parents. I know what I don’t want. I am willing to work hard for what I do want.
To come up with your own why, consider using the five whys, which might look like this:
- Why do you want to lose weight? So I can fit into all my cute clothes without struggling.
- Why is it important to you to fit into your clothes without struggling? So that I feel happy when I get dressed.
- Why do you want to feel happy when you get dressed? It makes my day seem easier.
- Why does it make your day seem easier? Because it makes me happy when I can fit into any clothes in my closet.
- Why does it make you happy when you can fit into any clothes in your closet? Because it makes me feel like a success.
Feeling successful is a good why, although it may not be your real why. Still, you can see how using the five whys (keep asking why about the answer you come up with ) will help you dig deeper.
You might also be interested in:
- Weight loss should make you happy
- 5 Reasons weight loss isn’t a punishment
- Danette May 30 Day Challenge review
- What is the right diet for YOU?
Talk to me. Leave a comment or answer a question:
What is your why?
Are you looking to eat healthier?
What do you think is the most important thing when it comes to weight loss?