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Weight loss obstacles
They get in everyone’s way. We’ve had them, our clients had them, and maybe you’ve hit some of them as well.
It’s never pretty, especially when it’s followed by or in the middle of a plateau…. but, they happen. Today we’ll tell you how to avoid these obstacles, and how to weather the unavoidable ones.
So what kind of weight loss obstacles are we talking about today ? Emotional, family, travel, cravings, and a few more. So let’s get on with it !
1. Sweet cravings when trying to lose weight
This is the first one people hit, and we’ve been haunted by it from time to time as well. It’s so frustrating to wake up in the middle of the night to pee and stop at the fridge looking for chocolate pudding.
Well, the problem is that self-control is hard to build, and hard to maintain. A small candy after a 3 week hiatus would seem harmless to some people because it gives them a small breather, and for some it can be the end of their diet because it leads to a binge.
So what we recommend is always, always starting with fruits. Switch to fruits immediately, and chuck out any sweets you have lying around the house. They’ll just be a distraction.
So whenever you’d feel like having some strawberry ice cream, get yourself and apple and eat it all up. If the craving persists, get another apple. Two things will happen:
- You’ll get the sugar from the fruit, so some of your craving will be sated. You’ll also get the vitamins.
- You’re reteaching your body obedience. Cravings are really habits you give into often, like smoking or not getting over someone (big topic, yes, but it’s a strikingly similar process).
What if you’re at a birthday party and there’s cake ???
Well, that one is entirely up to you and your relationship with that person. Ideally, the cake would not end up on your plate because both you and who invited you know you’re not having cake.
But life is rarely like that.
Actually, it’s the host getting quietly offended by this, and you feeling torn between your diet and not annoying them.
Always keep in mind that the majority of weight loss supplements will help, as long as you maintain a healthy diet and also exercise (at least a little bit).
2. Not gaining weight after visiting family
This is immensely painful. We’ve been there. Actually we’re there 2-3 times every year, when we visit our parents and they straight up get angry at us for not eating everything they made. And our grandparents. And aunts.
It’s an endless list, really. And you can’t please everyone.
Well, they’ve calmed down a bit and don’t expect us to eat everything, but they still throw a fit if we don’t eat anything at all from each of them.
The thing with weight loss obstacles, is that they’re fairly hard to defeat. But your family could be easier here, because you can always actually explain the situation to them — you have this diet, you want to lose weight, and you really can’t eat that much everywhere you go.
If they’re still human, they’ll understand and back off a bit. They’ll still insist, as always, but they won’t be touchy when you actually don’t eat half the table.
So you can eat a bit a grandma’s, have some mashed potato with your parents, and end up at your neighbors for coffee at the end of the night.
But only as much as your stomach allows, without over eating.
What if YOU’RE the one who wants to eat everything ?
Well, all we can tell you here is that you shouldn’t. And a trick to use, get yourself some small plates for your food. By small we mean the plates you’d eat dessert off of. It’s a proven way to help your brain think ‘‘oh, we ate everything ! we can stop now”.
Another great thing about the small plates, is that a second helping isn’t that much. We don’t condone second helpings in general, but here we guess they’d be acceptable. But never go past second.
Weight loss is always an exercise in will power, more than anything else.
It takes will to get healthy food all the time, and it takes will to say no to grandma’s apple pie.
No one said it’d be easy, but make a constant effort and you’ll see amazing results.
3. Losing weight on holiday
Or vacation. Or spring break. Or wherever you’re going, that you would be veeery tempted to binge on whatever local delicacy strikes your fancy. But this is a problem in and of its own.
You’ve left the country, you’re on vacay mode, you don’t want to count calories and you want to have FUN okay ?
Enjoy yourself, just be reasonable with what you eat. As in, if the local delicacy is a heavy carb with lots of gravy, and you really really want to try it then go try it, but split the dish with someone.
We’re sure there’s plenty of other local dishes, lower on the glycemic index, and that would be tasty. So try and keep your diet a bit, even if you’re on vacation.
For example, tomorrow we’re headed for Cyprus for a week. I have no hope of completely avoiding carbs – that’d mean just salads and fish – but I don’t intend to go further than rice and fish and some greens, as far as carbs go. Sweets are a no go for me, but a split ice cream and some fruit smoothies or lemonade will keep cravings at bay.
Another trick to try is to actually drink more water than normal with your meal. It takes a few minutes for your stomach to fully understand that it’s full, and if you’re still eating in those minutes, you’re pretty much overeating.
So stop eating just before you feel full. It’ll come in a few minutes, and you’ll be glad you stopped. If you stopped too soon, you always still have what’s left on your plate.
Grab those weight loss obstacles and hit them hard. They won’t know what’s coming.
4. Your family doesn’t diet/peer pressure
This might be a very tough one, and our clients are the ones who had to deal with it the most. You’re trying to lose some weight, maybe you’re not doing so great. You could use some support but maybe your family’s trying to convince you that you shouldn’t even bother (wow sabotage…).
Or maybe you’re the only one on a diet and have to watch everyone else eat ‘normal’ food. Or you’re out with friends and they go from poking fun at your diet and progress to straight-up pressuring and guild-tripping you into having this one slice of pizza with them, you’re always on that damn diet, don’t you want a break ?
Whew… this is never easy. Because you’re dealing with people who are close to you, and think they know you better. Or that they know you well enough.
Well, they’re not the ones on the diet, right ? This is going to sound horrible but…
Ignore friends and family when trying to lose weight. If they’re not actively on your side, they’re only going to get in your way.
It’s all about willpower and motivation. You can read our tips on weight loss motivation here (the second part of the article).
Ideally, you should have a nice chat with your family and friends about your trying to lose weight, and how important it is to you that they actually support you. If you’re encountering some resistance, don’t be surprised. But if it persists every time you bring up weight loss, that’s a whole other talk you need to have.
But what if my kids/husband/wife want some heavy carb foods ?
Then make them that food. And make your own, separately. Although, ideally since you know the benefits of cutting carbs, you wouldn’t be condoning that kind of food in the first place.
However no one responds positively to an imposed cut. As in, just not serving carbs to your family anymore will send them into very unfriendly territory. So ease them into it.
A bit today, a bit tomorrow, a bit more greens the day after that, add more soups to dinner, after a while introduce cream soups with croutons. Then take the croutons out. Then serve less potatoes and bread, but give them more meat.
Mix it up, and remember that you’re the one on a diet, not them. So don’t expect them to be 100% behind you with those salads. But your eating patterns shouldn’t be very different.
Just make their food healthier as well, while not restricting it as much. In respect to that, here’s some low carb lunch ideas you might want to try, and your family might be into them as well.
5. No time for cooking
This is big. Very big. This is something I’ve personally hit several times this year. We ended up cycling between ordering food and being unhappy with the kind of options we got (a lot of meat and potatoes out there damn it) or staying up late every day to cook after being done with work.
So I’m pleased to tell that I’ve found a happy medium !
Yep, this is one of the weight loss obstacles I beat.
I have 2 days per week when I cook meats and some more important side dishes (like baked veggies or something rice-based) and I portion them throughout the week. Quick and easy sides like steamed broccoli I do the night before and bring it to work.
You can do just one cooking day per week if it works better for you, the point is that you must organize your meals. If you want them to be very different from day to day, you’ll have more to cook on your cooking day. And you also need to take into account what to cook first and what keeps well enough and so on.
That’s why I’ve decided on 2 cooking days. We also have soups/stews pretty much every evening so that keeps well enough for 2-4 days. We’ll come back soon enough with an example post (or maybe even video) on meal prepping.
Things to know about meal prepping
- most meats keep for 1-4 days cooked in the fridge
- veggies keep much less, especially really mushy ones like zucchini and eggplant
- steamed brown rice keeps about 4 days if by itself
- soups will keep even 5 days, but don’t overdo it
- salads never keep more than a day
It’s a whole mess in the kitchen, and you will need help. So enlist whomever you need to do the dishes while you prep and cook because your sink will be full faster than you’d expect.
But who’s going to have good, home-made food at work (or wherever) that’s just great for their diet ?
Yep, you ! Go you !