As a health professional, and specifically a health professional who has worked in weight loss for more than 15 years I can spot an excuse a mile away
While some excuses are valid — you may have had a legitimate family emergency or have been really sick, the truth is that most of the excuses we use on a daily basis are pretty weak, and are ultimately preventing you from reaching your diet and lifestyle goals.
So if weight loss is one of your goals, here are some of the excuses I hear on a weekly basis and the ones you need to hold yourself a little more accountable for.
‘There was no time’, ‘I ran out of time’, or ‘I just don’t have time’. Hmmmm, who does? The funny thing about time is that we are all given the exact same amount of it so it ultimately comes down to how we choose to spend our time. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle takes time — you need time to prepare and shop for food; you need time to exercise and you need time to attend appointments that will help you to reach your goals.
So if your excuse is that you do not have time to prepare food or get to the gym, it is simply not that big a priority at that time in your life. Individuals who maintain their weight, who exercise regularly and who eat well most of the time make time to do so. It is as simple or as complex as that.
The irony with blaming fatigue as a reason for not eating well and exercising is that the less you move and the poorer your diet, the more fatigued you are going to feel. Naturally if you are feeling abnormally tired it is important that you make sure everything is fine medically but if you are tired because you stay up too late, eat crappy food and sit down much more than you move it is time to stop playing the victim. Make a commitment to get more sleep, eat a healthy diet and spend at least 20-30 minutes walking each day. These are all easy ways to help relieve fatigue the natural way.
This is a great one, ‘I’ll start tomorrow’, or next week — start now. Positive lifestyle changes do not occur with grandiose plans and unsustainable programs, rather they begin with you making each food and lifestyle decision a proactive, positive one. When clients bring in their food diaries with reports of fast food and binge eating, the question needs to be asked, ‘Why did you make that decision at that time?’ Positive lifestyle change does not mean you have to be perfect, or ‘off’ or ‘on’ a program. Rather it is about making strong food and exercise decisions more often than not.
There is a common perception that some people have it easy when it comes to weight control. Clients constantly report that it is too hard to follow a program or not fair that they have to be so strict and my answer is, ‘compared to who?’ I would argue that the majority of people who control their weight work pretty hard at it and rather than focus on ‘how hard’ it is, instead focus on the benefits of looking after their body and how good it makes them feel.
Eating well and exercising is as hard as you make it, psychologically and physically and the more you focus on how hard it is, the harder it will appear. So instead focus on the positives of making healthy lifestyles change and keep focused on moving forward.
Too Many Distractions
This is another good one — ‘I went off track this week as there were too many things on’ — events, parties, celebrations, work drinks. Guess what, modern life is busy and chances are there will always be these type of events on which means you will ultimately need to learn to manage yourself at them, rather than think life has to be structured and boring to be able to maintain a healthy lifestyle regimen. Much of this is accepting that going to an event or celebration does not mean you have to throw all diet structure out the window and binge eat. Nor does a busy diary mean you have to skip exercise altogether.
Rather it is about learning to control yourself and maintain a healthy diet platform and exercise regimen, no matter how busy the diary is. Once you focus on what you need to do to achieve this balance and one that is right for you, then the food and event distractions become less of a focus and no longer act as a major excuse.
Originally published on news.com.au.