What keeps you from losing weight?

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Explaining the barriers to weight loss.

Most people will confront some sort of challenge as they try to reach their weight loss goal. The people who are successful at losing their weight are the ones who have learned to acknowledge and overcome their weight loss barriers.

Different types of weight loss barriers

The first thing to do is to understand the types of barriers that exist. Once these are identified, it becomes easier to develop the skills necessary to move past it.

It is important to understand that the challenges that you are confronted with are the same as many other people as they try and achieve a healthier self through diet and lifestyle changes.

Some weight loss barriers are perceived, meaning that it’s based on the thoughts or feeling of the person and these perceived barriers can be just as significant and real as concrete barriers, which might include a health condition or physical limitation.

Whether perceived or concrete, most barriers can be divided into 3 categories:

  • Physical

  • Environmental

  • Emotional

Physical Barriers:

Common physical barriers can include fatigue, sleeping problems, pain/discomfort and underlying issues. Whilst these can be significant, there are ways to address them and still lose weight.

Tips for overcoming physical barriers

  • Work alongside your healthcare professional to address any specific needs you may have if you have a medical condition.

  • Individualise your eating habits and exercise program to make weight loss more manageable.

Environmental Barriers:

Sometimes the environment you are in doesn’t support your diet and exercise plan. Environmental barriers can include: lack of access to healthy foods or exercise facilities, lack of social support, or lack of time due to social, family and professional pressures.

Tips for overcoming environmental barriers

  • Communicate with the people around you. Get support from family and friends by communicating your needs and be specific about the ways in which they can help you make your plan a success.

  • Get creative about exercise. You don’t need a gym membership to exercise. There is plenty of exercise DVDs available if you’d like to follow a program. Otherwise going outdoors for a brisk walk is a great way to exercise.

Emotional Barriers:

It would seem likely that if you want to lose weight, the last thing holding you back would be your own feelings about weight loss. However, emotional barriers to weight loss are quite common and significant. These may include scepticism about your ability to lose weight, a negative physical activity history, stress or lack of motivation.

Tips for overcoming emotional barriers

  • Seek help from a healthcare practitioner to provide support and encouragement in dealing with these barriers and options on how to overcome them.

  • Learn to motivate yourself. Motivation is a skill that can be learned. Acknowledge your courage for stepping out of your comfort zone and praise yourself for doing so. Avoid self-criticism and make your goals small and manageable at the start to increase your chance of success so you can continue on your path with positivity.

  • Address any stress that may be impacting on your weight loss journey. Stress has been known to lead to emotional eating, fatigue and sedentary lifestyle

For more information on how the professional Naturopaths at Naturally Dynamic Health can help you call (02) 6021 0556.

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