Updated: Feb 22, 2022
I know it's February, but it is still the beginning of 2022! We all know that come the beginning of a new year many people make a resolution to lose weight. Losing weight is one of, if not the top resolution we hear about. While there is nothing wrong with wanting to lose weight, a problem lies in the focus of that goal. Often the more we focus on the weight we want to lose, the harder it is to drop pounds. In some cases it can lead to yo-yo dieting.
Yo-yo dieting is a term used to describe the act of going on and off of a diet and seeing an up and down effect with the number on the scale. Often after going off a diet, body weight increases back to where it was before the diet or in some cases increases to a higher point then it was before the diet.
A recent review of research found that yo-yo dieting can contribute to:
Negative effects on cardiovascular health like hypertension.
Visceral fat accumulation.
Changes in adipose tissue and fatty acid composition.
Rather than focusing on weight loss, this year I encourage you to focus on promoting your overall fitness and creating sustainable healthy habits that will likely lead to weight loss.
Sustained weight loss can take a long time, when we don’t lose weight as quickly as we’d like it can be discouraging and frustrating, often leading us to counteract the progress we have made by going back to our old habits. By focusing on overall fitness and creating habits like eating nutrient dense meals, working out consistently, and taking care of ourselves, we are more likely to see success along the way by noticing how we feel, strength or speed gains, how our clothes fit, muscle tone, improved mood, and much more. These small wins help keep us motivated and committed to reaching our goals and can add up over time to the desired weight loss you are looking for.
Sounds great right? The hardest part of making this mindset shift is trusting the process even when you aren't seeing the results you want because they take time or because you are using the wrong kinds of ways to measure progress.
Here are a few things to keep in mind as you shift your focus from seeing weight loss as success compared to improved fitness/quality of life:
Look for the small wins - as mentioned above having more energy, feeling better, seeing your clothes fit a different way, running faster, getting stronger, sleeping better, and so many other things are successes! Focus on these to help keep you motivated.
Remember that it takes time to lose weight - think about how much weight you would like to lose. How long would you say it took you to put on that weight originally? In most cases it will take just as long if not longer to decrease your body fat.
Not all weight is created equal - think about what kind of weight you want to lose. Do you want to lose muscle or body fat? If you want to maintain or increase your muscle and decrease your body fat, using a scale is not going to give you an accurate measurement. The scale only tells us our overall weight not our body composition. If you lose a pound of fat and gain a pound of muscle, the scale will say the same as it did when you started making changes. It won't tell you that you've gotten stronger or faster because you added that pound of muscle.
The idea of focusing on fitness is what will actually lead to a longer and better quality of life, and it’s also why we must be intentional about the goals we set. Here are some tips for setting your 2022 goals:
Find your WHY
It’s not just about setting a goal. We set goals for a reason and to be effective you need to explore why this goal is important to you. Finding your why taps into your motivation to maintain progress towards your goal.
Set a S.M.A.R.T goal
SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Based. Breaking your goal down and discussing each of these points will help set you up for success. To learn more about how to set a SMART goal click here!
Start Where You Are
It’s important to meet yourself where you are at. Take into consideration what you are already doing and think about what is realistic to add to your plate. If you aren’t working out more than one or two days a week it’s probably not realistic to jump that up to 5 days a week. Start with small and easy ways to build habits, this will help you stay motivated and create sustainable changes.
Change Your Perspective
Rather than looking at your goal as all or nothing, try adapting a growth mindset. You will fall off the wagon, it’s okay, everyone does. What matters most is how you follow up falling off the wagon. Is it best to throw everything out the window because you overate at one meal or missed a workout? No, make the next meal the best you can and get your workout in the next day!
Check in with yourself, if you are feeling “too tired”, ask yourself “will a workout help me to feel better or worse?” and go from there.
I hope shifting your perspective will help you to create sustainable habits and increase your success with reaching your goals this year! If you have questions or want more information about setting realistic goals please reach out to us using our contact form below!