Tag Archives: stress

Overcome Common Weight Loss Obstacles

If you hit a wall in your weight loss journey, don’t stress, and don’t give up! We have some tips to help you.

When you start your weight loss journey it’s easy to feel motivated and excited for the changes you imagine in your life. The last thing on your mind is all the weight loss obstacles that could get in your way.

But the changes you want take time. And over time the excitement starts to fade. You realize just how difficult it is to lose weight. And it’s not uncommon for all your goals to suddenly feel impossible.

But you can do it. Just like the thousands of others who have found success before you.

But we know it’s not easy. It’s never as simple as just do more exercise. Or just stick to your diet.

If it were as simple as just following those suggestions, then no one would be overweight.

The truth is…no matter how much weight you want to lose, there will be ups and downs. You will encounter roadblocks.

The key to success isn’t pretending that won’t happen. 

It’s in being prepared.

So here are some insights about how to overcome six of the most common weight loss obstacles. 

That way you can make a gameplan from the start. And when something inevitably tries to get in your way, you will overcome it and succeed in your weight loss journey.

1.Diet Struggles

Constantly feeling hungry

Hunger is one of the most difficult feelings to ignore. And if you’re constantly feeling hungry, then you most likely won’t be able to maintain your weight loss plan for very long.

But there are ways of getting around that. Like by choosing foods that are high satiety, but low calorie. High satiety means foods that make you feel full after eating them.

Foods like oatmeal, fish, greek yogurt or Icelandic skyr, popcorn, soup, fruits, vegetables, and potatoes (not in french fry form—sorry, I know they’re delicious).

These foods are filling and low calorie. Many of them highly nutritious too. 

And they’re a good place to start for another problem people face around food and weight loss:

Not knowing what to eat

There’s a lot of conflicting information about what the best diet is. 

But it really doesn’t have to be so complicated. Your goal is to eat for health and weight loss.

Based on your personal conditions, you may eat a different variety of foods from another person, but there are a few general rules to stick to:

You want to eat more foods that have high nutritional value. Foods that get you a mix of the right essential nutrients your body needs to be healthy. And you want to keep your caloric intake low enough to lose weight.

But when you don’t have time to put in the research to learn about all there is to know about diet, it’s easy to feel stuck.

This is why having a meal plan created for you can be so helpful. It takes all the thinking out of the equation on your end. You get an expertly created meal plan and the results will follow when you stick to it.

You don’t have time to cook

When you decide to cook your own meals because it’s healthier than going out to eat or relying on microwavable meals, you realize how time-consuming cooking can be!

Plus you’re tired after work every day. The last thing you want to do is cook every night.

The best way to get around this weight loss obstacle is to meal prep.

Every Sunday making all of your meals and putting them into portions that you can easily grab and heat up throughout the rest of the week.

It removes the temptation to go out to avoid cooking. It saves you the time of cooking a new meal every single day.

And it’s the best way to set yourself up for success.

2. Exercise Obstacles

Find exercise boring

If you can’t find the motivation to exercise it’s possible that you find exercise boring.

The thought of going for a run sounds like mind-numbing torture. And walking on the treadmill for an hour? Total snoozer.

Not everyone would choose to spend hours of their week doing rigorous activity. You might have other passions and interests you want to invest your time in.

But there’s no denying the importance of exercise for your health. You avoid doing it at your own peril.

The reality is that there are so many types of exercise out there. And while you see fitness influences all over social media, or professional athletes on TV, don’t assume that you must go all or nothing into exercise as they have.

Find an activity you enjoy—yoga, swimming, walking, jogging, team sports, lifting, or dancing.

It can be anything. But you have to do it regularly.

At least three days a week of moderate to intense activity is recommended. But what’s even better is getting into the habit of doing 30 minutes of fun physical activity every day.

Just remember that if you start to get bored you can always switch things up.

Don’t have time

I get it—we live in a culture where being busy is the default.

So this makes creating time for longer workouts difficult for many people. It’s hard to show up for classes that run for an hour or longer when you barely have time for everything else.

But there are ways of saving time in your workouts.

One simple way is by choosing to workout at home instead of the gym. This cuts down on commute time you inevitably have to factor into your day.

And don’t feel like you have to follow any program that will take you longer than 30 minutes to complete in a day.

30 minutes is enough time to get in a solid workout. And it’s a reasonable chunk of time to set aside each day.

It’s going to be difficult to do at first. Especially if you haven’t established a routine. Or if your daily schedule really does feel like mayhem.

But the 30 minutes you invest now will improve the quality of your life now and for your future.

Pain 

Pain is one of the hardest weight loss obstacles to overcome.

But it can be done.

Work with a trainer. Speak with a physical therapist. These are people who are specially trained to work with you through your pain.

And with so many different types of exercise to choose from, you can find something that won’t cause you pain. 

3. Embarrassment 

It’s easy to feel embarrassed when there’s a lot of social stigma around weight.

Maybe you’re embarrassed that all your past attempts at losing weight failed. And you believe no one will take you seriously when you say you want to try again.

Maybe you don’t want to step foot in the gym where you see plenty of fit and thin people.

That kind of embarrassment and fear is paralyzing.

So how do you overcome it?

One way is to remember that you aren’t alone and you have nothing to be ashamed of.

Changing your lifestyle isn’t easy. And everything you’re doing deserves compassion and celebration.

Know that you belong anywhere. If fear of the gym is stopping you from getting the exercise you need to burn calories and lose fat, let’s consider a few things:

  • No one in the gym actually cares about what you’re doing or even notices. And if they do, they’re the problem, not you.
  • The gym exists for everyone who wants to get healthier–that includes you!
  • Give yourself time to learn. You won’t feel like a pro in the gym at first. Embrace those feelings of uncertainty and channel them into learning so you can feel more at home there.

And finally, find people who support you. Anyone who cares about seeing you feel healthy and happy won’t shame you for trying. Even if you tried and failed before. 

Having the support of others normalizes what you want to do. Support helps you overcome any weight loss obstacles and helps you feel less embarrassed.

4. Motivation Fluctuates 

Our motivation to do everything comes and goes in waves. Truly, for everything.

Professional athletes, musicians, writers, and people from all walks of life will have plenty of days where they just don’t want to do it.

It might be one day. It might stretch to two weeks.

Because what happens with everything is we often reach a plateau. Or we find ourselves stuck in a rut. 

But progress is still happening. Even if we can’t see it or hear it, it’s happening. And you’re not far away from another burst of motivation and improvement if you just. keep. going.

So you will face low points in your weight loss journey. You’ll feel like it’s no use or that you aren’t making the progress you want.

This is truly one of the most insidious weight loss obstacles because it’s so easy to convince yourself nothing you do matters during times of low motivation.

It’s overcoming those low points that are the ultimate challenge. But there are some ways to regain that spark and stay on track.

Read motivational books, listen to motivational podcasts, watch inspirational documentaries. Find people who are willing to listen to you and motivate you.

Surround yourself with all the positive reminders of why you want to lose weight. 

And most importantly: don’t beat yourself up if you slip.

Did you have an extra cheat meal this week? Did you eat more in the last two days because of some social events that came up?

Do not worry.

A lot of times, when we break a pattern or a streak we feel like we’ve completely ruined everything.

And when we feel this way, it’s easy to just say you’re a failure, and give up altogether.

Instead, try to recognize the truth of the situation: you enjoyed the first treat in a month because you were happy and wanted to enjoy yourself.

Accept it, embrace that moment, let it happen, and then move on.

To shame yourself will only ever keep your motivation in a downward spiral. It will turn harmless incidents into catastrophic events even when it wasn’t close to being one to begin with.

5. Stress 

Stress is one of the most overlooked but hugely important barriers to weight loss.

Our metabolism actually slows down under stress.

And when we are stressed it’s easier to feel demotivated and run into more weight loss obstacles than when we feel at ease.

So if weight loss is your goal, it’s important to consider how stressed you are. And what you can do to reduce your stress.

Some common ways are to meditate, spend time outside, read a good novel, watch a fun series, take a bubble bath, or exercise. All of these activities can help you take your mind off what’s causing you to worry. And instead, let you focus on the present.

And if stress is really interfering in your life in many ways, it’s worth talking to a professional about your stress. 

The outcome would be a better state of mind and improved physical health.

6. Schedule Changes 

Have you ever gone on vacation and realized that it’s nearly impossible to stick to your usual weight loss plan?

Here’s the reality about vacations: they’re fun but they wreak havoc on your weight-loss plan. 

It’s harder to exercise. You don’t know what kind of gym your lodgings will have—if any. And you don’t know how much of your usual training routine you’ll be able to stick to.

There’s also the matter of food.

Chances are you’ll eat out regularly. This means you won’t be sticking to the meal plan that’s best for your weight loss and overall health.

Whether it’s a vacation, a new work schedule, or a life change that’s going to upend your normal routines for the foreseeable future, you can overcome these.

First off, it’s important not to stress out about these changes. Whether they’re temporary or long-term, the key to overcoming this obstacle is to create a new plan to keep losing weight.

People have achieved their weight loss goals under so many different circumstances. Some are undoubtedly easier than others. But your goals are always possible.

What’s the easiest way to overcome all of these weight loss obstacles?

With support.

It’s proven that those who have support in their weight loss goals are more successful and happier while doing it.

Why?

Because the changes you’re making are huge! They’re life-altering. And there’s no doubt that making lifestyle changes and creating new habits is one of the hardest things for us to do.

But when we feel supported and like our goals have a purpose outside of ourselves, they become more attainable. They become more enjoyable. 

Find out how to get life-changing weight-loss support at Valley Medical Weight Loss to make your weight loss goals a reality.

Sources:

1.“7 Filling Foods to Prevent Hunger Backed by Science.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324078.

2. Kiecolt-Glaser, Janice K, et al. “Daily Stressors, Past Depression, and Metabolic Responses to High-Fat Meals: a Novel Path to Obesity.” Biological Psychiatry, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 Apr. 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4289126/.

Ashwagandha: Nature’s Stress Reliever

Last week, we discussed adaptogens and how they help your body respond to stress. We got a lot of questions about ashwagandha, a specific type of adaptogen that’s been getting a lot of press recently; so we wanted to dive in a little deeper and give you more information about this important herb.

What is Ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha is a traditional herb that has been used in Ayurvedic, Indian, and African medicine for centuries. In Sanskrit, the name ashwagandha translates to “the smell of a horse”. Many do say that the herb smells “horse-like”, but don’t let that scare you away. Some refer to Ashwagandha as Indian ginseng, but it doesn’t really belong to the ginseng family; it’s part of the tomato family. The herb is native to Africa, India, and the Middle East, but farmers now also grow it in United States.

Benefits of Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha’s major claim to fame is its ability to help the body cope with stress, but the benefits reach much further than that. Ashwagandha may also:

  • Boost the immune system*
  • Improve learning and memory*
  • Reduce anxiety and depression*
  • Stabilize blood sugar*
  • Lower cholesterol*
  • Improve energy and decrease fatigue*
  • Improve concentration*
  • Decrease pain, swelling, and inflammation*
How to Include Ashwagandha in Your Diet

The most common way to consume ashwagandha is in capsule form, but it’s also often available as part of multi-vitamin nutritional supplements or protein powders or as a tea. Typically, the recommended dose is 600 to 1,000 milligrams twice per day. The adaptogenic herb is readily available at most health food and supplement stores.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to prevent, cure, treat, or diagnose any medical condition.

Adaptogens: Your Secret Weapon Against Stress

What if we told you that 75 to 90 percent of all doctor’s visits are due to stress-related illnesses? Even worse, what if we told you that stress is a factor in five out of the six leading causes of death?

In recent years, stress has developed into a $1 trillion health epidemic. That’s more expensive than the cost of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes combined. So what can you do? How can you manage stress in an era that seems to glorify the concept of “busy”?

While it’s true that you can’t get rid of stress completely (some stress is actually good), there are many things that you can do to manage it. You probably already know about the big guys — meditation, yoga, and deep breathing, for example — but there’s another player in the game that frequently falls off the radar, and that’s adaptogens.

What are Adaptogens?

The term adaptogens was first coined by a Russian pharmacologist named Lazarev in 1947. He defined an adaptogen as any agent that helps an organism counteract any physical, chemical, or biological stressor by generating a nonspecific resistance. In simpler terms, an adaptogen is a substance that helps reduce stress levels by acting on the body as a whole.

In addition to helping reduce stress, adaptogens also:

  • increase energy and stamina
  • improve strength and mental focus
  • boost the immune system
  • balance mood
  • support a healthy weight
True Adaptogens

Many herbs are credited with being adaptogens: but in order to be considered a real adaptogen, a substance must meet three criteria:

  1. It must be non-toxic to the person taking it.
  2. It must act on many organs and body systems (rather than just one) and allow the person taking it to better adapt to biological, chemical, and physical stressors.
  3. It must help the body maintain homeostasis (or normal functioning).

Examples of true adaptogens include:

  • American Ginseng root
  • Ashwagandha root
  • Asian Ginseng root
  • Cordyceps
  • Dang Shen root
  • Eleuthero root
  • Holy Basil herb
  • Jiaogulan herb
  • Licorice rhizome
  • Reishi fungus
  • Rhaponticum root
  • Rhodiola root
  • Wu Wei Zi Berries/Seeds
  • Maca Root
  • Astragalus
How to Take Adaptogens

Luckily, many of these adatogens are easily accessible. Some of them are available as teas, while others are added to protein powders or liquid multi-vitamin products. Intramax, which is dubbed the “crown jewel of multi-vitamins” contains a stress management matrix that offers Ashwagandha, licorice, astragalus, and ginseng all in one place.

The best stress management program combines several methods of stress relief and management, but adaptogens should definitely be a part of that puzzle.