1. Other people will try to sabotage you
Some people, who often sincerely want to be helpful, will tell you that “it’s simple: calories in – calories out”, that you “just need to eat less, move more” and eat “everything in moderation”, or that “it’s just a matter of willpower.”
Once you’ve successfully lost some weight, people who feel threatened by your progress may start enticing you to eat more: “Why aren’t you eating a full serving?”, “Don’t you like my cooking?”, “You are so skinny now, I’m sure you can have a large piece of chocolate cake.”
Often times, your dedication and results make them feel challenged and uncomfortable. They may also love to follow your path but it’s sometimes much easier to sabotage you so you can go back to your old habits (and gain some weight back) so they don’t have to question themselves too much.
It can be really hard to stay consistent with your healthy eating plan when people around you are not supportive, so be prepared to handle their reactions.
2. You will have to take a serious look at your relationship with food
You will need to look beyond calories and food choices, and look at your relationship with different foods almost the way you do with people in your life.
Maybe sweet foods are your best friend when you feel unloved or rejected. Maybe chocolate is like a friend you compulsively dial to rant about your job or your relationship. Perhaps these greasy snack foods you don’t even enjoy are your companion when you need to relax at the end of another long day.
You can’t simply diet your problems away. Even though it may not be easy, you need to take a look at your life and be prepared to deal with the deeper issues that drove you to overeat and gain weight in the first place.
3. Getting enough sleep will help a lot
Researchers at the University of Chicago found that sleep deprivation could hinder fat loss and that it also led people to feel hungrier because of higher levels of the hormone ghrelin. This not only means that you will manage to lose more fat when getting the recommended eight hours of sleep; it also means that sleep deprivation leads to a loss of lean body mass, which can be detrimental to your health.
Moreover, studies have shown that sleep deprivation can lead to overeating and junk food cravings. Getting enough sleep can help lower cravings for calorie-dense foods in adults, which means you will probably find it easier to stick to a healthy diet and you’ll be happier about the numbers on the scale.
While we would all love weight loss to be easy and we often fall prey to fad diets that promise we’ll be rocking the bikini within just a few months, we need to accept that weight loss is a journey. There will be binges, breaks, crash-and-burns, but what we really want is look at it as a lifestyle. You’re not here to lose the weight, but to keep it off, ideally for the rest of your life.