The Problem at Hand
One of the main things people really struggle with if they haven’t had significant weight loss is that they try to increase their level of activity. Some of us have not been very active, especially if we’ve been overweight for a long time; our bodies become very efficient at running on a low amount of calories. I’ve had so many patients that come in before surgery and they tell me what they eat or have been eating for the last few years and they are eating only 1,000- 1,500 calories a day which is very low. They say that everyone expects them to be eating a lot but they are not and a lot of that has to do with the fact that if you’re not staying active and if you’re not able to have an active lifestyle your metabolic rate tends to lower and so you really have to fight that.
Stay Active for Active Weight Loss
Especially if you’re a woman, it’s unfair, but females have less muscle mass and so you really have to rely on resistance activities. It may not be enough to get on the treadmill for 30 minutes. Try adding some hand weights for resistance and to build lean muscle mass. For instance, I like to get the 1-2 lb. ankle weights or the wrist weights that add help build lean muscle. You can walk wearing these items and that little bit of extra weight even if it is just a couple of pounds can make a big difference to help raise your metabolic rate.
Getting a New Life
Lifestyle changes are something that come with time. It doesn’t happen in 1 day and a lot of people get super frustrated about the fact that they are not perfect. Some individuals make one mistake and so they think, “I’ve made a mistake. That’s it. I can’t do this.” Well, you will make mistakes, but you have to learn from that mistake and you have to ask yourself, “Did I make a mistake because I didn’t plan ahead,” or “Did I make a mistake because it was just an emotional decision?” Think about these questions and then ask yourself what you can do the next time so you are prepared when you find yourself in a similar situation.
Life Example for Lifestyle Changes
Compare making lifestyle changes with changing a flat tire. What do you do when you get a flat tire? Change it? Call AAA? Call your husband? Do you ever get a shotgun and shoot your other 3 tires because you have one flat? No. You fix that tire however is best or easiest for you and move on. That is how we need to look at making lifestyle changes. You will make mistakes, but you have to try and patch those mistakes, learn from them, and move on.
Don’t Dread, Plan Ahead
We make a mistake, we start the day with a doughnut instead of oatmeal and we think that’s it, the day is done, I messed up; instead of thinking, “what can I do the next time to really prepare?” so maybe I had a doughnut for breakfast, that’s OK. Try to have a healthy grilled chicken salad for lunch or some steamed vegetables with a lean piece of meat or tofu. Prepare for the future instead of just dreading on what happened a few hours ago.