The New Year is coming and with that comes New Year’s resolutions. A staggering 70% of American adults are overweight or obese, so it’s no surprise that losing weight is one of the most common. I don’t know about you, but when I hear “New Year’s resolution”, I automatically think short term. New Year’s resolutions are easy to make, but as the old saying goes, they can be easier said than done. If you find yourself making weight loss your New Year’s resolution every year, it may be time to reevaluate your goal setting process.
A successful weight loss journey begins by recognizing the barriers that have potential to hinder or sabotage your goals. Once barriers are recognized, self-regulation strategies are put in place for when those barriers are encountered. Having a game plan will put your weight loss goal into reality and give you a better chance to ride the road to success instead of the road to failure. An article out of ACSM’s Health and Fitness Journal listed the most common barriers individuals encounter when trying to lose weight.
Barriers to Weight Loss and Strategies to Overcome:
· Lack of Support and Accountability
o Identify weight loss hindrances
o Self-help groups
o Encourage family and friends to give positive feedback and support
· Lack of Exercise
o Find something you enjoy or could possibly learn to enjoy
o Form and write down implementation intentions (time, frequency, type)
o List possible health and wellness benefits gained from exercise
o List negative health risks if weight loss is not achieved
· Lack of Willpower
o We all have busy lives, plan ahead (food prep)
o Recognize weaknesses and implement strategies (smaller portions, better choices, avoid buying the junk)
o Stress, sleep, consistency
o Self-awareness and mindfulness training to accept and work through negative feelings, rather than suppress them
o Why weight loss goal/goals important to you?
o Hope for better quality of life (self-esteem, confidence, sex life)
Having implementation and self-regulation strategies form a sort of guide to reaching your goals. Reaching success is dependent on overcoming these barriers and forming a new way of life. It is good to take a step back from your everyday flow to reevaluate changes that need to be made. Everyone is going to slip up along the way, but that is the purpose for coming up with a game plan. Successful weight loss is attainable, but you have to be willing to put in the work. The payoff will be well worth it, and who knows maybe you will inspire your spouse, a friend, or maybe even a coworker! It’s time to get back on track and it all starts with you!
Becca Carley, B.S, ACSM-EP