Stop... Failing and make weight loss happen (Part 1)

As part of our ‘Stoptober’ series of talks for Lululemon in Marylebone, I was talking to a group of their customers about how best to lose weight once and for all.

Many of us struggle with our weight and you may find it good to know that if you’re in that boat, you are the same as most people in the UK and many of the people we work with here at Tate Wellness.

Having worked with several clients to help them get through this challenge (I include myself in this, I failed at this for a long time too!), I believe that we fail for several very typical reasons and so I thought I would share with you a brief overview of what I told the guys last Saturday.

In my eyes, the 4 main reasons we don’t succeed are:

1. Motivation

When I talk about Motivation, generally I am talking about goals. We often pick very negative, unrealistic, narrowly focused or brutal goals that do not inspire us to succeed.

When you set yourself nothing but a number on the scales to beat, you’re really setting yourself up to fail as you hop on the scales. This is because our weight fluctuates throughout the day and so you could get a much worse reading than you deserve (the opposite is also true).

This is why you need to think big and wide ranging when you plan your goals and not just fix them on a number on the scales or you’ll be disheartened and reaching for the chocolate in no time!

2. Information

What information means for me is the approach you use for your health kick, is it a cauliflower soup diet your friend at work told you about or a belly fat busting GVT training approach that you read about in Men's Health? I would most probably recommend neither of these...

Being a millennial (I just get in by the skin of my old wisened teeth), we were brought up to be skeptical as a first port of call for many things. We seldom trust the government, large corporations; we even struggle to take the news at face value.

Yet when it comes to health and fitness, we seem to believe anybody who tells us what we want to hear. We follow ridiculous diets (and dieting products) recommended to us by sponsored Instagram ‘influencers’ who have very little regard for our own wellbeing and we believe shoddily put together magazine pieces about ‘the three exercises that will make you ripped’. The fact is we need to take responsibility for our new plan... We need to do better.

Also too many people pick a diet or training plan that they do not know enough about and that is way too extreme for them. This leads to people becoming disheartened and giving up.

So do your research and speak to some actual professionals, don’t leave it to social media to save you and don’t expect it to be fast or easy. Making a lasting change very rarely falls into either of those camps but if you are keen to make it work and happy to put the time and effort into learning what it is that you need to do, you will have a much better chance of succeeding.

3. Preparation

This I see as how it all comes together and fits in to your life and it’s where people are often naïve and short sighted. There is no point taking extreme lifestyle choices if you are not going to consider how they integrate into your every day routine.

Don’t swear off alcohol for the next 3 months if you are going to go to the pub every night with your mates because they will break you! That's not because they are horrible people but as time progresses, the steely willpower with which we start, begins to erode and we will find it hard to say no. The same applies to the food choices we are faced with when we go out, early on, we love the salad but as time goes on, we will start opting for the odd pizza and fall back into our bad habits.

This is why we need to make it easier on ourselves (at least in the short term) and avoid the pitfalls that we know are coming. Make coffee dates not drinking dates and meet in the park for a pre planned healthy picnic rather than meeting in a pizzeria and collapsing into a calzone.

4. Acts of a Higher Power

Obviously I don’t believe that option number 4 is legitimate. I know that it sometimes feels like something unbelievable comes out of the blue and stops us in our tracks but the truth is, we can choose how we react to any outside influence. No matter how great it may seem, if we want to if we want to find a way past it, we can.

In my next week's instalment, I will tell you how you can do a much better job of planning your weight loss journey to help you to succeed and to continue succeeding, rather than yoyo-ing like so many people do.

Until then, have a great week.