The complexity of weight-loss

The principle of weight-loss is very simple: “Move more and eat less!”

Easier said than done, right?! There are so many influences and variables that determine the success of achieving weight-loss.

Let’s explore some of those influences.

Work & stress

Working in an office itself, presents with many obstacles and temptations. There is always someone who brings in cake or other goodies to boost moral. However, if you are trying to lose weight, this situation alone is very challenging. 

Firstly, you’ll have to summon the discipline to not be tempted and secondly to say no when a slice of cake is being offered. Saying no is exhausting too, as the person offering something is not simply going to accept your answer. 

It’s usually followed by “Why not?!”; then you have to explain yourself, this then is followed by “Oh go on, live a little!” you in the meantime are trying to stick with your decision, but it’s getting more and more difficult.

The key here is to persevere for at least 2 weeks until your generous colleagues will give up and accept your decisions.

This is just one example of why work adds to the complexity of weight-loss.

Another one, are the stresses work has to offer. After a long stressful day, all you want to do is to relax on the sofa with an alcoholic beverage or a treat of sorts; not only because you believe you deserve it but also to calm your nerves. 

The last thing on your mind is to go for a workout.

The media

We get it from all angles; the latest gadget, diet, supplement or celebrity that promises us weight-loss; quick and easy!? 

Unfortunately, this is not the case, yet we indulge ourselves into thinking “it’s worth a try” or “what have we got to lose”. We all know there is no “quick fix” or a “magic pill.”

In a way, it’s not the media’s fault as it will always promote the extra-ordinary. For some reason we believe it is ordinary and that we should do what is promoted to become the person who is promoting it; whatever “it” is.

“Beautiful celebrities with beautiful bodies are far more interesting than reading up on a scientific paper or anything factual”. (General speaking with a hint of sarcasm)

Seeing these promotions day in and day out can make us feel bad about ourselves; because we might have unrealistic expectations of the products and what we can achieve with them.

After trying many things and not seeing any results, can lead us questioning “why do I even bother, I will never look like this or I will never achieve this.”

The trick here is to stop comparing yourself with others. Any form of activity yields health benefits and so does eating sensibly.

Social gatherings

I know so many people, who do really well from Monday to Thursday, but come Friday they manage to undo all the good in just two days. 

It’s not because they didn’t have the best intentions of being good over the weekend. It’s because of the peer pressure and the fact that a lot of us associate feasting and drinking with living life.

No matter what it is, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries or just meeting an old friend, everything revolves around food and drink, in order for us to have a good time.

This complicates the whole trying to lose weight thing!

It can be done; to have both, a great time over the weekend and lose weight at the same time. For this to work, careful planning is required. Easy? I think not!

Holidays

We all love and deserve a nice holiday. A few people, prepare themselves months in advance to make sure they can fit in a swimming costume and are comfortable with how they look and feel. 

This is all very positive; setting a goal, achieving it and feeling great about it.

Side note: There is big discussion and an argument going around about looking good and feeling good, now matter what your body shape. I will talk about this subject in another post, later.

However, when on holiday, it’s a little like the social gatherings, most things revolve around food and drink; especially when you’ve gone all inclusive. Most of you want to get your money’s worth!

This means tucking in, even if you are not enjoying it anymore after a few days. Nonetheless, we want to persevere, don’t we!? 

Anyway, it’s the return, that’s the biggest obstacle. We come back feeling blue, having to start work again; we feel sluggish and jumping back into action where we left off is just depressing.

The intention of eating healthy and increasing activity after a holiday is very challenging; especially  after gaining a few pounds.

Family & friends

So, you have decided to lose some weight, but you live with a family or friends who don’t want to lose weight. Not everyone will understand or even support you in your quest. 

Daily frustrations of witnessing others eat what they want and like while you can’t, can test your discipline and willpower.

It’ll also disrupt the routine and something that used to be simple, like cooking dinner, is suddenly a challenge and can cause arguments.

It’s very easy to give up just to keep the peace. However, it can be done! The “simplest” solution would be to carry on eating what everyone else is, but less of it.

The weather

The great British weather! We all know that our weather is incredibly erratic and unreliable. Planning outdoor activities is tricky.

With bouts of sunshine, we try to make the most of it and everything else lands at the bottom of the priority list, especially exercise and diet. Who doesn’t want to enjoy a Pimms or two, while having a BBQ on a sunny day in the UK!?

At the other end of the spectrum, we have long winters with little daylight, putting us in hibernation mode: Lack of energy, craving comfort foods and needing to sleep more.

Building a strong, realistic exercise routine and healthy eating plan into your lifestyle can help you jump over those obstacles.

Body Types

Everyone is different and your genetic make-up plays a big role in wether you’ll lose weight easily or not. If you don’t fall under the “average” category then most weight-loss guidelines won’t apply to you.

It then becomes very difficult to figure out what works and what doesn’t. Unfortunately, most people will have to go through a trial and error process until they find a solution. 

This journey can be very frustrating and sometimes it can feel like there is no solution or there is a solution but it’s so difficult, it’s not even worth trying.

Exercise

There is a misconception that exercise is key to weight-loss. 

You can lose weight without even breaking a sweat, and you can exercise like a maniac and your weight stays the same or quite often it even increases.

Don’t get me wrong, exercise does play a role, directly and indirectly, but it’s not as effective at achieving weight-loss as you think.

So what is the answer?

After reading my post you might think, the principle of “moving more and eating less,” is laughable!

So what should you do?

Stop stressing about your weight! 

Focus on improving your health through exercise and sensible eating. If you lose some weight in the process it’s a bonus, if not, it doesn’t matter, at least you are doing something positive and healthy. 

Even if you don’t change anything but increase your activity you’ll be improving your health.

After all, what do we have if we don’t have our health?

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