Why Joining A Support Group May Be The Best Decision You Ever Make

Losing weight can be a difficult journey to negotiate. Even if you are fired up with a determination to drop three dress sizes before your holiday, there will be dark moments when you want to throw in the towel and just give up. It is at times like this that a lot of people need the help and support of friends and fellow dieters. If you’re struggling but nobody appears to be taking much notice of your effort to lose weight, you are going to find it even harder to reach your weight loss goal. So can a support group help, or should you just suffer in silence?

We All Need A Helping Hand

No man (or woman) is an island. We may be a strong, independent person in many areas, but the weight loss journey is often tied into our self-esteem. We want to lose weight in order to feel better about ourselves, but if we suffer from low self-esteem the little voices inside our head will try and sabotage our efforts at every turn.

Having someone to talk to and share the difficult times with will really help you work through the days when you think you’re wasting your time and what’s the point in dieting anyway. The whole point of a support group is that everyone is in the same boat. You are all in the same place, struggling and trying hard to stick to your diet plan. So if anyone knows what you’re going through, it is certainly your fellow dieters in the support group.

Fat Club Support Groups

Diet plans such as Weight Watchers and Slimming World offer bags of support to those who sign up for their weight loss programs. Going along to the weekly weigh-in meetings is a great chance to chat to your fellow dieters and share stories of success (or failure). Having that sense of camaraderie can make a huge difference in whether your diet will ultimately be successful (or not). You aren’t obliged to attend the meetings, but they can be enormously helpful if you are struggling to stick to a weight loss plan.

Online Support

Not everyone wants or has the time to attend support group meetings in person. We all lead busy lives and when yours is one long carousel of work and family, taking an hour out once per week to attend a weigh-in and support group meeting may seem like a step too far. In this instance, looking for support groups online may be a better solution. Virtual friends are often just as supportive as friends in real life. You can also chat to virtual friends 24/7, which is useful if you need some extra support at 3AM when food cravings are kicking in.

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Psychological Hurdles To Overcome To Keep You On Track

There’s no doubt about it—losing weight is hard, especially if you have spent years eating the wrong foods and developing unhealthy eating patterns. It will be difficult to change your relationship with food overnight, but there are certain common psychological barriers that can make the task of losing weight even more difficult.

Do Others Undermine Your Efforts?

If you have spent your entire life being overweight, others will be used to you in that guise. Your partner may have only ever known you as a larger person and coming to terms with the ‘new you’ will be just as difficult for them as it will be for you. It may be that they are afraid you will become much more self-confident if you shed some pounds. Issues like this can cause all kinds of problems. Having your efforts belittled and undermined will make your task a lot harder, so if your partner, family or friends are being negative about your weight loss plan, you need to understand that this is their problem and not yours.

Are You Depressed?

Many people don’t realise they are depressed until someone tells them. Unfortunately, depression is often linked to overeating and weight gain. When a diet isn’t working, it is important to look at the reasons why you are struggling. Do you feel like there is no point? Keep a food diary and try and tie in your eating habits with your emotional state, and if you suspect you may be suffering from depression, ask your doctor for some help and support.

Gyms Are Scary Places

Joining a gym for the first time is a scary experience, particularly if you are significantly overweight. But exercise is important as it will speed up your weight loss and tone up your body. Hiring the services of a personal trainer for a few introductory sessions could be useful in this regard as they will give you a program to work with. You could also try asking a friend to join with you if you need some moral support in the early days.

The Dangers Of Stress

Stress is a dangerous thing and if you don’t tackle the root causes of your stress, your diet won’t be the only thing that suffers. Try and recognise when stress is causing you to comfort eat or eat the wrong things. Look at your eating habits and spot the bad patterns. Do you hit the coffee machine and biscuit tin when you are stressed? If so, work out other methods of dealing with your stress—meditation for example.

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How Anxiety Can Hinder Your Progress

Anxiety can affect all of us from time to time. Job interviews, moving home, and relationship issues can all cause high levels of stress and anxiety, which over time will cause many problems. Unfortunately, high levels of anxiety are not good if you are trying to lose weight. Some people find that the weight drops off them when they are stressed, anxious and upset, but many more find that the opposite happens and they gain weight!

The Effect Of Stress & Cortisol

Stress and anxiety cause cortisol levels in the body to rise. In small amounts, this won’t cause too many problems, but over time it can have a disastrous effect. Raised levels of cortisol leads to fat gain in the abdominal area, also known as a ‘stress tummy’. If you don’t deal with your anxiety and stress, you will find it impossible to shift the fat stores around your middle, no matter how hard you diet or exercise.

When the body is put under stress, it tends to hold on to its fat stores. This is a survival mechanism dating back to when we lived in caves and life was a daily battle against the odds. Chronic anxiety makes your body think it is fighting for survival. A malnourished person is less likely to survive, so say “hello” to your fat stores because they will be around for a while.

Gut Inflammation

High levels of anxiety and stress, plus too much cortisol flowing around the body, will lead to chronic gut inflammation. This in turn will make you feel unwell, tired, and lacking in motivation, which is not a good state of mind to be in when you are trying to stick to a weight loss program.

Depression & Anxiety

Living with anxiety is hard work and the stress it places on your system is likely to lead to depression. Of course depression can also make you feel anxious, so really the two states of mind are closely linked and need addressing if you want your weight loss plan to be successful.

Keep a weight loss journal and write down your feelings as the journey unfolds. You may be able to spot a pattern. For example, being around certain people may make you feel more anxious and pessimistic about achieving your weight loss goals. So try avoiding them.

Comfort Eating

A common side effect of anxiety is comfort eating. We feel anxious and stressed and therefore we crave donuts and chocolate. So in order to defeat your cravings, you need to address the root cause of your anxiety and stress.

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Why You Should Never Use Food As A Reward

As you go about setting your workout goals, it’s important that you do have some rewards in place. Rewards are going to help you realise the success that you’ve just had and give you something to look forward to each and every step along the way.

But, what should you be setting as rewards?

For many people, the thought of digging into a piece of cake, ordering up a pizza or going to that little French restaurant that they love so much is something that they’d definitely enjoy using as a reward for their hard efforts.

But is this really the best plan? Or is it just going to lead you astray? Let’s look at some reasons why food should not be used as a reward.

The Obvious – Potential Weight Gain

First, the obvious reason not to use food as a reward is due to the potential for weight gain. If you are just having a food reward once every two to three weeks this may not hinder you too much, but if it’s happening twice a week  this is going to be a problem in terms of your ability to keep losing weight.

The Achievement = Good Food Connection

Another problem with using food as a reward is the connection that will come from it.

If you use food as a reward, any time you start to do something good in life, you may think that you deserve to eat unhealthy foods because of it. This can then set you up for long-term weight problems if you are constantly eating bad foods whenever you are experiencing happiness, joy or achievement.

You don’t want to associate food with emotions as that is what drives emotional eating.

The Short Term Effect

Finally, food will only provide a short term effect. Try and choose rewards that last a little longer – a movie, a night out with a friend or a vacation. This will allow you greater enjoyment than the few minutes that you’d get from eating the bad food that you had been craving.

So keep these points in mind. Using food as a reward is never a good idea, so try and seek out alternate ideas that will serve you better over the long run.

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Masting Your Attitude Towards Losing Weight – Video Blog

Team Beachbody Coach Jimmy Nelson shares with you his journey from overweight teenager to super fit personal trainer, letting you in on his secret about mastering your mindset before you can master your waistline. Your attitude towards watching what you eat, shedding those extra pounds and even your own self esteem can really affect how much weight you are actually able to lose so you need to be in control of your attitude before you will really start to see any improvement in your weight.

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How To Get Back On Track After A Set Back

If you’ve been on a diet for some time and recently have fallen off the bandwagon, chances are good you aren’t going to be feeling so hot about your progress. You’ll be feeling frustrated that you failed yet again to stick with the programme and feeling rather unconfident in your ability to actually stick to a plan and see the success that you’re after.

Fortunately, you can overcome these feelings. If you know a few helpful tricks to help you get right back on track after a set-back, you too can go on to see the success that you deserve.

Let’s look at the main points to know.

Remind Yourself Of Your Past Progress

The very first thing that you must do is remind yourself of all the past progress you’ve already made while going about your slenderising programme. You’ve see many great successes before along the way, and while this is one small set-back, it doesn’t disprove the fact that you can get results when you put your mind to it.

Remembering all the positive things you’ve done can help prevent you from turning this set-back into a belief that you are completely incapable of success.

Assess The Damage Done Realistically

Next, take a minute to really assess the damage. It’s easy to blow things out of proportion, feeling that just because you let yourself slide this one day, you’ve blown it entirely.

When you look at it more realistically, you’ll see that this isn’t in fact the case and more than likely, this set-back hardly had any influence on your progress whatsoever.

Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill. If you get right back on track, this will hardly be a bump in your journey to success.

Remember That No One Is 100% Perfect

Finally, also remind yourself that you cannot expect perfection. No one is perfect – everyone does make mistakes from time to time.

If you expect yourself to always be 100% on form, you’re setting yourself up to fail. Avoid thinking this way and you can move forward from set-backs more easily.

So there you have the main points to keep in mind regarding facing set-backs and overcoming them quickly and easily so that you can carry on and see the results that you desire.

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How To Get Motivated After A Set-Back

If you’ve just fallen off the workout bandwagon and are feeling a little less than motivated to get back on track and continue to strive for greater success, it’s important that you get a few things in place that will help get you feeling more motivated than ever.

Set-backs can definitely be frustrating, but if you think carefully about how to overcome them, they don’t have to crush your success.

Let’s look at what you should know.

Focus On A New Programme

First, it would be well worth your while to consider utilising a new programme as you hop back on the workout bandwagon. Sometimes a fresh change of pace is just what you need to keep you pushing forward.

Find a new programme to try out and watch your excitement for it soar.

Find A Mentor

Second, try and find yourself a mentor. Having someone that you look up to as you go about doing your workout can be just what you need at times.

A mentor can be there to help answer any questions you have about how to move forward and ensure that you are going about things in the right manner.

Learn & Adjust

Finally, make sure that you learn from your past experience. Why did you fall off the workout bandwagon in the first place?

Look at the reasons and then adjust and adapt them from there. This is important because if you don’t do this, chances are good that they’ll just happen again in the future.

So there you have the primary points to keep in mind regarding dealing with set-backs. Stay positive and you can get right back on track and stay more committed this time around.

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Setting Proper Goals For Faster Success

As you go about your workout programme and diet plan, one thing that you must make sure that you have in place is proper goals.  The goals that you select are going to have a huge influence on your desire to move forward and those who select improper goals may unknowingly hold themselves back from seeing the results that they desire.

Fortunately, goal setting doesn’t have to be tricky as long as you know the proper protocol that you’ll want to get in place for success.

Let’s go over the main points to know to set yourself the proper goals to get results quickly.

Make Them Specific

First, make sure that your goals are as specific as possible.  If you set a general goal such as losing weight, how will you ever know if you’ve reached that goal? You won’t, thus your desire to reach that finish point won’t be there as that finish point simply doesn’t exist.

One way to tell whether your goal is specific enough is if you can measure it. If you can measure the goal you’ve set, then you know that you have a clear distinction on when you will reach it and can then set your next goal to move forward from there.

Make Them Realistic And Attainable

Next, be sure that you’re making any goals you set realistic and attainable for you.  If you are currently 180 pounds and want to get down to 120, really think hard about whether 120 is a weight that you can maintain over the long haul. If you’re 5’9”, chances are that’s just a little too light for you.

If you’re 5 feet however, then it may be attainable, but if you want to reach that goal in a month, that probably isn’t realistic. They need to be both. That’s when you’ll be on track to success.

Set A Timeline

Finally, make sure that you have a timeline set. When do you want to reach these goals? If you don’t have a firm deadline in place, the chances will be much higher that you’ll just continue to put it off and put it off.

Get that firm deadline in place and tell others about it. This will help keep you accountable.

So keep these quick tips in mind as you go about your goal setting. Set proper goals and motivation should not be a problem for you.

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Why Rewards Are A Critical Part Of Staying Motivated

If you’re getting ready to start a workout programme, it’s important that you don’t overlook the role that having proper rewards in place will play. Many people do understand that goal setting is important and go on to set some good goals for themselves, but then neglect to follow through with some rewards.

Rewards can serve as a very powerful tool to keep you motivated at all times and ensure that you continue to strive towards greater and greater success.

Let’s go over why rewards are so important and how you can make sure that they work best for you.

They Mark A Milestone

The first reason why rewards are so important is because they’re going to mark a milestone of achievement. With each mini goal that you set along the way to your long-term goal, if you set yourself a mini-reward for it, you’ll break down the path to that long-term goal and make it so much easier to achieve.

Having the reward to celebrate with is going to boost the feelings of satisfaction you get from reaching that milestone and help you press onwards to greater success.

They Boost Self-Efficacy

Next, rewards will also boost your level of self-efficacy. This means that they’ll help you feel more capable of reaching your goals and ability to carry through on your intentions.

Having a high level of self-efficacy does tend to be important for long-term success, as those who have higher levels will attack their goals with greater intensity.

Choosing Smart Rewards

So now that you can see why rewards are so important for success, how do you go about choosing the best rewards?

The key is to first make them not about food as much as possible. While it may be tempting to make your reward all about having a certain meal or dessert you crave, try and stay away from this as it only forms a connection between success and food that you don’t want to build.

Instead, try and choose other things that are important to you. Seeing a movie with a friend, buying that new bag you had your eye on, or – if it’s a longer term goal – possibly taking that vacation that you’ve wanted to go on for so long.

The more meaningful the goal is to you, the better.

So there you have a few quick tips regarding setting proper goals that work for you. Make sure you don’t overlook their importance.

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How To Maintain Naturally High Levels Of Motivation

If you’re someone who’s been going about your workout and diet plan and are starting to wonder how some people always seem to stay motivated when you can’t seem to go a week without a slip-up, you need to learn a few key secrets.

Naturally motivated people have a slightly different mindset than those who aren’t, so by tilting yours in favour of the following techniques, you can help keep yourself committed for the long haul.

Exercise For Internal Reasons

The very first thing to do is to shift your primary motivation for exercising in the first place. If the only reason you’re hitting the gym is to fit into a size 6 pair of jeans, you’re going for the wrong reasons.

Start focusing on how exercise makes you feel and think about that next time you’re tempted to skip a session.  It’s these reasons that you should be going to the gym because these are the ones that will never die out and that will keep you coming back for more regardless of what your weight happens to be doing.

Don’t Do Things You Don’t Enjoy

Second, make sure that you’re always doing workouts that you enjoy. Don’t force yourself to run if you absolutely hate the thought of it.

That’s silly and will just cause you to want to avoid exercise entirely. Start seeking out activities that you know you enjoy and that you will look forward to each day. If you actually want to do it, it’s not going to feel like half the challenge carrying through with your programme as you strive for greater success.

Don’t Strive For Perfection

The last thing that you should know is that you should never be striving for perfection. Those who are naturally motivated are going to always make the most of any situation they’re given.

If it’s not perfect, they don’t stress – they just try and do their best.

This frame of mind helps them prevent falling off entirely because no matter what, they are just doing their best.

Most of the time their best is enough to keep them seeing results, so they have no problem progressing forward.

So there you have the few key secrets of the naturally motivated. Are you missing any of these? Start integrating them into your own approach to your workout programme.

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