It’s a new year, and if you’re like many people, one of your New Year’s resolutions may be lose weight and improve your health.
The numbers on the scale can give you some important information about your progress, but if you’re not careful, these numbers can also lead to a downward spiral of negative thoughts and emotions.
Identify the specific reasons why you want to lose weight
There are many reasons why people want to lose weight. For example, some people want to lose weight to improve their general health, to feel better, or to get a handle on their diabetes management. For others, it’s to look better or because someone else is pressuring them to lose weight.
If you are thinking about losing weight, identifying the specific reasons why you want to lose weight can help set you up for long-term success in a couple of ways. First, a specific reason can keep you motivated if things get tough on your weight loss journey. Second, identifying the specific reason that you want to lose weight can be a good reality check on if your motivations are healthy, or if you are looking to lose weight for the wrong reasons.
Set realistic goals
Once you’re comfortable with the reasons why you want to lose weight, it’s time to set some realistic goals. Setting unrealistic goals can set you up for failure and disappointment. If you’re not able to achieve the goals you set, it’s easy to get frustrated and give up.
Weight loss requires time and patience and setting unrealistic weight loss goals, especially if you want to lose too much weight too fast, can be a sign that you’re trying to lose weight in a way that’s not emotionally safe. If you find yourself setting unrealistic weight loss goals, try resetting them to be more realistic. If you’re having a hard time doing this, it might be helpful to take another look at your motivations for losing weight and how willing you are to be patient in achieving your goals.
Look for ‘red flags’
As you’re losing weight, check-in with yourself to see how you’re doing emotionally. Be on the lookout for thoughts and feelings that bring an unhealthy perspective into the weight-loss process. These ‘red flags’ may look different for each person, but the common theme you’ll notice is that they take away some aspect of your life that is important to you like peace of mind, nutrition, and health, or relationships.