Common Challenges with Weight Loss and the solutions
Over in our Facebook weight loss wonderland I opened up a post to ask what the ladies ONE biggest challenge was in their weight loss journey. The two common themes that came up were:
'I always eat late at night, or midnight feast...'
'I never know what to do for inspiration with healthy meals and planning meals...'
Here are my responses to those amazing questions, so if these are your challenges too, you can also break through and transform them!
I love nothing better than stretching my own ability to do things like this! It makes me think it makes me think outside the box and makes me really dredge the knowledge and wisdom gleamed over my 10 years as a personal trainer, fitness instructor and massage therapist as well as helping people to lose weight with hypnotherapy and nutritional coaching.
So let's get started!
Challenge number one:
'I can go through all day eating well, being good and then from bedtime, or at midnight I need to wake up, have biscuits or have some sugar before you go to sleep.'
There's probably two rungs to this ladder...emotional and/or physical reasons for this.
We need to explore both of these, that is why they call me the Soulful weight loss Strategist! I dive in to the physical realm whilst exploring the spiritual/emotional realm of our challenges too!
Let's start with the emotional side of things:
So why at bedtime do you feel the need to eat something sweet, or have some treats or snacks? Or why does it wake you up at night and then you can easily go to sleep once you've had one?
Let's look at the possible emotions around this. Could it be:
As a child, you may have been given a treat before you went to bed, like hot chocolate and biscuit?
Is there something that maybe your mind is linking to now, a really good feeling that it's trying to make you crave at nighttime?
Or, could you possibly be avoiding going to bed for some reason? Could it be that bedtime was a horrible time for you? Did you try to put off going to bed as a youngster?
Is it simply a habit you've got in to?
Then, there's also the physical side of things:
Could it be that you may had quite a carbohydrate heavy meal for dinner, or your last meal before bed which is created a spike in your blood sugar levels which means you're now craving sugar as you're in a blood sugar dip?
If this is the case, it means that you might be needing sugar before you go to bed because the levels of sugar in your blood have plummeted. Could it possibly be that?
There are lots of things that you can definitely do to overcome this, regardless of whether or not it's emotional, a habit or a physical/nutritional reason.
- Prepare for bedtime. Taking some time to feel good. Getting into a good routine, going to bed same time every night regardless of whether it's the weekend or weekdays and just getting your body used to doing that starts to prepare for bedtime in the best way.
- Turning technology off at least 30 minutes minimum before you go to bed. This allows your mind to start slowing down, allows the bright light, white light effect on your eyes to stop affecting you.
- Pamper yourself. Moisturise your hands or your feet and just give yourself a little hand massage which is going to help you to relax.
- Use relaxing essential oils in the room (room you are in and your bedroom).
- Meditate for 5 to 10 minutes. Sit down and let your mind slow down.
- Become body aware. Feel all the pressure points of your body on on the sofa or on your bed before you go to sleep.
- Listen to a hypnosis. This will help you and your mind to relax. Here's a great one you can listen to all around weight loss.
If you create these really good feelings and vibes in your body before bedtime, then you'll find it will be easier to divert from the need to have those sweet foods, or you might forget all about it because you're already feeling good in your own right. If it is a habit you may require a little bit willpower to start breaking that habit, but once you've done that, you can actually start moving to developing positive new habits instead.
If it possibly a nutritional reason i.e. If you have had quite a carb heavy meal for dinner which is causing your blood sugar to plummet by bedtime, then try reducing the carbs slightly and increasing the protein within your last meal before bed, so that would just help balance out your blood sugar levels.
Challenge number two:
The second challenge that came up was knowing what to cook and planning. It came up that no matter how good the intention is to plan meals, it ends up going by the wayside or nobody offers to help, so then it causes resentment about doing it, so it stops.
I am a massive meal planner these days, I wouldn't be without it and I love the mental space it creates, to know what we will be cooking the morning when you wake up, or it is already being done in the slow cooker, already prepped in the fridge or you know what you're going to have so its just a case of getting it out when you're ready!
- Try and think of all the meals you can remember really enjoying. This could be eating out with friends, at home, whether it's in Summer or Winter.
- Find a healthy version for each one that is really simple and easy to to replicate.
- Name the meals on a piece of paper.
- Pop the papers in a tub and then build it up like a database.
- When you go into that tub every Saturday or Sunday to plan your meals for the week, your literally just pull them out like names out of a hat, so you don;t really choose what you're going to have because you've already done that and they are already meals that you all like!
- That's the hardest bit done!
- Once you've done that, allocate those meals to the days depending on the time you have to eat the meal, or the time you have to prep the meal.
If you are struggling to inspiration, go on Pinterest! It's an amazing resource for healthy meals, spiralised meals, low carb meals, low fat meals, home made soups, slow cooker meals! You literally just type in something and it'll come up with a million recipes! So long as you keep them simple, healthy and whole, actually they re going to be healthy for you, so you can open up your library, or database to lots more recipes and meals, making meal planning even easier, based on whether they need to be quick, or can be slow cooked!
When it comes to responsibilities and who does the cooking, I think sometimes you may have to have a straight talk with the others involved, maybe just to let them know that you do need to share the job of cooking. As much as you enjoy cooking for them, it's lovely to be cooked for sometimes!
These were the two big challenges that came through from the amazing ladies on their long-term weight loss journey, but if you have any questions, feel free to contact me and I will answer them for you!
Have fun breaking habits and meal planning!