When I was overweight, I spent many years thinking about how great my life would be when I lost 150 pounds, but not much time actively trying to lose weight.
This is a common rut. A lot of people who say they're "trying to lose weight" are stuck in the thinking cycle. Now, there’s nothing wrong with thinking about losing weight. It’s important to visualize your success, figure out what you'll eat that day or week, and imagine what your life will be like when you're at a healthy weight. But there is something wrong when all you do is think about it and don’t act.
So how do you break the cycle? Ask yourself these five questions to discover if you're doing more thinking than acting. Be honest with yourself when answering, even if it hurts.
1. Have you been trying/thinking about losing weight but seen very few results?
2. Do you spend a lot of time researching weight loss but don’t put what you learn into practice?
3. Are you frustrated with your lack of progress even though you know all the right things to do?
4. Do people ask you when you're going to start your diet? (In other words, do they see you working toward your stated goal of weight loss?)
5. Do you try to stick to a diet for a day or two and then go back to just reading about weight loss?
If you honestly answered “Yes,” to more than a few of these questions then you're probably doing more thinking than trying.
All Is Not Lost
It’s a relatively easy process to start actively losing weight, especially since you probably know a lot about losing weight from all your thinking and research. I know I sure did.
Here are the steps to take:
First, acknowledge that you’ve been doing too much thinking and not enough doing. This is sometimes the hardest part. Who wants to admit they are the problem? It was hard for me, but once I did, I never looked back.
Second, put what you already know into practice. This may include:
- Signing up on a weight loss website like MyFitnessPal.
- Cleaning out your pantry.
- Shopping for healthy foods for the next week.
- Tracking your food intake every single day.
- Exercising regularly.
- Having an accountability group or partner.
Third, ask yourself every night whether you've put your weight-loss plan into action or if you've just spent time thinking about it.
Once you’ve seen some success from your actions, you can start thinking about weight maintenance, all the great clothes you can buy, and your exciting new fitness goals!