Know Your Enemies

Sometimes you diet and exercise the way you’re meant to and yet the progress is slow or even non existent and your marshmallowy body refuses to tone up. More often than not this isn’t due to any imagined genetic abnormality but rather because you don’t know your enemies well enough.

To begin with you’re fat partly because you’re a snacker. It might be boredom, a replacement for intimacy or due to any number of psychological reasons that you feel the need to constantly be chewing. In any case, when you finally decide to stop snacking on chocolate and Pringles, you might feel like you’ve won the war. However, a lot of people just start snacking on other things. Even food that is generally considered to be healthy can be fattening if you eat too much of it. For instance, fruit is healthy – right? But fruit also contains sugar, and if you eat it day and night as a replacement for chips and mayo then the calories will add up.

Another enemy in the weight loss battle is your sleeping pattern. If you’re up all night watching YouTube and get up early then studies have shown that your appetite will be greater and you will be more likely to store the food you eat as fat.

Having a life can also be a problem. If you’re out with friends it’s notoriously difficult to say no to food and alcohol and if you do this often then the treadmill won’t make up for it.

It’s easy to blame your failure on things around you but as always the main enemy is yourself. Are you really pushing yourself to failure at the gym? Try having a session with a good personal trainer and see whether you push yourself as hard when you’re on your own – most people don’t. You’re great at coming up with excuses for not doing cardio today, or not doing an extra set, but remember that the consequences will be on you and noone else.

In the same way, you’re really good at rewarding yourself when you’ve had a good workout. This can be so subtle that you might not even notice. It probably involves having slightly larger portions, drinking a soft drink you wouldn’t have touched otherwise, or treating yourself to something sweet. It sometimes also results in you treating yourself to skipping the gym the next day. This will make your journey a lot harder and will make you more frustrated with the lack of results.

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