by Caitlin H,
Mar 28, 2022
Sometimes we set out with the best intentions in life, but find ourselves facing barriers that work against us, making a task or goal seem difficult or almost impossible.
That’s true in many areas, one of which is certainly weight loss. Thankfully, though, many of those barriers are simply perceptions — and perceptions can always change.
In fact, scientific research provides insight into women’s perceived barriers to finding success with weight loss programs. It’s essential to understand these barriers to overcome them and show us that it is, in fact, more than possible to achieve whatever we set out to do.
With that in mind, we’re going through four of the most common issues that women perceive as their weight-loss barriers…and how to overcome them!
1) I am too stressed and don’t have time.
Stress and being “too busy” go hand-in-hand, particularly for on-the-go women who work and maintain a household. When work and home responsibilities pile up, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and put your health on the back burner.
How to Overcome: Demands on your time are inevitable. But scheduling time for yourself and committing to it is critical to managing that stress and making yourself a priority. Sit down and create a solid plan for achieving your weight loss* or health goals. Schedule out 30 minutes a day to exercise. Write a grocery list that includes only healthy food, or consider a meal program like Diet-to-Go. And then, commit to keeping to it. You will very likely find that the stress you feel subsides when you start doing natural things — like eating better and exercising — to counteract it.
2) I am depressed.
Unfortunately, depression is a very real thing many women face. In fact, women are 2-3 times more likely to develop depression than men. The symptoms of depression — which include feeling empty, lonely, tense, irritable, unable to concentrate, without energy, or unable to sleep — can perpetuate unhealthy eating. It may seem easier to reach for the bag of potato chips than to get up and make a healthy snack of peanut butter and celery…and that just adds to the cycle.
How to Overcome: The first step to combating depression is to seek help. A mental health professional can help you create an individual plan to manage your depression, whether that be through therapy or medication. From there, studies show that cleaning up your diet can go a very long way towards improving symptoms of depression and anxiety. Replacing the junk food with more wholesome choices may help you cope better.
3) I crave unhealthy foods.
Food addiction is real. A National Institute of Health systematic review of studies found that overall, food addiction is comparable to substance abuse. Processed, sugary and high-fat foods have a powerful effect on the brain that make it more difficult to stop eating them the more you do.
How to Overcome: Food addiction can be severe enough that you may have to seek professional help. However, there are a few simple steps you can take to combat it. Those include:
- Identifying your trigger foods so you can avoid them.
- Only visiting restaurants that offer healthy options.
- Making a list of healthy foods and loading up on them.
Getting over your food addiction is the first step towards changing your life. Once you do that, you’ll likely find that you no longer crave the terrible, unhealthy foods that you were before.
4) I am not motivated to exercise.
It’s very understandable that having the energy, desire or will to get up at the crack of dawn and go to the gym or stop at one after a long day at work is tough to find. Motivation is a tricky business, but it’s not impossible to create.
How to Overcome: Finding motivation depends on your personality. For example, if you’re someone who enjoys being with friends, signing up for a group fitness class or getting an accountability partner may be just the thing for you. But if you’re more of a lone-wolf type, you might find things like tracking your progress, breaking up routines and focusing only on yourself are better. WebMD put together a handy list of “10 Ways to Boost Your Exercise Motivation” that can help you find what works for you.
Whether you’re struggling with finding motivation or being overly stressed or are facing potentially serious issues like food addiction or depression, these steps can help you overcome them and achieve all your goals!
Author: Caitlin H
Diet-to-Go Community Manager
Caitlin is the Diet-to-Go community manager and an avid runner. She is passionate about engaging with others online and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. She believes moderation is key, and people will have the most weight loss success if they engage in common-sense healthy eating and fitness.