Staying on track and healthy even in the best of circumstances is difficult. And most times, we aren’t in the best of circumstances. Whether it’s unexpected obstacles or a challenging situation, there are many factors that go into your ability to stay consistently on track.
If you’ve been trying to lose weight and get healthy, but just can’t seem to get on track and stay there, your environment could be to blame. Take a look at the following four factors and think about how they could be contributing to your weight loss challenges. I’ve been known to let a few of these affect my ability to lose weight. Here’s how I’ve learned to deal with each of them:
1. Who you live with
If you’re living with a roommate or significant other who isn’t as committed to living a healthy lifestyle as you, then you may be in for some trouble. They may say they support you and your goals, but if they’re constantly begging you to join them in their late night pizza binges or taking you out to eat more than you eat in, they’re not helping you.
Trying to lose weight while dating or in a relationship is challenging but not impossible. Try sitting your partner or roommate down and explaining why you want to be healthier and what you need in order to do it. Don’t blame them – after all, you’re still the one making the decisions about what goes into your body.
Instead, be clear and open about your goals. You never know, they may want to join you on your journey to good health.
2. Where you live
Do you live in the city or suburbs? If you live in a city, you probably spend a lot of time walking and taking public transportation, which means you’re getting lots of steps in. In the suburbs, you’re most likely driving. If this is you, you may need to make activity more of a priority.
I didn’t start losing weight until I moved to a big city. When I lived in the suburbs, it was much easier for me to be lazy. Even if you aren’t ready to make a big move, just making a few changes in your daily life could make a huge difference.
Your city or town could be affecting your ability to stay on track, too. Maybe your town has lots of food-focused events going on or has a signature dish that you can’t get enough of. Don’t skip out on doing the things you love, but be mindful of what you’re consuming. Try splitting a dish with a friend if it’s something you have to have. A taste may be all you need.
3. Where you work
Offices are the worst when it comes to avoiding temptation. It often seems like there is free food up for grabs every day. At least, that’s the way it is at my office. And it’s often unexpected, which makes planning around it almost impossible.
Avoiding temptation is one of the hardest parts of losing weight. We can stay on track day-to-day when we don’t see what we’re missing, but when a big pile of cupcakes is placed right in front of our noses, how do we say no?
Pick and choose your battles. If it’s something you really love and can’t stop thinking about, have some. Don’t go crazy, but enjoy a small portion to put your mind at ease. But don’t indulge in every treat available, especially if they’re available often.
4. Time of year
We all associate different foods with different seasons or times of the year. Ice cream in the summer, cookies at Christmas and pumpkin spice in the fall. Just like the treats in the office, we need to enjoy these goodies in moderation.
The time of the year can also affect your motivation. Often in the winter when it gets cold outside, we lose the will to get out of the house and get our activity in. But especially with the heavy meals and treats around the holidays, this is the time when we most need to focus on our health.
Don’t let the lack of sunshine lead to a lack of motivation. Stick to your goals consistently throughout the year, and you’ll be well on your way to success.
How do you think your environment affects your health? Let me know in the comments below!