Self-awareness is important for self-empowerment and should be the first step in any journey! Notwithstanding our health and weight loss journeys! And because it is so important and underestimated, this whole month, many of the articles on my sight will be related to ‘self-awareness for weight loss’.
Why self-awareness matters in a weight loss journey
It matters so that we can identify areas for improvement! Some say that real permanent lasting weight loss is not achievable without self-awareness. That’s how important this is. Because if you want to change, you have to know what to change.
By being aware of what is going on with our diet, exercise, sleep, water and physical and mental health, we are able to identify areas for improvement and create a personalized plan for ourselves, that we are most likely to stick to because it is tailored to us and made by us.
Knowledge is power. You can’t fix what you don’t understand.
5 factors that affect weight loss to be aware of
There are various factors that affect weight loss, but in this post, we will focus on these:
1. Food intake
What we want to know: How much food do I consume a day? What time of day do I eat the most? What do I eat? How many calories do I consume per day? Is that different on weekends?
Why is it important: Because the science to losing weight is to burn more calories than we consume. Therefore, we want to be aware of how many calories we take in and burn.
What we want to know: How much activity do I do per day and per week? What do I enjoy? Where can I improve?
Why is it important: Because we want to know how much energy we’re actually expending. It may be surprising to learn for instance, in tracking your daily steps at how little or at how much walking per day is being done. Doing this may identify strengths or weaknesses in some areas of activities that we could capitalize on or should build on.
What we want to know: Is there a mood pattern that affects my eating? Do I for example, eat more, or less when stressed, sad, or happy? What sort of food choices do I make when stressed, sad, angry, hangry, or happy? Could I use this knowledge to make better choices?
Why is it important: Because we want to identify if we are emotional eaters to put mechanisms in place to combat it.
What we want to know: How much sleep do I get per night? How do I feel when waking up in the mornings? Do I feel like I need more sleep?
Why is it important: Because (put simply), feeling well rested will help our bodies regulate our hormones and metabolism which will contribute to weight loss.
What we want to know: How much water do I drink per day? Can I drink more? If I don’t like to drink water, what alternatives can I substitute with?
Why is it important: Because drinking sufficient water per day can help us lose weight and has a whole host of positive benefits to our health.
How to know if you are prepared to start your weight loss journey
Being prepared mentally or having the right mindset, is step 1 in any endeavor but especially when trying to lose weight. People tend to start the other way around with exercise and dieting rather than identifying whether they are ready mentally to lose weight.
Answer the following questions to know whether you are ready to lose weight.
20 Self- awareness questions for weight loss
Question 1: Motivation wise, are you ready to lose weight and why?
Question 2: Are you ready to do what it takes to lose weight? List the things you are prepared to do?
Question 3: Are you ready to make better choices? List the things you think you need to improve on.
Question 4: Have you allocated time to exercise or batch cook or to prepare different meals for yourself and your family? Make sure you schedule that time in your diary.
Question 5: Is your goal SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely)?
Question 6: Have you achieved that goal before? If yes, do you have a photo or an outfit of when you were that weight? If no, have you got a visual idea of what you want to look like? Hang that photo or outfit where you can see it every day.
Question 7: Do you believe that you can lose weight? Do you trust that you can do this? If the answer is no, be honest with yourself and ask yourself why? Write the reasons down and provide counterarguments as if a friend was telling you this.
Question 8: Do you have a plan?
Question 9: Do you know how much weight you should lose per week, per month?
Question 10: Do you know how many calories you should eat per day and per week?
Question 11: Have you decided whether you are going to the gym or working out at home?
Question 12: Do you need a personal trainer?
Question 13: Do you know what exercises you will do or what machines you will use at the gym? Have you decided on a split routine?
Question 14: Do you know why you want to lose weight or achieve your specific goal?
Question 15: Do you know how achieving your goal will make you feel?
Question 16: Have you visualized yourself at your goal weight? What would you do? How would it feel? How would your life change when you reach that goal?
Question 17: Have you written your plan down on paper or electronically?
Question 18: Do you need new clothes, shoes or equipment?
Question 19: Have you budgeted for the gym and/or a personal trainer?
Question 20: Have you double-checked with your doctor that you are fit to start exercising? It may be important to do so because depending on medical conditions you may be restricted to only some types of exercises.
As you can see from the list above, mental preparation or mindset, is most important in any endeavor. That is because our thoughts affect our emotions, and our emotions affect our actions.
These answers may be what motivate you to keep going when you get demotivated.
The last thing you need to know about self-awareness for weight loss
Weight loss is not one size fits all. Whether you are trying to lose weight fast or make it a lifestyle, weight loss can be easier if you knew your strengths and weaknesses, knew the areas for improvements, had a plan, a structure and basically knew exactly what to do. Weight loss is personal and your approach to it should be tailor-made to you.
As we’ve seen, there are many personal factors to take into account when trying to lose weight such as: food, activity, mood, sleep, water, height, sex, age, medical conditions, BMI, etc.… and it can be daunting. But once we know what we need to work on, it provides structure that gives us the confidence that this can be done, but also the motivation to keep going as we see results every day and week until that goal is smashed out of the park.
Hire someone if you need help or follow a program
Go at your own pace
Be determined to not give up
(despite not seeing results at first)
Believe that you can do it
Remember why you are doing it and how it will make you feel
What are your weight loss struggles?
I’d love to hear from you. Get in touch on mindfulfatloss.com.