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Setting Healthy Boundaries

Posted by Lean Body Coaching

This article discusses the importance of boundaries in personal and professional relationships and how they can be useful in achieving healthy weight loss. It explains that boundaries help individuals to maintain their sense of self and protect their physical and emotional well-being. Without boundaries, people may feel overwhelmed and burned out, neglect their physical and mental health, and be more susceptible to toxic relationships. The article provides examples of healthy boundaries that can be set for weight loss, such as adopting a positive viewpoint, setting limits on the frequency of eating unhealthy foods, and establishing a consistent exercise routine. It emphasizes that boundaries are individual and should be tailored to personal circumstances and preferences.

A boundary is a line that defines and separates one thing from another. In a personal sense, boundaries refer to the physical, emotional, and mental limits people set for themselves in their relationships with others and in their own self-care. Boundaries help us establish what is and are not acceptable in terms of our behavior, thoughts, and emotions and provide structure and stability in a person’s life. They help individuals to maintain their sense of self and protect their physical and emotional well-being.
You would likely experience negative consequences in your personal and professional relationships if you had no boundaries. Without boundaries, we could feel overwhelmed and burned out from saying yes to too many responsibilities. Additionally, when we don’t have boundaries, other people will take advantage of our generosity and willingness to comply, leading to resentment and a lack of self-respect. Without boundaries, we might neglect our physical, emotional, and mental needs. People with no boundaries are more susceptible to toxic relationships when their partner takes advantage of them. Having healthy boundaries is an essential aspect of self-care and overall well-being. It allows us to maintain our sense of self and protect our physical, emotional, and mental health.

When clients resist setting boundaries, they view them in a negative way rather than in the positive ways they can help. You might feel frustrated if you see a specific boundary as something telling you that you can’t do something. It might feel like you are being forced to restrict your food choices, limiting your joy with eating. In other words, setting boundaries could be associated with punishment, deprivation, or creating a feeling of no flexibility.

We need Boundaries for healthy weight loss as they provide structure and support for making positive lifestyle changes. Setting boundaries helps to establish clear rules and guidelines for our behaviors, making it easier to make healthier food choices and stick to a consistent exercise routine. They also help limit exposure to temptation, such as unhealthy foods or sedentary activities, and create a sense of accountability for one’s health and well-being.

So what healthy boundaries could we set to lose weight and not feel restricted? For starters, adopt a viewpoint that works for you instead of against you. Instead of saying, “I can’t eat that anymore,” say, “I don’t eat that kind of food anymore.” Implement a boundary of using “better bad choices” instead of eliminating your favorite foods. Decide that certain restaurants where you always used to eat are no longer at the top of your list to visit; instead, make it a destination for a special occasion so you reduce how often you go there. Decide how many times a week you’ll eat foods you know caused your weight gain. So where you used to eat fried foods four times a week, decide to do it once a week. And apply that kind of adjustment to all the other areas as well. I have a client that was drinking 7 days a week but now chooses to drink two drinks twice a week during his date nights with his wife. Because it works well for him, it’s a new boundary that he knows he can live with. Set a time and which days you will go to the gym every week, and set a make-up day for the times you missed your workout that week. By putting time and day boundaries, you now have a time slot to protect which allows you to not book those dates and times with anything else. Think about what boundaries you can set for social situations. For example, I only drink alcohol in social settings. That means the only time I drink might be once a month or so.

Set boundaries that flow with your life. For example, I drove straight to the gym every day after work. I included it as part of my work day, and it helped me protect the time slot by telling others that wanted to meet after work, “sorry, I’m still at work and won’t be available until after 7:30 PM.” Since I included my workout as part of my work time, I never gave that time to anything else but taking care of myself. When I was done working out, I immediately went to the nearby Chinese restaurant and ordered a healthy meal. By doing it after my exercise, I didn’t have to cook dinner, and by the time I was done eating, rush hour had passed, and my drive home was a lot faster. It also meant if anyone invited me out to dinner, I could say, “sorry, I already ate.” Those boundaries I put in place lasted during my 40-year career and kept me consistent and made my day much more efficient.

Remember, boundaries are individual and may vary based on personal circumstances and preferences. The most important thing is to establish boundaries that work for you and support your goals.

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Coaches are not clinical nutritionists and as such, cannot diagnose, treat, or prescribe. Any hormonal advice is strictly advisory and is not to be taken as a substitute for a doctor’s medical advice.