A crucial component for weight loss success is mentally preparing for the changes to come. There are fundamental key points for successfully losing weight and setting the stage for positive lifestyle changes.
1. MAKE A COMMITMENT:
Losing weight is a long-term commitment, and quick fixes won’t stick. Commitment requires focus, energy (mental and physical), and strategy,
The most successful ways to stay committed are by setting achievable goals, developing action plans for reaching them, and focusing on each day instead of what’s ahead.
Be 100 percent committed to your goals, so there’s no indecision about what you want to accomplish.
2. SET REALISTIC GOALS:
One should set specific realistic goals. You’ll likely stay motivated if you establish short-term milestones that help you make progress. If your goals will take months to reach, you may become discouraged and find it hard to stay on track. Make weekly weight loss your focus, not the total amount you want to lose.
Avoid trying to maintain very low caloric intake levels. Over time your metabolism may be reset at a lower level, making it increasingly difficult to lose weight. Your goals need action plans, so take the time to sit down and list what you’d like to achieve with your diet.
3. DEVELOP YOUR INNER DRIVE:
Low self-esteem can be a driving factor for many people who struggle with their weight. Poor body image and negative thinking can cause great distress when dieting. To lessen its effects:
Let go of any guilt associated with eating or your body image.
Avoid situations and people who shame or sabotage your efforts.
Think about how you’re motivated and set up a reward system (non-food) that help you stay on track. Make the rewards weekly so you can stay motivated!
4. RECOGNIZE YOUR BODY’S CUES:
Many people have little connection to distinguishing true hunger signals versus stress or boredom eating. Using a “hunger scale” to learn mindful eating is very beneficial.
A hunger scale determines the appetite level. It’ll help you avoid getting to the point where you are starving and will devour anything within reach.
Misreading hunger signals can lead to danger zones in your diet. The clearer you can be about what’s true hunger versus stress eating, the better you will be able to manage your caloric intake.
5. Hunger Scale
- BE ACCOUNTABLE:
The road to success in any endeavor is through accountability. However, do not weigh yourself more than once a week or you’ll be riding the wave of daily ups and downs. Keep a food and activity journal to track your daily intake and exercise.
There are numerous online and phone app tools for monitoring your diet and fitness that make it easy to record your progress.
Whether you like to track every little thing or keep a simple record, it is essential to make an effort so that you can analyze how you’re doing and make changes if you don’t see progress.
6. CREATE A MEAL PLAN THAT FITS YOUR LIFESTYLE:
Planning your diet will take some reflection on how you live your life and your relationship with food. A diet requires an eating plan that reduces your daily caloric intake to the level where you are taking in less than you are expending.
To start designing your meals, use the following healthy guidelines:
- Include at least four to six servings of vegetables
- Focus on eating nutrient-dense foods
- Limit high-sugar foods and saturated fats and reduce sodium intake
- Cut or reduce alcohol consumption to two drinks a week
- Avoid eating late in the day
- Eat lean protein sources
7. RETHINK EXERCISE:
If you have battled with your weight most of your life, exercise may not be the first on your list of favorite things. If that is the case, think about why you dislike exercise. If you can find an activity you enjoy, the negative mindset you had will soon become positive. You will see exercise as a reward, not a punishment.
Just 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day can increase your caloric deficit by 200-300 calories, depending on the type of workout you do.
8. REMEMBER TO BE PATIENT!
If you’ve never exercised, a fitness professional can set up an exercise program that reflects your needs and lifestyle, so don’t try to go it alone if you’re not already exercising.
Dieting is not easy, but you can build a road to success by taking the time and energy to make an action plan before you begin. Think of your diet as a trip that has to be mentally mapped out before you take off.
Build in plenty of motivating stops along the way as well as options for avoiding roadblocks. The endpoint isn’t the focus—it’s the journey you go on to learn how to reboot your mindset and achieve your goals.