Let’s face it. The easy part about reaching your weight loss goals is finding this fabulous diet that tons of the folks on the internet swear by. The tricky part? Sticking with the diet and keeping the weight off on a long-term basis! Research actually shows that even if people do lose weight in the first six months of dieting, around two-thirds of them gain it back in the next few years.
So what is it about diets that makes it impossible to follow them. Why do we lack the motivation to carry on and gain that trim, toned abs and butt? It’s not that people aren’t successful. So, what are they doing right? Here are some smart motivation tips to help you stick with the next diet you choose.
1. Change Your Mindset
The minute you tell yourself you’re following a diet, right away you start to have this feeling of deprivation. The funny part about diets is that the minute you start on them, you’ll crave all the foods that the diet says are bad for you. So the next time, you decide to diet, tell yourself – I am going to be making some lifestyle changes. That sounds motivating, encouraging, fun and will certainly help you reach your weight loss goals.
2. Choose the Right Diet
Any diet that tells you to eat stuff you hate or that is bland and unappetizing is just not going to work. In addition, if the diet recommends only one particular kind of food every day for say, a week, there’s absolutely no way anyone can stay with it. So, pick out a diet that has variety, taste, and texture. A dieting secret? Spices can do wonders for dishes when you’re trying to cut back on the fat content. You should be looking forward to your meals instead of dreading them. Especially when you’re really hungry! You’ll find it much easier to reach your weight loss goals.
3. Match the Diet to Your Lifestyle
Are you a busy working mom? Or, are you jet-setting professional? Do you work night shifts some days of the week? The diet needs to fit in with that lifestyle so that you can continue to eat healthy and reach your weight loss goals no matter what hours you’re working or if you’re cooking meals for your kids. For instance, say, grabbing a coffee and donut on your way to work is the only breakfast you have time for. So, substitute the donut with a healthy whole wheat sandwich or cinnamon toast. Or, munch on a banana or apple. Remember, healthy eating is a good lesson to inculcate in your kids too.
4. Eat Regular Meals and Snacks
Going hungry isn’t the key to attaining your weight loss goals. The secret is to eat right and aim for small, frequent meals all through the day to keep your energy levels up. In place of just counting calories, keep watch on where the calories are coming from. Snacking on an energy bar or a handful of nuts is a lot healthier than going hungry and then bingeing at the next meal.
5. Shop for the Right Groceries
Dieting begins at the grocery store. That’s because when you buy right, you eat right. Once you’ve decided to make those lifestyle changes, phase out all the unhealthy food you have lying around the house. Get rid of all the bags of chips, cookies, and junk food. And, when you’re walking down the grocery store aisles on the road to reaching your weight loss goals, only pick up the healthy stuff like lots of whole grain foods, fruits, vegetables, healthy cooking oils, and lean meats. The theory behind this strategy is simple. If it isn’t there, you won’t eat it.
6. Get a Friend to Join You
Dieting can be a lonely road when people around you are eating what they want. To add a bit of accountability, get a friend with similar weight loss goals to join you. Check in with each other from time to time, exchange recipes, exercise together if you can, and compare notes on the calories you’ve consumed and pounds you’ve dropped in a week.
7. Take Small Steps
Set up small, achievable short-term goals. For instance, trying to lose two or three pounds a week is doable and doesn’t seem like an insurmountable task. But, aiming for 20 pounds in a month will look like a very scary number. Focusing on small goals will keep you motivated to reach your weight loss goals because you’ll find yourself attaining those number easily as you along.
8. Make Small Switches
Weight loss and lifestyle changes are all about small substitutes each time you get ready to put some morsel of food in your mouth. Think about it. Ice cream or fruit-flavored yogurt? Chips or whole wheat baked crisps? Salad tossed in mayo or drizzled with olive oil? Butter on your toast or cinnamon powder? Grilled or fried chicken? Once you’ve made up your mind, making the right choices will become a lot easier.
9. Hunger or Craving?
Learn to tell the difference between getting hungry and feeling a craving. For most people, food is linked to comfort. Food tastes and feels good when you’re bored, stressed, anxious, or sad. Break that habit. The next time you want something to eat, ask yourself if food is really what you need. Try drinking a glass of water or pop some sugar-free gum to satisfy the munchies. Think back to the last meal you ate. Was it adequate enough or is it really time to nourish your body?
10. Slipping Up is Natural
In your efforts to make the right lifestyle changes, there will be times when you slip up. You might steal cookies or chips from your kid’s bag. Or, you might give in to a bowl of ice cream after work because you were too hungry to cook. That’s okay! When you have the determination to reach your weight loss goals, ignore such slip ups and go back to eating right.
Getting Started with Your Weight Loss Goals
If you’re not quite sure how and where to begin looking for that perfect diet and lifestyle changes to adopt, consider consulting a professional. An expert consultant can devise a diet plan around your lifestyle and help you choose the foods you really like but are also healthy for you. She can show you how to cook nutritious meals that the entire family will enjoy and fit in a workout schedule that makes you feel invigorated. Such weight loss program developers also offer you accountability and support. On your road to reaching your weight loss goals, begin by signing up with a professional who can walk with you. Become one of the folks for who dieting actually works!