You’ve tried dieting before and decide to give it another go. After you’ve thrown out high-calorie goodies in the cupboard, what’s next? Learn some motivating techniques that can help you start and stay focused. You can avoid slips that lead to catapulting off a cliff and into unhealthy eating habits and lifestyle choices by following these important weight loss strategies.
Determine Why You Want to Lose Weight
Write down why you want to lose weight. Read through this list daily and post it where you store your food. This is a fantastic way to remember what your real goals are when you want to grab a handful of chips or eat a big supper you’ll regret later.
Here are a few to get you started:
- Prevent diabetes
- Keeping up with kids and grandkids
- Losing 10 pounds before an important event, such as a wedding
- Improving confidence and self-esteem
- Lower high blood pressure
Make sure you choose goals that motivate you for long-term success.
Keep Realistic Expectations
Many diet programs promise easy weight loss. In reality, most people only lose 1-2 pounds per week. If you set your weight loss goal too high, you may end up becoming discouraged and giving up. According to one study, those who make it to a self-determined goal are more likely to maintain their journey to a healthier weight.
Research indicates that a loss of 5-10% of your body weight:
- Improves blood sugar control
- Lowers your risk of heart disease and cholesterol levels
- Decreases the risk of some cancers
Focus on Each Goal
Weight loss is a journey. Break down your total weight loss goals into increments. For example, if you want to lose 20 pounds in ten weeks, that’s two pounds a week. Make a chart to track your progress and stay inspired.
Process-related goals include the steps needed to get to your goal. Perhaps you’ve decided to exercise three times a week. Track that on a calendar or in a diary.
Consider using the acronym SMART when setting goals:
- Measurable goals
- Realistic to obtain
- Time, set a timeframe
- I will walk 30 minutes per day this week.
- I will eat 4-5 servings of vegetables each day next week.
- I will limit soda intake to three cans per week.
Make Sure Your Plan Matches Your Lifestyle
Come up with a weight loss strategy you can incorporate into your lifestyle. Reducing calories certainly results in weight loss, but yo-yo dieting may lead to weight gain. Strict diets that eliminate certain foods are less likely to have a lasting impact on developing a genuinely healthier lifestyle. Instead, consider creating your own custom plan. The following habits have helped others lose weight.
- Reducing calories
- Decreasing portion size
- Reducing the number of snacks
- Cutting back on fried food and dessert
- Easting more fruits and veggies
Celebrate progress. If you’ve reached a big milestone, consider getting a new pair of running shoes or buying an item of clothing in a new size. This helps you stay excited and motivated and also shows you the results of your hard work.