7 Motivational Tips for Weight Loss

If you’re like me you’ve probably lost enough weight over the course of your lifetime to ice a million wedding cakes. It’s funny that it seems to take forever to shed those pounds that added up in no time at all. Weight loss is a long-term proposition for most of us and there’s no question that most health care professionals will say that slow and steady wins the race. If you want to keep the weight off over the long run, then it’s best to shed it slowly — about a pound per week is what’s recommended. I find staying motivated to keep at it to be one of the most difficult things to do. Here are some tips that help me the most.

  1. Try to not think of being “on a diet”
    • If you are able to think of the dietary changes you are making as new lifestyle choices, you will be much more successful. And making and sticking to new habits is not an easy thing. They say that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. That means 21 days of consistency. Having said all of that, it does not mean that I will NEVER eat chocolate cake again. I firmly believe in the credo of “all things in moderation” and yes, I do eat chocolate cake from time to time. Losing weight boils down to portion control. So, for me a piece of chocolate cake is now about ¼ the size that I would have eaten in the past. This way I can manage my new eating habits without feeling deprived.
  2. Give yourself reasonable, attainable goals.
    • In many cases, when a diet fails, it is because the person has failed to set reasonable, attainable goals for him or herself. Rather than saying, “I am going to lose 50 pounds in three months,” why not say, “I am going to lose 50 pounds in the next two years?” Or set a goal of losing ½ per week. If you don’t like eating vegetables and fresh fruit, think instead of adhering to a diabetic diet and “counting carbohydrates” rather than counting fat and calories.
  3. Slow weight loss is ultimately better for you.
    • When you deny yourself nourishment, your body will shift into survival mode which means that it will slow down your metabolism in order to conserve calories. This is completely beyond your control. It is an instinctive behaviour left over from caveman days when food was scarce and most people died of starvation. If you are trying to lose weight by starving yourself, you will get irritable and will be much more prone to binge eating which will completely defeat the purpose of any dieting you may be doing. Allowing yourself to fully incorporate your new eating habits will reduce your frustration and give you and your body time to adjust to new ways of eating.
  4. Realize that your weight will fluctuate.
    • No one will lose weight at a guaranteed pace. Some weeks you may lose ½ a pound, other weeks, you may lose 1 and a ½ pounds. Your weight loss will depend on how much food you took in and how much you exercised. It’s variable, like the weather. If you have a week when you gain a pound, don’t sweat it. It doesn’t mean you were bad, it just means you gained a pound. This unexpected weight gain may  be attributed to many different factors such as your menstrual cycle. Try to take it in stride and not let affect your eating habits. If you use it as an excuse to go on an all-out pizza and potato chip with sour cream dip, you will likely gain more than a pound and a half over the next week.
  5. Set up your diet plan with a buddy.
    • Doing something with a friend whether it’s running or hiking is always more fun than doing it by yourself. The same is definitely true for dieting. If you have a friend who could stand to lose a few pounds, engage them and see if they’d be interested in taking the plunge with you. The two of you might even want to try doing some menu planning together, shopping and cooking together. Nothing like having a buddy to cook with on a dreary Sunday afternoon to while away the hours. You can both stock your freezers with delicious meals for the week which will also help curb your cravings for fast food.
  6. Don’t be in a big hurry.
    • Remember, you didn’t gain all this weight in a week, you surely will not lose it all in a week. Your weight will definitely plateau at some point. Expect it and have a plan to deal with it when it happens. It happens to absolutely everyone and it will happen to you, too. Sometimes it only takes something as simple as adding a few more blocks to your walking regimen to get your diet plan started up again and on the right track.
  7. Don’t forget to reward yourself.
    • Set up small rewards for yourself along the way such as when you’ve lost that first ten pounds. Go and buy yourself that new pair of shoes you’ve been eyeing for just the longest time. Or buy yourself a new pair of jeans in a smaller size. You’ve earned it. Finding small ways to keep yourself motivated can make or break anyone’s diet plan. Remind yourself that setting up your diet plan is not a New Year’s resolution that you can break. You’ve made a commitment to yourself to do this. Be sure you allow yourself to revel in your accomplishments as they arrive at your doorstep. Following some of these tips will give you the tools you will need in your arsenal to arrive at your ultimate destination. Remember that no mountain climber would stand at the base of Mount Everest without his or her best climbing gear. Getting started on a serious weight loss plan is akin to scaling a mountain. It takes determination and planning. Now, go get it!

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