How many times have you tried to lose weight only to regain it and more? You are not alone and the cycle of losing and gaining can lead to feelings of disappointment and discouragement. But, losing weight is not the problem, the problem is going on a diet. Diets are designed to fail, diets are designed for repeat customers. To truly improve your health, fitness and achieve your goals don’t diet, change how you approach the problem. Successful “losers” share many habits but, these five factors are important to weight loss and even more importantly, to maintaining weight loss.
1. Be realistic.
What are you prepared to change permanently? How are you going to make those changes? Who will be helping you? What will you do differently? The more specific your plan the better. Breaking your big goal into small manageable steps lets you be successful regularly. Having a realistic outcome and realistic action steps is key to successfully reaching your goals.
2. Be prepared.
Preparation means mental, emotional and physical preparation. Do you have healthy foods available? Have you removed any temptations? Are you ready to increase your activity level? Do you really want to change your habits? What will you do daily to help achieve your weight? Who will you ask for help? Do you have a plan for weekends, holidays, temptations? Don’t expect perfection everyday, but don’t worry if you have a bad day, a treat, a holiday. Be prepared for most situations to stay on track.
3. Have a plan.
What you will do today, tomorrow and for the rest of the week. Limiting your choices results in fewer temptations. Don’t think deprivation, think of what you will do and what you will eat. What are your new rules around eating and exercise? How do you want to feel? How do you want to look? What is the desired outcome? Remember it, plan for it and see it.
4. Get support.
Don’t go it alone. Have a buddy, have a friend to workout with and share your struggles. Get a coach to help you see the big picture and the small steps in the right direction. Join a group or a class. While you are ultimately responsible for your actions that doesn’t mean you should go it alone. Share your goal of making your health a priority with all the people that care about you.
5. Change Your Behavior.
Losing weight is part of a bigger process of changing your habits for life. Does this mean you can never eat another cookie? Or give up dessert for good? No, that is deprivation, not sustainable change. Changing your lifestyle and your thoughts about eating and exercise can take some practice. Making decisions about what you want (and don’t want), practicing new habits and making adjustments along the way are all part of the process. The behaviors that got you where you are today are probably not the ones that will get you where you want to go. What do you need to change to be successful?
Successful weight loss is possible. I have helped many people lose weight and maintain their weight loss. Some have lost over 100 pounds, many over 50 pounds, some less, but the steps are the same regardless of the number on the scale. Realizing that change must be permanent, sustainable and achievable for you. It is possible, you can do it, just don’t go on a diet.