Staying Motivated to Lose Weight

Loosing weight is a three part process:

1. Exercising

2. Cutting calories

3. Mental outlook

Mental outlook can mean the difference between success and failure…

Self-defeating thoughts are often the most overlooked factors when a dieter gets off track. You feel disappointed when a quick fix turns out to be anything but, or weak if you succumb to an intense craving for ice cream. Without the resolve to overcome such thoughts, sticking with any major lifestyle change can be difficult, if not impossible.

The key is to adopt the right attitude.

Before you start your plan you need to think if you’re really serious about slimming down and adopting some lifestyle changes, you need to think long-term. That’s why it helps to ready yourself emotionally to take on the challenge.

These eight strategies will help strengthen your mind-set.

1. Get a List

You probably have lots of reasons for wanting to lose weight. To ensure success, you need to develop the will to improve your life, start by listing all the reasons you can think of for slimming down. Go over this list and once done look at the top 3 most important ones, these reasons why going to be the ones that keep you motivated to keep going.

2. Choose an Attainable Goal

Most people set unrealistic goals and when they are not achieved they feel a sense of failure and give up.

Think smaller: Count on losing just 10 percent of your weight within six months, and focus on keeping it off for more than a year. Not all goal should be to lose ‘x’ amount of weight they can be to reduce your daily calories intake, or to cut out your afternoon bottle of coke or family size galaxy bar and choose a fun size one. Also, consider setting non-weight-related goals, such as entering a 5K race. The pounds you’ll automatically lose in the process will seem like a bonus.

3. Design Your Own Plan

Rather than trying every new diet fad, create your own plan that will fit your lifestyle. You need to cut out only 150 calories a day to lose 15 pounds in a year, so start small.

Little changes to your current eating style, like downsizing portions or preparing foods differently, can add up to big results.. It doesn’t take big changes for big results.

Think about the foods you can — and can’t — live without, then try to work your diet around them. Love chocolate? Have a small piece every day. If you’re a born snacker, divide your daily calories into six or seven mini meals so you always feel like you’re having a nibble. Whatever you do, don’t give up your favourite foods. You’ll inevitably feel deprived, which will only make your cravings stronger — and your willpower weaker.

4. Visualise the New You

A mental dress rehearsal prepares you to recognise and accept success. Close your eyes, breathe deeply, and picture yourself healthier and slimmer. How do you walk? With your head held high. How do you dress? More boldly. How do you feel? More confident, energised, and proud of your achievements.

5. Get Your Priorities Straight

Start by making “commitment appointments.” First thing in the morning, set your goal for the day, whether it’s to spend an hour at the gym or to cook a healthy meal. Before the beginning of every month, decide which days you’ll work out and what you’ll do. Shop for healthy foods once a week, always on the same day if possible.

6. Uncover Emotional Obstacles

Sadness and anger are two of the most common reasons women overeat, but food won’t quell either one. Your diary can provide valuable insights into what may be causing you to binge occasionally. Once you start evaluating your eating triggers, you’ll be able to develop more effective strategies to deal with the underlying emotions. Keep in mind, too, that the very act of committing to a diet plan can bring its own challenges.

“Fear of change is a particularly formidable enemy, altering your lifestyle involves taking a risk, and that can dredge up insecurity.”

As your body changes, so will the way others perceive you, which can be unnerving. The best way to combat any type of fear is to face it head-on. Keep reminding yourself that every change you make brings you one step closer to becoming a bolder, more confident you.

7. Celebrate Every Achievement

Rewards reinforce positive behaviour, but only if they’re meaningful, when you reach a milestone in your weight-loss or exercise routine, treat yourself to something that celebrates the particular goal you achieved and helps further your progress.

Logging an extra mile a week on the treadmill? Invest in a pair of top-of-the-line running shoes. If you’ve dropped a dress size, buy an outfit that highlights your new figure.

8. Forgive Yourself

If you make an unhealthy diet choice, admit that you’re fallible, but don’t drown in a sea of judgmental thoughts.

Berating yourself won’t foster the courage you need to dust off those cookie crumbs and move on. A momentary slip won’t register on the scale. An egregious misstep, like being off work and binging, may delay your weight loss slightly, but it isn’t likely to undo every bit of progress you’ve made. Focus on the positive. Turning negative thoughts into encouraging ones will propel you to keep at it until you finally reach your goal weight.

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