Everyday there is a new article, book or media report about the latest and greatest diet for weight loss. You are probably feeling confused and frustrated, not knowing what diet plan to follow. Before you even think about which diet to try, think about your attitude instead. Sometimes you need to change your mind before you can change your body. Some or all of the following suggestions may be just what you need to finally achieve permanent weight loss.
Believe you can be successful. If every time you begin to focus on weight loss, a part of you is convinced you will fail, you probably will. Prior failure may be related to a chosen approach, not a personal flaw. Spend time evaluating your past attempts, what worked and what did not work, and learn from the experience. Then connect with your deepest motivations for change, and keep them in sight at all times. Break down the behaviors that lead to weight loss into small, manageable steps and work on them one at a time. Celebrate small victories, and soon you will be believing that permanent weight loss can be a reality. Accept full responsibility. If your attempts to lose weight are based on your doctor, spouse, children or friends saying you "should", and not on your desire and wants, you probably will not succeed. You must come to the decision that you are losing weight for no one other than yourself. Every time you blame the diet, the office party, the holidays or stress for getting in your way, you are not taking responsibility. You alone make decisions about what to eat, when to eat, how much to eat, and whether or not to exercise. Learn to quiet your inner critic and elevate positive self talk. Is the voice in your head cheering you on, or putting you down? Does any of this sound familiar? "I can not possibly lose all this weight; I have to eat birthday cake or my friend will be insulted; I blew it at lunch, so I might as well forget about the rest of the day; I am a lazy couch potato and I will never change." Learn to talk back to the voice and turn it around to be a supportive, positive one. Would you talk to a friend who was struggling the way you talk to yourself? I doubt it! It takes practice, but you can change the inner voice to an encouraging, understanding, best friend. Be realistic about your goals. Make sure your goal weight makes sense for your height and body frame. Enlist the help of your doctor, a dietician or fitness professional to make that determination if you're not sure. Then, break the number of pounds you need to lose into small, manageable goals, such as five pounds at a time. You may not know this, but research has shown that as little as 5-10% weight loss can significantly impact your health profile. Celebrate healthy behavior change rather than pounds lost. The scale can be a fickle friend. Lots of things can affect the number each day. Analyze the actions you need to take to get to a healthy body weight (cutting portion size, reducing sugar intake, exercising more, etc.), and put your focus there, where you truly have control. Celebrate behavior changes such as exercising three times a week or consistently eating breakfast each day, rather than the number of pounds lost. With each step you are successful at, your confidence will increase. Elevate self-care to a priority. Successful weight loss takes time and effort. You must believe that you deserve to take the time to exercise, shop for the healthy foods you want, prepare the meals you need, and choose to eat in restaurants that can accommodate your food plan. Losing weight will increase your health, energy and happiness, so you will be able to handle everything and everybody else that requires your attention with greater efficiency and ease. But often that means putting yourself first.