You know that you desperately need to lose weight. You even know the basics - eat less and exercise more. It sounds so simple, but in reality, you have absolutely no motivation to get off of the couch and do anything about it.
Getting started with a healthy lifestyle, especially a new diet can be difficult. Many people get overwhelmed and give up before they even begin. It is important that you start off right so that you can follow-through, giving yourself the best chance to stick to your diet and reach your goals.
So, how can you get the motivation to start doing something about that annoying extra pounds?
- Find the reason behind your desire to lose weight. Do you really want to do it? Are you doing it for you or someone else? Or just because you feel like you have to? Unless you have a good reason to lose weight, you might struggle to stick to it.
- Be sure that you can commit to a diet, right now. Do not try to start a diet when there are a lot of other changes going on in your life, for example, changing jobs or moving, - pick a time when your life is calmer before deciding to start a new diet. Otherwise, you will be too overwhelmed to stay focused on it.
- Make sure that you have concrete goals about your diet. Pick a long-term target, but remember that it helps if you can take smaller steps on the way to get there. For example, if you decided to become a vegetarian, you should start small - eat meatless once a week for a few weeks before committing to a vegetarian diet in full.
- Find pictures of your ideal body, whether they are you at your skinniest or celebrities that you admire. Keep these around to help you remember your goal. If you have trouble with snacking, put them on the refrigerator door. Next time you open the door, you might just want to put the food down. Maybe tape one close to your exercise equipment to remind you why you are sweating away at the machine every day (yes, it's cheesy, but it works).
- Talk to your family and friends about your plan. Though they might not understand it, you need to have people who love and support you with your diet rather than trying to tempt you with that piece of reach, moist chocolate cake or a pint of cold golden beer. You will probably need to find new things to do with your loved ones, instead of going out to eat all of the time. There are plenty of other fun activities that you can do instead.
- When you go out to eat at a restaurant, try to pick the restaurant (if possible). It is important to do your research before you go out to figure out the best places to eat that will work with your diet. Most restaurants have low-calorie meals that are available, but it helps if you have a list of places that you are comfortable eating at.
- Get rid of all of the foods that you can't eat and stock your house with the things that you should eat. Empty your fridge and pantry of any tempting foods so that you won't eat anything that you should not. Then, fill your home with food that you want to eat. Make sure that you have healthy snacks for when you are hungry. It is much easier to eat healthy when it is readily available to you.
- Do not forget about drinks. Many people forget about how many calories can be added into a diet with drinks. Get rid of soda, coffee, and other unhealthy drinks. Stock up on drinks that are fine with your diet plan. Be sure to carry a water bottle with you at all times (green tea is our favorite).
- Find an accountability partner. People who lose weight with others are more likely to lose weight and keep it off. Whether you have someone to work out with or join a weight loss program that helps you nutritionally, it might be very beneficial to find others to join you in your weight loss journey.
- Join a support group. People who have support and help from others who have dieted too are more likely to lose weight than people who do not have help. This is why Weight Watchers and other programs are so effective. Meetings help to keep you on track, and the support is there if you need it.
- Don’t forget to reward yourself. If you are doing really well, go ahead and reward yourself. You might want to buy yourself a new outfit that makes you feel better about yourself. But try to keep away from an ice cream or anything that is going to hinder your weight loss!
- Punish yourself if necessary (ouch!). There are going to be times when you will be having trouble sticking to your exercise regimen. When you don’t, you may have to punish yourself. Maybe you will have to work out for an extra hour because you had a really unhealthy lunch. Remember, it took the time to gain the weight and it is going to take a time to come off.
- Find different ways to become more active. Many people feel like they don’t have time to exercise. However, with a few changes, you could fit little bursts of activity into your day. A few minutes at a time will add up and could make a difference. Park farther away when you go to the store, so you have to walk a little bit. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Dance during commercial breaks. Play sports or take walks with your children instead of watching television with them in the evenings. Try a few different classes until you find a type of exercise that you love such as Zumba or Yoga (yes, yoga does work, too). If you use a fitness tracker, you will be amazed at how much exercise and walking you really do in a day!
- Look for success stories, either in books, magazines, or blogs. Many people were successful at losing weight, and you can be too. Often, when you read their stories, it gives you hope and inspiration to get going. It also can be very motivating, especially when you are just starting or if you have hit a roadblock.
Losing weight is hard. It sounds simple but, in reality, it takes a lot of motivation. You are going to have to set goals and work hard to reach them. You may have set-backs which will discourage you, but if you continue to focus on losing weight, you will succeed!
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