If you have struggled to lose weight in the past, you are not alone. Lack of motivation, desire for quick fixes, impatience and various other forces are working against you. Successful weight loss is possible but it often requires us to drastically alter our approach and our mental state. Here are five tips for successful long-term weight loss.
There is always a motivation behind everything we do and everything we want. We want to be happy, we want to feel good and we make choices that we think will bring us these things. Losing weight comes with numerous benefits and can bring all sorts of good stuff into your life, like better health and increased confidence. Often times, we do not go too deeply into our ‘’why’’ and this lack of clarity will result in decreased motivation, especially when it comes to something as challenging as successful, sustainable weight loss.
If you get crystal clear on why you want to lose weight, you will stay focused on your goal. You will stay motivated—remember that motivation does not last, it constantly needs to be nurtured. You need to find the reasons behind the reasons. If you want to be healthier, why? If you want to be able to do more things with your kids, why? If you are sick of your current life, why?
Without concrete goals, it is hard to stay on track with achieving what we want to achieve. We need to set measurable concrete benchmarks for the short-term to keep us motivated from day to day. We need to set long-term goals as well to get to a point where our new ways of being become habitual. When it comes to weight loss, a good short-term goal might be to fit into your favorite pair of pants that you outgrew last summer or maybe that entails just losing five pounds. When it comes to your long-term goals, make it is things you really want to do. A lot of people dream of running a marathon, but if that is not something that lights your fire, you will not feel so motivated. Maybe you want to drastically cut back or eliminate taking certain medications for problems that can be addressed by permanent lifestyle changes.
Many of us complain about the amount of stress in our lives, yet do little to actually combat it. We let it overwhelm us and it is a major factor in making poor lifestyle choices, whether it is choosing to veg out in front of the TV instead of those 30 minutes of exercise or scarfing down a whole pizza to soothe our emotional turmoil. If you are serious about weight loss and making lasting changes to your eating habits, stress management is non-negotiable. Unhealthy eating habits are one of the most prominent side effects of handling stress poorly and you will thwart your efforts at lasting change.
We have been taught to put everyone else’s needs above our own to a degree that is detrimental. We deprive ourselves of anything that will bring us joy because we think we are being ‘’selfish.’’ Rewarding yourself for your weight loss efforts will enhance your overall well-being and keep you motivated. You do not need to drain your bank account, but splurge a little on something you long to do but never feel like you ‘’deserve.’’ Maybe it is a massage or a gadget you have had your eye on.
You will have your moments when you slip; you will be at a party and you will overindulge. It happens to the best of us. When you think long-term, it is okay to treat yourself once in a while. Be forgiving of your slip-ups and get back on track as soon as you can. Remember, you are not looking to drop a few quick pounds before a wedding or high school reunion, you are looking to make permanent changes that will last the rest of your life. Do not put too much weight on the slip-ups and give up thinking you do not have what it takes to manage your diet successfully; for every day is a new day.
Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who focuses on health and wellness content. If you are interested in giving your weight loss efforts a boost with a nutritionally sound eating plan that encourages long-term healthy choices, check out the Smart for Life Cookie Diet.
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