Have you been finding weight loss a continuous, uphill struggle? If you haven’t been successful in meeting your weight loss goals, you need to stop and assess the reasons why.
Do you lack Motivation?
Are you ready for lifestyle changes? Do you realise you need to lose weight for your long-term health? Can you honesty say that weight loss it really important to you currently?
If you have answered no to these questions, you may not be ready for a lifestyle change at present. You should, however, aim to prevent further weight gain by following a healthy lifestyle. Include more fruit and vegetables, cut back on foods high in fat and sugar, and try to be more physically active each day.
If you are motivated to change, you many have simply fallen into a temporary lapse. Encourage yourself to get back on track immediately.
What are the barriers preventing you from change? Make a list of everything you can think of, and beside each one, note down a reasonable solution. For example, “I don’t have time to exercise daily,” to overcome this problem you should think of ways to build exercise into your everyday life, by going for a short walk on your lunch break, or walking your dog after dinner each evening. Check out my previous article on How to Increase your Physical Activity while you Work.
Are your short-term and long-term goals realistic?
We can easily get carried away when setting goals, it’s natural to want to aim for the sky, so to speak. However, take a look at your recorded goals again, as this may be where your problem lies! Focus on smaller, specific goals, such as changing to a low fat spread, or walking for 10 minutes every day.
When you have achieved this, move on by setting further goals. Try not to dwell too much on the larger issues of weight loss, as this can become very daunting, and sap your confidence completely. It is also good to have long-term goals, however taking weight loss one day at a time is the key. Thinking of your weight loss in manageable, daily steps will help you to succeed!
If you haven’t set weight loss goals, this is an important step to achieving dieting success. Take a look at Getting SMART with Goal Setting, for tips on how to set realistic goals.
Do you have a Support Network?
Can you rely on your family and friends to support you through this time? To avoid feeling isolated, it is a good idea to enlist the help of those close to you. Why not encourage them to eat healthy too by inviting them around for dinner? By serving them a healthy meal they may even see how important your new lifestyle is to you, and hopefully will offer to help you where possible! You should also ask them to get active with you, whether it’s walking, swimming or joining a fitness class, having the support of a family member or friend, will be encouragement for all of you to keep going.
You may want to join a local walking group, healthy cooking class, slimming group, or a one-to-one support program, as this will encourage you to continue. Try to find out what is available in your area, and choose something that suits you best. Being surrounded by like-minded people is a great way of staying focused. Also, think about what you’re reading. Try to read health related books and magazines regularly, as this will give you further tips and inspiration for staying focused.
Keeping a food and activity diary is also a good way of monitoring your successes and difficulties. If you do experience problems, or set-backs, try not to think of them as failures, they are merely short lapses, which you can easily get back on track from! When you do experience problems, note down how you plan to cope in that situation in the future, this will mean that you have thought about the solution, and now have a plan of action for the future.
There’s no doubt about it, weight loss requires lots of effort and motivation. However, it is important that you begin to enjoy your new lifestyle, try to find out what works for you, and stick with it.