It's November. The new year is around the corner, so it's not as difficult to find and express motivation and excitement for a new beginning. We start to think about our goals, and like many adults, a popular go-to plan starts with prioritizing our physical and mental health. More specifically, dieting and exercising.
This is exciting at first. Smoothies replace desserts. But as the weeks go by, you might find yourself making more excuses and shedding fewer pounds.
Jumping from one popular diet plan to another is likely to yield the same results until you build sustainable motivation.
It’s important to change your thinking to prevent old habits from creeping back. Consider keeping a variety of strategies in your toolbox that you can turn to in different situations.
With practice, you can develop plenty of motivation to stick to your weight loss goals. Use these practical tips to take weight off and keep it off.
Developing an Effective Weight Loss Attitude:
Look inwards. Distinguish between extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. Warnings from your doctor and workplace contests may give you a quick incentive to lose weight but finding your own reasons will help you to make lasting changes.
Love your body. Regard healthy eating as something positive you do for yourself rather than deprivation. Appreciate your body and enjoy nourishing it.
Live mindfully. Set the table and sit down at mealtimes. Turn off the TV and pay attention to your food. You’ll probably feel fuller with fewer calories.
Set realistic goals. Create targets you can achieve. Each victory will inspire you to keep trying. Maybe you’ll want to lose 1 pound a week or give up soda.
Plan for relapses. Be prepared for obstacles and setbacks. You’re less likely to feel discouraged if you know how you’ll recover from overindulging during business trips or holiday parties. Challenge yourself, but also give yourself a break and take it easy. You're only human, making mistakes and setbacks are a part of who we are.
Seek counseling. Do you feel like you need help understanding your thoughts and behaviors about food and your body image? Talking with a therapist may provide insights and options for how to cope.
Developing Effective Weight Loss Habits:
Eat whole foods. We're not talking about the popular grocery store. Fill your plate with vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Cut back on ultra-processed foods that are a major source of empty calories, sugar, and sodium.
Control portions. Learn how to estimate serving sizes. Using smaller plates and bowls is one easy way to slim down your meals.
Add flavor. You can still enjoy your food. Sprinkle herbs and spices into soups and salads. Roast vegetables with olive oil and garlic.
Weigh yourself. Some studies suggest that adults who step on the scale each day are more successful at losing weight. Keep in mind that it’s natural for your weight to fluctuate, so you’re really looking for upward trends you can catch early.
Stay hydrated. It’s easy to mistake thirst for hunger. Try drinking a glass of water when you crave something fattening to see if the feelings will pass. Check out this motivational water bottle to make drinking water a fun thing and less of a chore!
Dine in. Compared to home cooking, restaurant fare tends to be much higher in calories, fat, and salt. Master quick recipes and pack a lunch bag for work.
Rest and relax. Managing stress and sleeping well reduce hormones that signal your body to store fat. Stick to a consistent bedtime and find relaxation practices that work for you.
Be social. Make weight loss fun by inviting your family and friends to join you. Take cooking classes together and discuss your progress on social media. Support each other in developing healthy new habits.
Move more. "Motion is lotion!" This is something we talk about in our book Remotely Crazy. While your diet usually plays the major role, physical activity is important too. Especially if you work from home! Staying strong and fit will lift your spirits and help you to lose weight safely.
Maintaining a healthy weight will help you to feel more confident and lower your risk for many serious health issues, including diabetes and heart conditions.
Transform your approach to dieting. Motivation keeps you going when you hit a plateau!