With obesity rates rising and increased focus on healthy lifestyles, lots of folks are looking to lose weight and searching for that ONE diet that will work for them. The truth is, there are lots of good weight loss/management plans out there. However, weight loss, like any other goal, requires some planning and strategy to maximize the chance of success.
Sustained loss and long term success depend on being able to adopt a new, healthier lifestyle. You have to decide that are ready to make the commitment to a new lifestyle. Ask yourself, "Am I in it for the long haul or for right now?"
Whether you have 20, 50 or 100 pounds or more to lose, set a short-term realistic and achievable goal. Short-term goals allow us to achieve milestones along the way to our ultimate goal, building motivation and self-confidence.
Lasting weight loss comes from adopting a lifestyle that supports healthy weight maintenance. In other words, you adopt a new way of living that lasts long after the "loss" part is over. Choose a plan that includes a healthy eating plan and a healthy fitness plan that can be sustained over time.
Having someone to cheer us on or hold us accountable can make a huge difference in our motivation. It's easy to talk ourselves out of hitting the gym but it's a lot harder when we have a workout buddy waiting for us. It's easy to ignore that ginormous chocolate chip cookie when someone is giving us a high five for being strong. A support system will carry you through when your motivation wanes.
Study after study has borne out the fact that that when we write things down, we are more likely to stay on track. Get a journal, a notebook, do it on your smartphone...just write it down somewhere. Keeping track of what you eat, your workout, how you’re feeling or how your day went makes it real and reinforces the behaviors you are adopting. Writing it down keeps you focused and keeps you accountable. You can also look back and see where the journey has taken you, what’s working and what might need to be adjusted.
With a strategy, you will have a clear vision of where you're headed and the steps to getting there. Granted, the amount of information out there is staggering. Some of it is good, some not so much. It can be overwhelming. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Ask friends who have been successful. Ask your doctor. Make an appointment with a nutritionist. Gather information and then make the plan that works for you. Taking time to plan now can yield huge benefits that can last you a healthy lifetime.