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Is it a law that weight loss has to be unpleasant? It may not be a law, but it sure is a foregone conclusion for a lot of us. Unfortunately, we learn from past experience and most of us are not new to the prospect of losing weight. If you’ve dieted before, then your past experience is likely to color any future attempt to lose weight.
Still, I believe your next weight loss attempt can be much better if you go into it armed with a positive can-do attitude and the right mindset. Try these 10 steps to insure weight loss success.
10 Steps To Insure Weight Loss Success
1. Build in accountability by telling people.
Weight is a particularly conflicting topic. On one hand, it’s the topic du jour of virtually every girl-talk session. Yet, you would still hesitate to bring it up with a friend who’s struggling for fear of offending her.
Still, it’s easier to find your way on a well-lit path. If you are serious about losing weight and keeping off, then it’s time to put it right out there for everyone to see. Also, the act of speaking out your commitment and intentions helps solidify your resolve to make a change.
2. Don’t use the word diet.
Establish the right mindset from the beginning. Diets by there very nature are designed to deprive your body of calories and fat for the purpose of weight reduction. OK, so isn’t the whole point to lose weight? The answer is yes and no. Yes, you want to lose weight; however, you want to set up conditions and habits that can be realistically maintained long after you’ve lost the weight.
When it comes to diets, we typically set a date and steel ourselves for the dreaded day. Essentially, we expect diets to involve deprivation and hunger. Truth be told…we all dread them and can’t wait until they’re over. Ah, and therein lies the problem, because successful weight loss and maintenance never ends. It has to be a lifestyle, so don’t use the diet word.
3. Break up exercise into 10-minute intervals.
If you are new to exercise, the idea of spending 45 minutes on a stationary bike can be enough to derail your fitness goals. So, try breaking up your exercise into three 10-minute intervals. This might mean walking the dog in the morning, taking the stairs to and from the office and walking the block immediately after arriving home from work.
4. Start a blog.
When I started my weight journey I also started a blog to share what I learned….the more I learned, the more I wrote. This is really a continuation of the accountability mentioned in point one. Also, it’s amazing how much writing things down helps to clarify and solidify your thoughts.
5. Stay off of the scale.
It’s important to take the emphasis away from numerical results in the initial weeks. Instead, you want to focus on the process. It would be great if our bodies worked like machines; calories reduced equal immediate pounds lost. But unfortunately, the human body is too complex for that, so it can take a while for weight loss to register.
I’ve had times when I lost no weight in one week only to lose several pounds in the next, even though I was eating exactly the same. Try to stay off the scale for the first three weeks of a lifestyle change.
6. Take measurements at the beginning.
Your weight does not always give a clear indication of progress; especially if you are adding exercise to the mix. Muscle weighs more than fat.
Taking your measurements at the beginning of a lifestyle change gives a much better indication of your progress. It also helps to steer you away from the compulsion to “be” a particular number on the scale.
Measure these areas:
- around upper back (place tape under armpits)
- upper rib cage (directly under bust)
- waist (narrowest point)
- hips (widest point)
- upper thigh
- upper arm
7. Start on a busy week.
Many of us eat out of boredom. The first week of a cutback is always the hardest, so try to pick a time when you will be really busy doing other things. This helps cut down on the temptation to raid the refrigerator.
8. Line up websites, podcasts and Pinterest boards for incentive.
It helps to know you’re not alone. There are tons of success stories available at the click of a button.
9. Expect success.
The battle of weight is won and lost in your head. Even if you have started and failed before, today is the start of a new journey. Don’t allow thoughts of defeat to trip you up before you’ve even started.
10. Celebrate small victories and shrug off stumbles.
Too many times, we allow one misstep to discourage us. But, if you truly desire lifelong success with weight, you must prepare yourself to navigate all kinds of food situations. Develop a thick skin and throw off any perfectionist tendencies. If you blow it one day, prepare to be extra vigilant the next day to balance things out.
Get your mind right and the rest will follow!