Lose Weight, For The Last Time

Lose Weight, For The Last Time

When trying to lose weight, believing in your goals and having a positive attitude can be as important as improving your diet and being active.

If you have a clear plan while you’re losing weight, you stand a far better chance of making the permanent changes needed to achieve your goals and make them last.

Here are seven key strategies to keep you focused and to ensure that this weight loss journey is your last and most successful!

1. Envision Your Success

Athletes mentally rehearse every step of their winning routine to make it feel attainable.

In the same way, you can make your own goals as real as possible by visualizing yourself succeeding in particular scenarios. Picture yourself making the right choices when dining out, saying no to seconds at the family dinner, and walking every day at lunchtime—all very achievable small changes that add up to long-term success.

Revisit these scenarios often, envisioning your actions and their results. Think about how good you’ll feel when you achieve your goals; visualize your future self six months to a year down the road, and think of how good you’ll look and feel without the extra pounds.

Find old photographs of your thinner self and put them in a place as a reminder of what you’re working towards, and ask yourself what you did back then that you could incorporate into your lifestyle today.

2. Gather Your Tools

If you want to achieve any challenge or goal, you have to play to your strengths. What are you good at? What motivates you? What time of day are you most productive?

Thinking about how you achieve goals in your everyday life can help you achieve your weight loss goals. Successfully losing weight is no different from any goal you want to achieve or any goal you have already achieved. You wouldn’t try doing the accounts at 6 a.m. if you know you’re not good at getting up in the morning, so why force yourself to go for a run then?

Develop a plan of action with you and your lifestyle in mind. If you know you’re better in the mornings, schedule your workouts for then. If you’re more of a night owl, plan an after-dinner walk to boost your post-meal energy levels.

If you enjoy cooking for friends and family, then invite them around for a healthy dinner and show off your new recipes. If you’re good at numbers, then you’ll enjoy making progress spreadsheets or keeping track of calories.

Also, think about hobbies you enjoy and try to incorporate activity into them; whether it’s power walking to the shopping mall before you flex the plastic, rediscovering your inner dancer at salsa classes, or going for a hike to take some great snaps, there’s bound to be a way for you to get more out of things you already enjoy.

3. Identify and Change Unhealthy Behaviors

You can’t just think yourself slim; you can also put yourself in the right frame of mind to optimize your prospects.

The first step is to slowly but surely identify where you are engaging in behaviors that lead to weight gain and turn them around with little steps that you can easily handle without feeling deprived. For example, if you are an evening couch potato, start by changing your snack from a bag of cookies or chips to a piece of fruit.

The next night, try having just a calorie-free drink. Eventually, you can start exercising while you watch television or going for a walk after dinner, rewarding yourself by watching your favorite program when you return.

Another way to get started ditching your bad habits is to get rid of the tempting, empty-calorie foods in your kitchen and replace them with healthier options.

Other changes can include ditching soda in favor of water, going for a walk at lunch every day rather than staying at your desk, swapping to olive oil for cooking, switching to whole wheat bread, and trying a new vegetable or fruit every week. You never know; these new habits could become addictive!

4. Don’t Sabotage Yourself

Many of us unconsciously sabotage ourselves with self-destructive thoughts such as “I’ll never lose weight.” Whenever you catch yourself thinking this way, try to substitute more constructive statements, such as “I haven’t lost as much weight as I would like, but I can change that by setting aside time to exercise three times each week.”

Weight loss experts encourage setting smaller but more concrete goals like this. Rather than aiming to ‘do more exercise,’ promise yourself a definite time and activity to move you closer to your goals.

5. Be Your Own Cheerleader

Some people believe it’s modest to put themselves down. But you wouldn’t call a friend ‘fat’ or ‘ugly’, would you, so why would you say these things about yourself?

This kind of self-criticism is very destructive. Not only does it make you feel down, but it also activates your fight-or-flight instincts to reach for salty, high-fat foods, damaging your weight loss efforts. You deserve respect, so try becoming your own best friend. Celebrate your progress, and try not to obsess about setbacks.

One way to do this is to make a list of your accomplishments in every area of your life (personal, professional, and physical). List the talents and skills that enabled you to achieve them, and look at this list often. Begin a daily journal of everything you did ‘right’ today and you’ll be surprised how quickly it adds up!

6. Avoid Being a Perfectionist

Try not to think in all-or-nothing terms – that you’ve blown your diet, for example, simply because you’ve overdone it at one meal. We need to be kinder to ourselves and learn to regard setbacks as learning opportunities rather than as failures.

Start each day fresh, and don’t let yesterday’s actions affect today. That goes for the good things you did, too. Resting on your laurels doesn’t cut it when you know that every day counts as a new start.

7. Affirm Your Self-Belief

Feel your confidence wavering? One way to reinforce your self-belief is with positive affirmations: simple, self-validating statements repeated as often as possible, preferably daily. Try coming up with one or two of your own, and remember to keep them positive. You can — and you will — succeed as long as you believe you can do it!

8. Incorporate a Weight Loss Supplement

Aside from the mental preparation needed when embarking on your weight loss journey, it always proves most effective if you have an added push to help you burn those calories and get out there and exercise.

The fact is, it is always up to us whether we succeed or not in anything that we do, but when it comes to weight loss, it can really help to have that extra push. In many cases, that extra push is what gets people across the finish line and keeps them there.

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