I found this post on WEBMD and thought it was worth reblogging. There’s good information here and at the end I added a paragraph of my own.
1. Change the way you describe your goals.
“Call it whatever you want, but don’t call what you’re doing a diet,” says David Grotto, RD, author of The Best Things You Can Eat. When your trying to lose weight, you’ll never keep the pounds off permanently if you thing about this as a temporary problem that you can fix in a couple of months. The problem with diets is they have a beginning and an end. You will only succeed, when you make a lifelong commitment to a healthier lifestyle. I call it “my new meal plan”. The Doctor has a point, using the word diet and convincing yourself that “this is just a diet and I’ll get back to those desserts after this is over” is not a good way to look at your weight problem. I liken a weight problem to a person who has a problem with smoking. Once you give it up you can’t go back to your old ways. When you change to a healthier eating plan you can’t go back or the cycle will start all over.
2. Make your goal meaningful.
Shift your focus from “I want to fit into those jeans” to “I want to feel good and have more energy.” Whether you realize it or not your goal is to lose body fat. And after you lose that first 10 pounds of fat, you’re going to feel like a kid again. Internal goals like how you feel instead of how you look tend to have greater staying power over time. Concentrating on the feel-good benefits you’re getting also helps you to stick with your plan.
I want to add that 10 pounds on the scale doesn’t mean you lost 10 pounds of body fat. That’s were exercise comes in. By building muscle when your losing weight more weight loss will be body fat. Normally when a person loses weight most of that weight is muscle mass, but when an adult gains weight, that weight is mostly fat. That’s why exercise is so important, you have to try and change the equation. When you lose weight you want that loss to be body fat.
3. Break up with things that don’t work.
Consider what you’ve done in the past to try to lose weight and what you could do differently this time? For example, if your downfalls were snacking at work and waiting until the end of the day to exercise, start packing a healthy snack to take with you each day and go for a run first thing in the morning before the day’s demands get in the way of your good intentions. It’s important to plan how your going to lose weight. It’s not going to happen by accident.
4. Make it easier on yourself.
Set yourself up for success with some small tweaks, starting at home.
Do things that will help, not hinder, your weight loss. If you want to make that early-morning jog happen, lay out your running gear before going to bed. Want to get in the habit of snacking on fruit, not chips? Put a bowl of fresh apples or pears on your kitchen table or counter. If it’s convenient, it’s more likely to happen. Another thing that can make weight loss easier for you might be to “be mindfully” of things your buying at the grocery store. If you don’t buy it, then you can’t eat it.
5. Form a fan club.
I’m not the kind of guy who runs out and tell everyone he’s going to lose weight. I’d rather lose the weight and then have people discover that for themselves. You get a lot of compliments that way. Some people believe in moral support. They want a support group like friends and family to encourage them to stay the course. And that will work, that’s the idea behind “Weight Watchers”. If your someone who wants that support group to give you confidence, I think Weight Watchers is the way to go. Those people are professionals at motivation and will keep you on track. All you have to do is show-up. The problem with trying to use friends and family for a support group is that some of them won’t think you need to lose weight and they’re not going to be supportive to matter how much you want them to be.
6. Be flexible.
Something is bound to pop up that can throw you off track (the grocery store sells out of your favorite salad ingredients, or your favorite Zumba class moves to a new time).
Expect the unexpected. You might have to create a backup plan on a moment’s notice like trying a new class at the gym, or buying celery or snap peas to go with your hummus.
The key is to be ready, willing, and able to revise your routine and find ways around obstacles. Don’t let one surprise throw off your whole routine. Changes in your routine are the biggest reason for people giving up. If your going to lose body fat and become the person you want to be, then you can never give-up. I know people and you probably do to, that always seem to look for an excuse to quit. You can’t be “that person” and accomplish your goal.
7. Be your own BFF.
When you miss the mark, show yourself some compassion. You’ll avoid letting a slip become a fall. Your going to have set-back like injuries or maybe you have to change jobs or move. Research found that most people who succeed at keeping New Year’s resolutions say their first slip-up strengthened their resolve. So give yourself a pep talk, just as you would a close friend. Then dust yourself off, learn from the lapse, and pick up where you left off.
8. Tune into your hunger.
To prevent overeating, rate your hunger on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being extremely hungry. Eat when you’re in the middle of the scale, psychologist Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD, says.
If you know you won’t be able to eat later, have a snack or small meal when your hunger is low. This helps you avoid getting overly hungry, which can set you up for overeating later on. This is why the “5 small meals a day plan” works. You have to keep the schedule and don’t miss a meal or go too long without eating. The object is to eat before you get hungry.
9. Make yourself accountable.
Keep a food and exercise diary on paper, online, or with an app on your phone.
Consistently recording your eating and exercise habits, along with weighing yourself regularly, gives you some advantages. Seeing the results you want motivates you to keep going. If the results aren’t so great, you can make changes to fix that. You have a journal and you can see what you have to change.
You can monitor your progress any way you want to. Experiment and pick the method that works best for you and that you are most likely to do.
10. Know your emotional triggers.
Using food to handle boredom, frustration, stress, anger, or sadness can sabotage your efforts. Feel your emotions, but don’t let them get the best of you. Figure out what helps you relax and feel positive. Try listening to music, chatting with a friend, exercising or going for a walk. Boredom is the main reason people eat when watching TV.
11. Make sleep a priority.
Studies show that not getting enough sleep triggers hormonal changes that can lead to feeling hungrier. There’s no underestimating the importance of a good night’s rest. The recommended amount for adults is 7 to 9 hours of shut-eye per night. If you’re not getting enough sleep you won’t lose weight. The more hours your awake the more you’ll eat.
12. Practice mindful eating.
Chew your food thoroughly. Eating more slowly will help you appreciate your food more and give your stomach a chance to notify your brain that you’ve had enough.
Once you get that signal, put down your fork and ask yourself, Can I stop eating now and walk away from this table satisfied? If the answer is no, eat some more. If the answer is yes, push your plate aside and focus on the conversation or something other than the food. Don’t ever feel like you have to finish your plate.
Permanent weight loss takes work. You’ve been use to your other lifestyle and now you’re going to become a new version of you. You want to become a thinner, healthier person who has more energy and looks and feels better and you can do it, but it will take work. It probably took several years to become the overweight person you use to be and it will take several months or even longer to get back in shape, but the good news is that as you lose body fat you will start to have more energy and you’ll start to be a happier, healthier person so don’t give up just because you’ve had some set-backs. It’s not unusual to yo-yo back and forth on the scale. Remember if it’s not working just try something different but never give up.