Weight loss is actually a three-part process that includes:
Mental outlook and motivation
One of the most important aspects of losing weight and keeping it off is your attitude towards weight loss and getting healthy. It's a fact that most dieters start to lose their motivation after the first two or three weeks, when the first flush of enthusiasm dies and they start getting bored.
One of the problems is that people think of dieting as temporary, a condition that will end eventually. They say things such as “I can’t wait to get off this diet so I can eat this or that.” This type of attitude means that any promise of permanent weight loss results is doomed before they even start.
The key is to think about long term and permanent profound habit and lifestyle changes and get off the diet merry-go round. Changing your habits always begins with changes in the mindset. If one is okay with weighing 200 pounds, they're not likely to make any of the changes necessary to lose weight. Motivation is essential, no matter if you need to lose 20 pounds or 150.
Once there is a profound motivational shift, it facilitates the necessary mindset changes needed to actually change behaviors, which includes exercise and making healthy food choices. Finding the motivation to lose weight is all about changing your perspective. Setting your mind towards the rewards will motivate the behaviors necessary to lose the weight AND keep it off for life, the main predictor of true weight loss success.
To make permanent weight loss a reality, you must realize what motivates you and matters to you the most. Below is a list of motivations to get you started.
Improve your overall health
Improve the aging process
Prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and cancer
Prevent obesity related premature death
Make moving and walking easier
Stop being sick and tired of being sick and tired
Get off the yo-yo fad diet merry-go-round nightmare
Stay alive for your kids and family
The self-pride and sense of achievement you'll feel when you succeed
Ditch fad diets. Many overextend themselves by choosing fad diets that cannot possibly bring long term and lasting results and which they cannot follow, which just set themselves up for failure. Start changing your eating habits, and think lifestyle not diet to keep you motivated for the long term. Best idea: eat real whole food.
Avoid the hassle of counting and measuring! Instead, use small plates to eat a small meal every 3 hours from waking to bedtime. Each meal should consist of 1 fist size of a lean protein, 1 palm size of a healthy carb like non-starchy vegetables and a thumb size of a healthy fat, like avocado, nuts or almond butter.
Visit a nutritionist to learn about the vast amount of healthy and delicious foods that are available to you.
Clear your kitchen of all junk food. This is motivating because it eliminates temptation, and the burden of having it there.
Use clear containers to prep healthy food so it’s ready to go and within easy reach in the fridge.
Remember you don’t have to starve to lose and maintain weight; in fact, this is the worst thing you can do. Instead, work on choosing healthy food and eat to satisfaction not until you're stuffed.
Make a list of how you will look, feel and how your health might be in 1 year, 5 years, or even 10 years, if you don’t get healthy and fit now. Be completely honest as this is tough love time.
Confront your fears, write down all the things that scare you in regards to weight loss, and overcome your fears with a list of alternatives.
Write down all the reasons you want to lose weight.
Remind yourself and read your list every morning, or several times a day if needed.
Print and pin a picture of the digestive system on your fridge and notice the size of a human stomach; it doesn't take much food to fill it and satisfy it.
Set small goals; it’s much easier to think of 5 pounds at a time, than a 50 or 100, and mark off achievements as you go.
Stick with the one day at a time motto, or even one hour at a time if needed.
Create a weight loss progress-tracking journal. Note your feelings, successes, joys, fears, and tribulations.
Assess and list your weaknesses when it comes to your weight struggles. Hate exercise? Have a sweet tooth? Don’t know how to eat well? Changes in behavior patterns begin with awareness, which can then be redirected to motivation into a new action, making it much more achievable.
Make a running list of healthy substitutes for your unhealthy favorites.
Every time you create a meal you love, take a picture of it and save it on your phone; this makes meal planning much easier and allows you to quickly access great meals in the future.
Use a scale, tape measure and fat caliper to track your progress; using just one tool can be misleading, especially if your exercising to build lean muscle.
Track your progress in photos of yourself as you lose and create an ongoing before and after montage.
Learn moderation. You don’t have to completely forget your favorite indulgences; this is just a set up. The key is to learn moderation: think 1 cookie on occasion instead of 5 every day or order a dessert on special occasions, but take 3 bites and leave the rest.
Buy an outfit in your goal size and hang it in your bedroom where you'll see it every day.
Set your mind to lifestyle change, not another temporary diet plan. Your overall motivation needs to be long term and permanent, so, while diets are temporary, changing to healthy eating habits is permanent.
Choose healthy foods you like; if you hate fish and Brussels sprouts it won’t be long before you quit.
Put pictures of your heavier self wherever you will see it regularly. Take or choose the worst picture you can find that really upsets you in regards to your weight. Look at the picture regularly to remind yourself that you don't want to be back there.
Stay motivated by celebrating all the small successes; this reinforces the progress you’ve made and motivates you to continue. Reward yourself for every 5 or 10 pounds...buy a dress, jewelry, go to a movie...it doesn't matter what; just make a big deal about these milestones.
Imagine how you will look and feel in smaller size clothes. What types of clothes will you be able to buy that you could not before?
Look at pictures of healthier people (real people, not anorexic super models) regularly and consider yourself in that picture.
Get the whole family involved in healthy eating and exercising.
Be very mindful of how you feel eating healthy whole food. Most people who switch from an unhealthy diet, to one filled with real sustaining food find they have more energy, and they feel better overall.
Be very mindful of how eating smaller portions makes you feel. You might be surprised to find that you actually need much less food than you thought.
Silence inner negativity, any time your inner critic tries to sabotage your efforts, replacing those thoughts with positive affirmations. Keep a list of those affirmations handy.
Choose from the dozens of weight loss motivation apps available for iPhone and Android devices.
Moderation means you can eat anything you want, in moderation. You never have to feel deprived, and you have choices. This is enough to motivate anyone especially when compared to the restrictive and drastic fad diets we have become accustomed to.
Ask for help and support from friends you trust or family members and tell them exactly what you need from them. For example, if your spouse keeps sweets in the house, ask him to get rid of them or at least put them out of sight.
Hire a personal trainer; spending money is a great motivator.
Seek progress not perfection! Unlike fad diets where everything should happen in a week, permanent weight loss and healthy weight management means making profound changes in eating habits over time, so there is much less pressure, and NO guilt, which is a major motivator. Forgive yourself when you stray and get right back to focusing on your healthy plan.
Yes, you can eat out! Just remember portion control. Most restaurant plates equal about 4 meals worth, so take the rest home and divide it up. Another good trick is to order from the appetizer menu.
You love yourself, and want to take care of yourself, don’t you?
Do any of these motivations resonate with you? What others would you add?