Has your weight yo-yo’d over the years? Would it take a degree in math to calculate how much you’ve lost and gained? Do your scales fluctuate like the stock market? Has your weight hit a brick wall and your craving every naughty food you can think of? Well, you’re certainly not alone. Its all motivation and you need it by the bucketful.
You’re already on to a winner by making the decision to change your diet and/or lifestyle – congratulations. It takes a strong and determined person to maintain changes – temptation is only around the corner but, I want to share some ideas with you to beat it.
“It is our attitude at the beginning of a difficult task which, more than anything else, will affect its successful outcome.” – William James
A positive attitude is key to achieving your goals. Its pretty easy to maintain your motivation for the first few weeks but, it can slip away so easily as the novelty wears out and reality hits. I work on the theory that temptation and self doubt will happen, but, its easier to deal with if you have the ammunition. Here are some tips to keep your mojo:
Diet? What diet?
You’re doomed to fail if you look at this as a ‘diet’ – this is a lifestyle – if you want to maintain your weight loss, you have to keep it up for life. The 21 day rule says that if you maintain a change for 21 days it will become habit – not a long time in the grand scheme of things!
Sack the sabortashing thoughts.
Perfection doesn’t exist! Take it from me, even dietitians eat cake and biscuits (hello yummy carrot cake!)- it’s about moderation. Think to yourself ‘is that cake worth it?’ If the answer is yes, then, have some – but only on occasion. Don’t let one treat turn into a oh-i’ve-done-it-now-what’s-the-point-of-carrying-on splurge! It wasn’t a failure, it was a choice. Ditch the ‘all or nothing’ mentality.
Keep it interesting.
You can easily get bored of your ‘go-to’ meals, variety is key – check out my blog ‘are you in a food rut’ for loads of advice and ideas.
You can easily forget why you bothered in the first place. Stick a picture of yourself, from a time your were happier with your weight, on the fridge. Use it to stop those snack attacks and, by looking at it every day, you’ll easily keep your goal in the forefront of your mind. Some people take this a step further and hang up a piece of clothing that they want to wear again in the kitchen – whatever works for you!
Don’t dwell on the past – learn from it.
What went wrong? How did you deal with it? How can you change the outcome next time you face this problem? Life gets in the way but we can learn from glitches.
If it took you 5 years to gain this weight then its not going to ‘fall off’ in a few months. If a ‘diet’ claims that you can lose a lot of weight in a short time, then the chance that you’ll be able to maintain the weight loss is next to nothing. Weigh yourself every month, rather than weekly – 1-2lbs a week is a great weight loss goal. If you are the type of person that needs that extra push then why not sign yourself up to do a race/event for charity?
Take it one bite at a time.
Lifelong changes don’t happen overnight and you can’t do everything at once, so, take it slow. I know you’re keen but, take it one goal at a time and, once you feel you have that one under control, move on to the next.
Trying to do things without support is hard. Whether its your partner, family member, friend or a group, support is vital to keep you going through the tough times.
Are your scales stuck?
The dreaded ‘weight loss plateau’’. You’ve been eating healthily, reduced your portions and exercising but nada, nothing, not even half a pound loss! Its a natural part of the weight loss game. Don’t worry, be patient, it will pass. A few minor adjustments will help, try cutting down by 100 calories and/or doing 10 minutes more exercise and you’ll soon see the other side of the plateau.
Rewards. You deserve it!
It can be so daunting to think of how far you have to go. Provide yourself with an incentive by setting mini goals and rewarding yourself when you achieve them – you’ll recognise just how well your doing. Make sure that they are non-food rewards such as a beauty treatment, a trip to the cinema, a long bath, a new pair of jeans or buy a book (cookery books are a great idea to provide inspiration!)
Put on an item of clothing that you wore before you started to lose weight – wow – look how well you’ve done! Keep in mind how much better you feel now compared to before your weight loss journey began.
Notes and Post-its.
Do you eyeball your fridge or rummage through the cupboards? This makes it more difficult to stay on track My advice – don’t buy tempting foods and leave yourself notes such as ‘am I really hungry?’, ‘is it worth it?’ ‘What are you doing in here?’. Warning – your partner may laugh!
- Say it out loud!
If you’re about to have a snack attack – tell yourself out loud what you’re doing! ‘I’m about to eat chocolate because I have a craving that won’t last long, and, i’m bored. I’ve already had dinner and I’m ful. I want to fit in my black skinny jeans but I won’t get very far if I eat this’. Honesty is the best policy but you may need to reassure your partner that you’re ok after those weird looks!
“Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one’s thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe