Sometimes getting started is the hardest part. It is easy to say "I'll start tomorrow" only to have tomorrow come and go while you utter the same refrain. Use these 11 strategies to start singing a new tune!
1. Ask yourself why you really want to lose weight
If you are going to change your diet and your lifestyle, you'll need a good reason. You'll need a deep motivating reason, something deeper than "I want to be a size 2." The more personal the reason, the more motivating it will be. Maybe you want to feel better about yourself or maybe you want to be able to keep up with your kids.
2. Write down your goal
It takes next to no time and ups your chances of success by 42 percent according to Pamela Peeke, M.D., M.P.H., senior science advisor at Elements Behavioral Health and author of Body For Life For Women.
Writing down your goal, and keeping it where you can see it everyday, holds this goal in the front of your mind and places it among your priorities.
3. Raid you kitchen
Open your fridges and cupboards and ask yourself: Will I feel terrible if I eat these foods? If the answer is yes, pitch them. These are your trigger foods and if you keep them, you are more likely to overeat, stall your weightloss and develop an unhealthy relationship with food. It isn't always possible to get rid of all processed foods so if you start by getting rid of the ones that trigger you most, you're on your way.
4. Think through your trouble spots
Consider what has caused you weight problems in the past. Dinners out or maybe it is emotional eating. Whatever it is, being aware of it can help keep you on the right path and prevent you from giving up when they pop up in the future.
5. Prep some food
Most of us don't have time to prepare three healthy meals a day. Prepping healthy foods and meals today will mean less time spent in the kitchen later in the week and you'll have all sorts of wonderful home cooked things to choose from.
6. Tell your best friend your plans
Accountability is HUGE in weightloss plans but choose who you share with. A friend who will guilt you if you slip isn't the one you want on your team. “You have to make sure the people you tell about your desire to lose weight are people you care about and care about you in a gentle way,” says Peeke. The friend who will help you navigate temptation is the one you want to tell.
7. Schedule your workouts
When we have appointments at the salon, we don't break them. We work our schedule around them. Do the same for your workouts. Plan a full week of workouts, write them down, in pen. Consider it an appointment with yourself.
8. Make a vision board
Tape some motivating mantras and pictures to a board to remind you of your goals and targets. Maybe pictures of you at your fittest or pictures of things you'd like to achieve like a half marathon finish line. Whatever you put up there, it should be something that lifts and builds you up.
9. Buy some cute workout clothes
We all know how good it feels when you put on something really nice. You just feel good all over. This can be the same in your workout. The better you feel going to the gym, the more likely you are to go. So find something fun and flattering that fits you now. As your body changes, you can reward yourself with more shopping.
10. Plan some small, totally doable changes
Trying to make large scale, sweeping changes all at once will likely lead to failure. It is too much. Be honest with yourself about small changes you can make starting tomorrow. What are you willing to do? Take a walk at lunch, cut back at happy hour, eat more veggies? It isn't unreasonable to admit to yourself that you aren't willing to give up Sunday brunch, for example. Start with things you are really willing to do. Being realistic sets you up for lots of little successes that keep you positive and motivated and set you up for long term success.
11. Go to sleep early
In a study presented at the American Heart Association's 2011 Scientific Sessions, women who slept only four hours ate 329 more calories the next day than when they slept nine hours. When you skimp on sleep, your hunger hormones get all out of whack. Turn in early tonight, have more success tomorrow.