If exercising and eating right were all it took to lose weight, the process would be a whole lot simpler. It is true that moving your body and reducing your calorie consumption are vital to the process but the way you think and talk to yourself can make or break those efforts.
At BodyRock, we understand this struggle and want to help you feel better inside, as well as out.
Here are 8 steps that can help keep your head and your heart moving along a healthy path:
1. Define Your Motivation
It is easy to become disappointed in yourself if you give in to a craving for junky food or find that quick fix miracle diet tip doesn't actually work. You're human. The trick is, to adopt the right attitude before you even begin your lifestyle shift.
Your list of reasons for wanting to lose weight may stretch as long as your arm, but it is likely that not all of those reasons are "good" reasons. "If your decision develops primarily out of pressure from someone else, your conviction to succeed could diminish over time," says Daniel C. Stettner, PhD, a behavioral-medicine specialist at Northpointe Health Center in Berkley, Michigan. "To ensure success, you need to develop the will to improve your life, not someone else's vision of it."
Sit yourself down with a pen and paper and list all your reasons for wanting to lose weight. Highlight the reasons that involve other people. Now re-write the list without the highlighted reasons. Now look for reasons that contain the words "must" and "have to." These are words that suggest obligation which, over time, may just prompt you to do the opposite. No one likes feeling obligated! Change those reasons to "want to." If they no longer seem relevant, get rid of them. Pair down your list in this way until you are left with two or three of the most pressing and compelling motivations.
2. Choose An Attainable Goal
"Studies show that most dieters expect to lose as much as four times what they really can in a six-month period," says Stettner.
When it comes to weight loss, it is okay to think small. Work on losing smaller amounts and keeping it off! And be careful not to get caught in a numbers game. The number on the scale is just that. It is not your goal, it is only a reflection of your actions. Instead, focus on behaviors you wish to change. Want to start packing a healthy lunch each day? Focus on prepping and cooking those meals. It is also a good idea to consider non-weight related goals. For example, work towards running a 5k race. When you do that, the weight you lose becomes a bonus to your achievement.
3. Design Your Diet
There is no need to jump on every fad diet you hear about. Find something that will work for you. You only need to cut 150 calories a day to lose 15 pounds in a year, small changes are all you need. "Little changes to your current eating style, like downsizing portions or preparing foods differently, can add up to big results," says Stettner.
What foods can you live without? What foods MUST you have? Create a list and build your diet around them. If you are a chocolate junkie, have one small square of dark chocolate each day to take the edge off. If you are a compulsive snacker, divide your food into 6 or 7 smaller meals so that when you feel like grazing, you can.
Remember, you don't have to eliminate your favorite foods. Doing so will only make the cravings stronger and your willpower weaker. Instead, allow yourself a bite or two and move on.
If you need help figuring out how to balance your meals in a healthy way, check out the BodyRock Meal Plan
. 30 days of healthy meals and snacks laid out for you! We give you a weekly grocery list so all you have to do is buy the ingredients and follow along! Easy as can be!
4. Visualize The New You
Close your eyes and imagine yourself at the end of this journey. How do you walk? What are you wearing? How do you feel? We're willing to bet that you walk with confidence and pride, you dress more boldly and you feel phenomenal! Running through the results in this way will better prepare you to accept and recognize your successes!
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5. Get Your Priorities Straight
Make yourself goals each day. When you get up in the morning, set yourself a goal. Maybe you want to go to the gym that day or cook a healthy dinner for the whole family. At the beginning of each month, sit down and decide on which days you will workout and what workouts you will do. If you find planning in this manner to be difficult, try signing up for a bootcamp or a program that takes the guesswork out of it. Try SweatFlix℠ free for 30 days and gain access to ALL the BodyRock workouts in one place! From beginner to advanced, bootcamps to yoga, SweatFlix℠ has it all! Get started today
Remember, small changes add up to big results.
6. Uncover Emotional Obstacles
When it comes to overeating, sadness and anger are two very big triggers. Problem is, eating doesn't actually calm either of those emotions. Keeping a food diary, one that tracks not only what you eat but when and why, can go a long way to giving you insight into your emotional eating habits. Once you can identify your triggers, you can come up with more effective ways to combat them.
It is also worth noting that sometimes the very act of trying to lose weight can trigger emotional defenses. "Fear of change is a particularly formidable enemy," says Jeffrey Wilbert, PhD, author of Fattitudes: Beat Self-Defeat and Win Your War with Weight.
"Altering your lifestyle involves taking a risk, and that can dredge up insecurity." As your body starts to change, people will respond to you differently and that can be terrifying. But, when it comes to fear, the greatest way to combat it is to face it head on. Remember that you are taking these steps to be the best you possible. And each move you make is bringing you closer to being happier and healthier. You've got this!
7. Celebrate Every Achievement
"Rewards reinforce positive behavior, but only if they're meaningful," says Bonnie Goodman, a psychotherapist based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, who specializes in behavioral therapy. "When you reach a milestone in your weight-loss or exercise routine, treat yourself to something that celebrates the particular goal you achieved and helps further your progress."
For example, if you've dropped a dress size, take yourself out and treat yourself to an outfit that highlights your trimmer frame. Celebrate how far you've come in a way that will motivate you to keep right on going!
8. Forgive Yourself
Forgiveness is a difficult concept, we know, but it is pretty important when it comes to meeting your goals. "If you make an unhealthy diet choice, admit that you're fallible, but don't drown in a sea of judgmental thoughts," says Wilbert.
Beating yourself up for making a slip won't help you become the strong, confident person we know you are. And what's it all for? It isn't like that big bowl of ice cream you just had is actually going to derail all your progress! A slip doesn't have to ruin everything. You have control. Accept that it happened and move on. Try to turn your negative thoughts into positive ones. So you had a bowl of ice cream, what else did you do today? You had a great day at work and crushed your workout. Don't let tiny slips hijack your entire thought process. One mistake does not ruin everything!
Have you reached your fitness goals? How did you keep your head in the game?
Source: Fitness Magazine