The ability to lose weight and keep it off over the long term does not come easily. Before getting started on a weight loss program, consider some of these tips that can help pave the way to success. By considering and setting goals when you get started, you will likely have greater success throughout your weight loss efforts and as you work to maintain your achievements.
Set Appropriate Goals
Setting goals that are realistic and appropriate is one of the keys to success. Oftentimes people starting a medical weight loss program will focus on one thing: weight loss. A more productive approach, however, is to set goals related to exercise and dietary changes. When focusing on these areas, weight loss will come, as well. Focus on two or three goals at any one time to allow yourself the opportunity for success.
Reward Yourself for Success
Set rewards that will motivate you to work toward achieving your goals. Choose non-food rewards that are timely, desirable, and continent upon meeting your goals. Some ideas may include a music CD, a movie or some quiet time to yourself. Small rewards for small goals tend to be more effective than big rewards for long-term goals.
Keep a Journal
Monitor your choices and lifestyle by recording the details. Write down what you eat in detail along with what exercise you are doing, and for how long. You should also record progress toward your goals as well as your accomplishments, both big and small. This can help you focus on your goals and monitor what is successful in your efforts to lose weight.
Avoid Food Triggers
Examine what environmental and social cues prompt you to make unhealthy eating changes, and work to change those habits. For example, if you find yourself prone to eating while you watch television, focus on changing that pattern to help you reach your weight loss goals. Work to sever or modify the connections that lead you to make unhealthy choices, such as avoiding the treat table at work or not snacking while you watch television.
Know What Full Feels Like
It takes your brain about 15 minutes to send you the message that you are full. Slow down the pace of your eating to allow your brain to signal feelings of fullness before you overeat. Focus on eating fruits and vegetables to help you feel full. Using a smaller plate can make small portions seem larger, leaving you feeling less restricted. You can also try changing your eating schedule if you find yourself regularly delaying or skipping meals, which often leads to overeating later.
It is not easy for most people to achieve long-term weight loss. You can set yourself up for success, however, by incorporating small changes that add up and evaluating your current habits. Set goals and keep track of your accomplishments so that you know how you are progressing every step of the way.