Dieting has become such a four letter word - when you hear the word diet, you think of hunger, deprivation and strife. To get past these thoughts and stumbling blocks, you need a plan. So here is a quick four step plan to get you started down you road toward weight loss.
1. Know your weight loss goals - know how much you need to lose before ever starting a diet program. It is not always easy to admit, but the more weight that you need to lose the more structure, determination and support that you will need to achieve.
If you are only slightly overweight and only need to lose a few pounds, then simple portion control may be all you need. But if you are severely overweight or obese, you will need more structure and support. If the later is you don't fall into the trap of being ashamed, as so many do. Be convicted and determined, you can do it even if you have not had progress in the past. You will and can do it with a plan and that is what we are here to do!
2. What is attitudes toward weight loss?
Understanding your emotions and attitude toward dieting is very important. If you don't understand the emotions that you have behind dieting and losing weight, then you will not be able to recognize them and overcome them.
- Are you Impulsive? You see that bag of chips sitting on the counter and before you know it the bag is empty. You go to get some ice out of the freezer and instead grab that pint of Ben and Jerry's to sit down and empty before the opening credits of the movie is over. If this sounds like you then the best thing that you can do is to remove all these temptations from your life because if they are there then it will lead to cheating on your plan sooner or later.
- Are you just Oblivious? You don't tend to pay attention to when you eat, you just are nibbling or snacking all throughout different activities. Maybe you are sitting watching your evening show on the TV while downing a bag of heavily butter popcorn. Or you keep that bag of crackers around so when you are on the phone you work your way to the bottom of the box. If this is you, you will need to set a strict schedule on when you eat, and keep a few healthy options such as carrots for when you absolutely need to snack on something between the scheduled meals.
- Are you Sociable? When you are being going to have dinner with friends or meet for an after work drink, you lose track of how much you are eating and before you know it you have had a sampling of all the appetizers on the menu. This can be difficult to overcome, so the best option is to make sure that you don't go into it alone. Make sure that all your friends know about your weight loss goals and your plans on getting there, so they can help keep you honest during those social events.
3. Make sure to include Exercise into your Diet program.
It is important to realize early that diet alone will not allow you to realize all of your weight loss goals. You must include some type of exercise into your plan. Now I am not saying that you have to go out and join a gym and live there for the rest of your life. Although exercise is a very important ingredient into realizing your weight loss goals, you must find something that you can enjoy and can be easily placed into your daily life. You can start off with a walk around your neighborhood, jog on the treadmill during the evening news, going all the way up and down the stairs of your 5 story building a couple times before leaving work for the day, etc. There are numerous ways that we can find a type of exercise that we can enjoy doing and find a way to put it into our daily routine, if only we take a moment to step back and notice the opportunities.
4. Last but far from the least - make a Firm Commitment
Ultimately, to be successful, you must have a steadfast commitment toward your weight loss goals. In order to make this commitment, you must first understand why you want to lose the weight that you have stated that you need to lose. There are many reasons that we all come up with to lose weight - want to fit into a bathing suit, want to be the one everyone looks at when entering a room, want my boyfriend to think of me as his prize date, and on and on... The issue with all these reasons is they are not the ones that will be able to get you through all the hurdles that you will face. Your reason needs to be YOU - your health, your fitness, your self esteem - You! You are the only thing that is always there to remind you of your goals and plans. You are the only one that can see through everyone one of those excuses that goes through you mind. You are the only one that you can never hide from.
So here is the 4 steps to begin to structure your weight loss plan. Each of these steps are very important for you to realize your weight loss goals. You must identify how much weight you are looking to lose, so you can determine how much structure and support you are going to need. You must identify the emotions around dieting that you have, so you can eliminate temptation and identify them well they come around. And don't forget about getting off the couch, yes that is right, put some exercise into your daily life and find something that you can stick with it. But to make it all work is the commitment that you need to make to yourself to achieve the weight loss goals that you have set out to make happen. Take these steps one by one and then put your plan into motion - then off will come the pounds.