Write Your Goals Down
If you want to truly do something, write it down. Journals, food diaries and to-do lists are extremely important to your weight loss plan. Brainstorm all of your goals onto one piece of paper and then rewrite each one as a contract with yourself. Put your contract somewhere that will keep you reminded of the promise you have made. The fridge is a great place since this is the main area which will make or break your resolution. Refer to your contract daily to remind yourself of your long-term goal.
Set a Definite Date
If you just say you’re going to meet your goal sometime within the year, that will not work. In fact, you will probably fall into the “I’ll start next week” trap. Instead, mark your calendar for a certain date for each goal that you want to achieve. For example, by March you want to be walking 3 miles a day. Setting a definite date is a great way to make sure you stick with your plan!
Remove The Temptations
Go into your kitchen and remove all bad foods from your refrigerator and pantry. This includes all snack foods such as cakes, pies, cookies, chips, sugar colas, crackers and any “empty calorie” foods that will impede on your weight loss goals. This step is very crucial step since the temptation to cheat will be increased 10-fold if you have cheat foods lingering inside your home. If you don’t remove these tempting items, it will only be a matter of time before you breakdown and dive head first into the cookie jar at 2am in the morning for a binge! Fill your kitchen with healthy, nutrient dense food, such as:
- Lean protein (chicken breast, turkey breast, fish, egg whites)
- Fresh fruits (oranges, apples, grapes, strawberries)
- Raw vegetables (mushrooms, broccoli, squash, green beans, red peppers)
- Healthy snack foods (non-fat cottage cheese, sugar-free jello, protein bar)
- Bottled Water
Make small changes every week and they will add up in time. It’s easier to move little pebbles than an entire mountain, right? Here are some examples of weekly changes you could incorporate into mini-goals:
- Week One: Drink 10 glasses of water per day.
- Week Two: Take the steps at work instead of the elevator.
- Week Three: Switch to ice tea .
- Week Four: Eliminate fried foods.
- Week Five: Begin eating one vegetarian meal per week.
You don’t have to go it alone! Tell your friends and family what you want to accomplish and tell them how they can help you (and warn them of what doesn’t help). Telling someone else your goals will probably make you feel that much more dedicated to reaching them. Who knows, maybe you’ll even find a weight loss buddy among your peers who will join you on your journey to weight loss. Two heads are always better than one, especially when it comes to staying motivated!
Keep a detailed record of your weight loss, dietary intake and how your feeling. By keeping this diet diary and journal, you will be able to truly see what your consuming, where your problem areas are, how your emotional state is.
Pictures don’t lie. Buy an inexpensive digital camera and take a pictures of yourself every week in your bikini or swimsuit. Snap 3 pictures ever week including a profile shot, frontal shot and rear shot. Include these with your diet diary and journal so you can see how your body looks each week while you make changes to your diet and exercise program. Remember, sometimes the scale does lie. Even though your scale may read that you have gained 2 pounds over the last 3 weeks, this could very easily be 3 pounds of lean muscle. Lean muscle is an extremely metabolic tissue and the more you have, the more calories you burn even when you’re just sitting around! By adding photos of yourself, you will be able to reference your physical appearance from week to week. This basically takes the guesswork out of losing weight and is crucial for any permanent weight loss plan.
Set Realistic Goals
Remember, it did not take you 2 weeks to gain those extra 25 pounds so it definitely will not take only 2 weeks to lose it all! You gradually gained the weight over several months and even years, so always remember that you’re in this for the long haul. It’s a marathon not a sprint and with this mindset you will be able to create new healthy habits which will eventually turn your “diet” into a truly healthy lifestyle to last a lifetime!