For those of you that have tried and failed to be successful at weight loss, there is always hope. Even if you’ve tried everything you will find that there is still something you can do. By assessing your habits and why you do what you do, you can move forward with your most effective weight loss program – and this time is successful.
Here are some ways you can help yourself realize what needs to be done.
Weight loss is a temporary thing, but good health is a perpetual process. When you try a new diet are you thinking, “How quick will this work so I can get off of it?” or are you thinking, “This is my first step to improved health for my entire life.” Chances are you aren’t really thinking past the weight that seems to be in your way. You need to find out what your current perspective is on dieting and weight loss and figure out what it should be. This is a small step, but it will lead you to a more helpful approach.
On the other hand, it is actually good to think in time frames. This will give you a better sense of ‘urgency’ to your goals. If you don’t place your weight loss program in a timeframe you likely won’t be going anywhere with it. I don’t suggest if you have more than 50 pounds to lose, that you should create an unrealistic timeframe. When coming up with a realistic timeframe, you don’t need to estimate an exact date that you will reach your goal weight; instead, find a realistic median weekly weight loss (judging from past personal experiences) and project out for three months or so. For example, if you were able to lose an average of 1 pound per week on most diets you’ve tried, then use this as your weekly weight loss average and consider that you “can” lose 12 pounds in a 12 week period.
When you set a small goal like this, you can easily track your progress during and at the end of the 12 week period. You should always give a new diet at least 6 weeks of diligent effort to see if it will actually work for your dietary needs. If you find that a diet is actually making you feel ‘unhealthy’ or you are gaining weight, you will need to consult a physician before proceeding any further with the diet.
Write it down
Even if you aren’t starting your diet yet, you can prepare to figure out your short comings in the meantime. Make a food diary and list the times you eat a certain food, the quantity, and the reason why you ate it. Keep this listing for at least 3 weeks so you can see a clear pattern in your motivations for eating. Ideally, we eat food for our bodies to function properly, but you’ll find that many times you eat you are eating because it was ‘there,’ you were ‘bored,’ or you just liked the taste and keep going past being hungry. Realize that losing weight and gaining health is a daily choice; is a donut now going to be worth the struggle to work it off tomorrow?
So what can you really learn from a food diary?
Well, mainly it is a way of being conscious of what you eat in a day. When your list grows, you’ll consider that you either ate too much that day or too little nutritious foods. Let’s say that you wrote down that you were ‘hungry’ for the reason why you ate everything on your list for a given day. Look at the times you ate and how far spaced apart they are. Did you just eat a sandwich and only 15 minutes later consume an entire bag of chips? What about the types of food you eat. Are you getting your recommended grains, protein, fruits, and vegetables or is it mostly carbohydrates and sugar?
When you review your eating habits after the fact, you can determine what it is that you are really struggling with. Should you make sure you eat higher fiber foods to keep from being hungry? Should you stop buying certain snacks that you tend to overeat when they are around? What about questioning yourself whether you are really hungry before you eat it? Whatever you find helps in your personal situation is worth the time spent in keeping this type of journal.
So start assessing your way to most effective weight loss program and your health today and give your diet a fighting chance.