Losing weight is a big challenge today because most of the food we eat comes from fast food (aka junk), TV dinners, and delivered by a pizza boy. We are all living a busy schedule and this leaves no time to go to the gym or take care of our self and body. The sedentary lifestyle has become a nasty habit and technology has stolen every bit of physical activity from our life; emails instead of personally talking to a friend, cars instead of walking two blocks to the mall, and elevators instead of going up the stairs.
Yes, you can lose a couple of pounds by doing workouts and eating low-calorie foods for a week, but how long will you stay this way? How long you think you can beat the system and live a healthy life? Unfortunately not for long. This is why you need to have a strategy, a proper mindset and a plan if you want to lose weight once and for good.
1. Make a list
Start by making a list of what you like and what you don’t like about yourself. You may write on your “Don’t like” section things like: “I don’t like that I weigh 150 pounds” and you can write in your “Like” section: “I like that I am a happy person.” You can keep updating this list as you progress and read it as you work towards your ultimate goal. This will encourage you to continue your fitness regimen so you won’t be listing anything on your “Don’t like” list.
2. Set a SMART goal
You certainly have a reason why you decided to lose weight. This could be due to appearance or health. A nice little strategy that can help you actually achieve your target is to set a SMART goal: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Bounded. For example “I want to lose 5 pounds in a month because I want to look good” is a goal that meets the above criteria.
3. Commitment and Consistency
Since losing weight is not easy, you must be committed on what you are doing. Say for example, a nutritionist gave you a low-calorie menu for a week and a fitness expert gave you a workout program for a week; this may sound like a tough challenge but if you commit into it, you will certainly lose weight. And if you continue doing this, it will help you maintain that desired physique permanently.
The problem I have seen on many people is their commitment to live a healthy life. They work very hard with their trainers and professionals to achieve a normal weight, but when they are on their own, they go back to their unhealthy lifestyle thus they gain weight again. Losing weight permanently is all about commitment and consistency.
There are many temptations evolving around us that can have a negative impact on our weight loss efforts. You need a lot of willpower and self-discipline to stay unaffected. For example alcohol contains more calories than carbohydrates, this means that even if you work out several hours in the gym and eat less than what you usually do, drinking can cause “beer belly” and weight gain. A boys’ night out is definitely unavoidable; go out with your friends but remember to be disciplined enough to drink just an ample amount. And if you are thinking of taking drugs (diet pills) as a way to weight loss, consider it as signing a contract with failure. A healthy and permanent weight loss is definitely possible if you are only disciplined enough to live a healthy life.
5. Patience is a virtue
They say that “Patience is a virtue” and this is especially true when you want to lose weight. Getting positive results may take some time since there are a lot of factors that affect your progress and thus it is very important to have the required patience to make it until the end. There will be obstacles on your way but if you take it one step at a time there is no reason to justify failure.
6. Visualize your success
One of the secrets of successful people is that they can visualize their success. They are optimistic and positive thinkers and this gives them enough power to meet their goals. This technique can also be applied in weight loss; Think positive and visualize your new self after you lose weight. Imagine how would you feel and how different your life can be and try to keep this image in your head during the process.
7. Keep yourself motivated
Remember the “List” that was mentioned earlier? This list will motivate you to continue eating a balanced diet and exercise regularly. You can now crash out the “I don’t like that I weigh 150 pounds” on your “Don’t like” section and replace it with “I like that I only weigh a hundred pounds” and instead of “I like that I am a happy person” on your “Like” part, you can replace it with “I like that I feel happier now”.
The key to permanent weight loss is by conditioning your mind to withstand the pressures of maintaining the physique that you worked hard for; condition your mind that you are a beautiful person inside and out and that you deserve to live a longer and happier life.
Guest post by Alex Chris. Alex writes about weight loss topics for many years now. His main moto is that in order to learn how to lose weight you need to have self-discipline and willpower. Anyone can come up with a great weight loss plan or diet, the difficult part is to find the courage to actually implement it.