Eat less, exercise more. Right? When you’re trying to lose weight permanently, all you have to do is eat less an exercise more, right? WRONG!
Ask any of the 50 million individuals who are attempting to lose weight each year and they will tell you it is not that easy.
It’s not just changing what you eat and exercising. Sure, those play a role with permanent weight loss, but they’re just 2 pieces to the weight loss puzzle.
In reality, it feels like battle.
After all, you are tackling the 10 year daily visit to the vending machine, the 20 year snacking while watching TV habit and the real doozy, the "dinner is not complete unless I eat something sweet" conviction.
To kick those bad habits that "prevent" you from eating fewer calories and making permanent change, than you need to be prepared to understand and change your behaviors.
These 5 Tips for Permanent Weight Loss will help you get to on (or stay on) track!
First, understand your motivation. Why do you want to lose weight permanently? If you do not have a reason that is truly meaningful to you, than you will have an impossible road to climb. People who attempt weight loss because they feel they should, but aren’t invested, won’t be able to make the necessary permanent change in behavior. If you can’t identify a reason, brainstorm. Write down every possible reason why you want to lose weight, set it aside for a day or so. When you return to the list, write down why that reason is important to you (what will it do for you specifically). When you’ve identified your top 3 and you feel strongly about them, it’s time to get started. If you still struggle, put the list away and return every couple of days, adding answers and revisiting old ones until you have identified your reason WHY.
Once you have identified the very specific reason as to why, hang onto it. Make visible reminders. The reminders could be pictures of yourself, your kids, a swimsuit model hung in the kitchen, bathroom, etc., or the reminder may be a pair of pants you would like to fit into. When you are feeling like giving up, try on the pants. Notice how they fit, where they are still tight, where they have gotten bigger. Now imagine what it will be like to fit into them again. Take an index card and write one sentence summarizing your motivation. Carry the card with you. When you don’t want to go to the gym, read the card several times. Tell yourself tomorrow if you feel like not exercising, you’ll give in – but for today you will stick with it. The next time the scenario comes up, play the same game with yourself. Identify your motivation for giving up. Is going home and sitting on the couch, watching TV, or going to the mall really worth it?
Is THAT going to help you achieve permanent weight loss?
We are our own worst enemy. Despite working hard at changing our behaviors and making efforts to make it happen, we subtly tell ourselves things like "I hope I can do this", "I’ve been good, I deserve to take a day off", or "I blew it today, I might as well write today off and start fresh tomorrow."
The problem with these thoughts is they are all negative. Scratch the word "hope" from your vocabularly … indicates uncertainty and that some element is not within your control. Remember permanent weight loss is possible. Direct your thoughts positively and keep your motivation in sight.
Reframe your mind
Put exercise and eating well in the same perspective as the rest of your life.
A lot of people think of exercise as something extra in their lives; something that happens when they have the time.
If exercise is never a priority, you will always identify things that bump it off the to-do list. Instead, make exercise part of your life.
We all have things we have to do each day — go to work, pay the pills, do the laundry, etc. We do these tasks because if we don’t there is a price to pay. Treat exercise as though it’s obligatory. Plan your exercise as just something else that needs to happen — daily.
Do you give your best to your job, your family, and your friends but never devote anything worthwhile to yourself?
Use these behavior changes as an opportunity to put yourself first. Remind yourself you are taking steps toward a healthier, leaner you. If you do not see changes in your body or on the scale immediately, be patient. Weight loss will happen when you are committed to your goal … and permanent weight loss will happen when you remain committed to your goal.