Don’t look at your diet plan as a temporary thing, something to discard or ignore once you’ve achieved your weight loss goal. There are several things you can do to help make the intellectual and emotional commitments to make your diet last a lifetime!
First, define your goals. Don’t just think, “I’ve got to lose some weight.” Pick a target, even if it’s a moving target. Some dieters like to think in increments, for instance, losing 20 ponds, then then reestablishing a new goal until they arrive at a weight level they feel most comfortable with. Other dieters-to-be are more daring. Choosing a weight loss goal of 100 pounds might seem impossible for some, but for other dieters, it’s their best and most direct strategy. Set a goal that you feel most comfortable with and stick with it.
Second, try to choose a realistic timeline for losing weight. It took years to put on those excess ponds. Don’t expect to lose them all in a month! Get a good idea of how much weight you should reasonably expect to lose each week or month by reading your diet book thoroughly and following its guidelines.
Third, try to avoid as much stress as possible – especially during the earliest stages of a diet. Eating binges are often the result of high stress levels.
Fourth, buy yourself a good scale, preferably an accurate digital one. Be prepared to pay at least $40 to $80 for a quality scale. Be aware that some digital scales stop at 300 pounds. Some of the most sophisticated scales can also measure the ratio of body fat to lean muscle mass, referred to as the Body Mass Index (BMI). A Body Mass Index of over 25 usually indicates obesity, although variables such as height can influence your number. The Department of Health and Human Services’ Center for Disease Control and Prevention (often called the CDC) offers a detailed explanation of the BMI and Java-scripted calculator to determine your own BMI.
Five. Weigh and measure yourself and write down the information for future reference. During the first week or so of your diet, try to avoid getting on the scale every day. While your body readjusts itself to this new way of eating, you might find your weight loss fluctuating or even stalling. This can be discouraging. If you absolutely must jump on the scale daily, do so at the same time each day, for instance, immediately after waking up. Your weight can fluctuate, up or down, by a pound or two during the course of the day.
Number six. For an added visual reference and to really solidify the intellectual and emotional commitments required for your long-term dieting success, get a friend or companion to take a photograph of you each week. Do a front, back, and side shot. A digital camera works exceptionally well here since you can quickly compare photos of yourself from day one of your diet through your entire regimen. This visual enforcement of your efforts can be a great encouragement.
Seven. Let friends and family members know that you are on a diet. Support, understanding, and encouragement can be great things when you are embarking on creating a new you!
Finally, recognize ‘toxic’ friends. No matter how much weight you’re losing, no matter how much your cholesterol has fallen, no matter how many pants or dress sizes you’ve lost, expect a friend (or relative) to continue to tell you how bad your diet is for you. There are enough studies available in medical journals and respected websites that prove the validity of making LIFESTYLE diet changes. These same studies encourage a balanced diet and many now encourage some level of supplementation. Nutritional supplementation makes sure your body has all the tools and raw materials it needs to keep you in top shape during your body’s transformation.