Commit yourself. How many times have you gone on a diet, full of enthusiasm only to go off it within a few days or even hours? Don’t feel bad. It is a formidable task you’re taking on. The trick is to launch your program when you’re really ready, when your mind, body, and spirit – every ounce of your being says “OK let’s go for it!”
Make a list of reasons you want to be thin. Here are some reasons to consider- to look great in new clothes- to stop wasting money on junk food- because I’m worried about my health- to feel more self-confident at work. Make 3 copies of your list and keep adding to it as new ideas come to you. Put one copy on your refrigerator and put another someplace where you will see it frequently. Carry the last copy with you and glance at it now and then. At least once a day, preferably early in the morning while you’re alone and things are quiet, read the list to yourself, slowly, out loud and with feeling. By doing this, you arm your subconscious to aid you in facing different challenges throughout the day, including the urge to go off your program.
Love your body. If you’re like most people who are overweight you probably don’t like your body very much but are sure that this will change once you shed those ugly pounds. Meanwhile you really can’t stand your body. STOP IT! The fact is, if you can start accepting and even loving your body right now, no matter what shape you’re in, you’re going to have a much easier time losing weight. Be brave and just do it! Stand in front of a full length mirror and admire yourself, imperfections and all. You are a miracle of nature, loved by the forces that created you.
Quit the self-criticism. Start becoming aware of your self-critical inner voices. See if you can identify them. Consider whether they’ve being logical or just plain mean. Learn to start cutting them off at mid-sentence. You can also practice shifting negative thoughts to positive ones. Instead of telling yourself, “I blew it, “say, “I did my best. I’m only human.
Stay off the scale. Most people trying to lose weight torment themselves by weighing themselves daily. DON’T DO IT! Getting on the scale everyday will just depress and defeat you because your weight fluctuates very easily, mostly due to water weight. Limit your scale visits to no more than once a week. Weigh yourself on the same day and at the same time every week.
Record your progress. It can be very rewarding. On a calendar or chart of your own making record the inches you’ve lost and your weight every week. Hang up the chart where you can see it and feel proud of yourself.
Don’t compare your progress with anyone else’s. Everyone loses weight at different rates and in different places. The only fair comparisons between how you’re doing today and how you were doing before you started your program.
Line your walls with motivation. Visualizing yourself as you want to be is a powerful motivator. Posters and pictures can help. Find a photo of a slender person – yourself in earlier days, if you have such an image, or of someone else – and put your face on it. Cut out pictures of great clothes you want to wear. Write some of your affirmations in big letters on banners. Hang these things up on your walls. Carry pocket-sized versions in your wallet.
Reward yourself with something other than food. Like so many of us, you probably use food as a reward for everything from a job well done to making it through a rough period in a relationship. Some people even reward themselves with food for staying on a diet. You need to break the reward-food connection. Think of alternatives. What do you enjoy? How about going to a movie or buying a book or tape at the end of a successful week on your diet? Don’t say you can’t afford it. Think of all the money you saved by not buying junk food.
Turn off the TV. Most people think that watching television is relaxing and it helps improve mood, but this is only true to a certain extent. Psychologists have discovered that the more time people spend watching, the more depressed they become even if the programs they’re watching are presumably humorous. Depression as we know can easily lead us to the refrigerator. Before we know it our diet is down the tube.
Don’t waste your time and money on fad diets, diet pills, or magic potions that promise weight loss overnight. Most of the weight you lose on these is from water, not fat.
Keep records of how much you eat, when and where you eat, what you’re doing while you eat, who you’re eating with and your mood. After a week or two, go over your records and look for any patterns or bad habits.
Have any bad habits you’d like to break–like eating chocolate when you’re upset? Try curing just one bad habit at a time. Don’t try tackling another until you’re sure you’ve got the first problem licked.
Clean all the food out of your bedroom. Store everything you eat only in the kitchen.
Start to measure or weigh all your food portions so you know exactly how much food you’re eating.
Try to eat your meals at the same time each day. That way you condition your body to expect food at certain times.
Make an effort to eat breakfast. You probably aren’t saving any calories by skipping breakfast and then snacking later.
Break the habit of nibbling while cooking.
Don’t eat while watching TV or reading. You could devour an entire bag of potato chips without even knowing it.
Drink a glass of water before you eat–it will help make your stomach feel fuller.
Eat slowly and put your fork down after every bite.
Don’t shovel food into your mouth. Taste and enjoy each mouthful.
If you’re having trouble eating slowly, try eating with chopsticks or with the fork in the wrong hand
Eat off a small plate. It makes tiny portions look like more.
If possible, try not to leave serving bowls and plates of food on the table while eating. They may tempt you into eating more than you should