Written by a contributing writer
Dieting to lose weight and improve your overall health is a very admirable thing, however, it can be extremely overwhelming. If you’ve never really tackled losing weight before, then you may find the whole prospect pretty nerve-wracking. Changing your eating and drinking habits certainly isn’t easy, but there are various things you can do to get your next diet off to a flying start…
Make a Healthy Eating Plan
A good healthy eating plan should include the foods you love, in combination with lots of healthy, non-heavily-processed things such as fruit and vegetables, low-fat dairy, whole grains, lean meats, and so on. Due to these foods’ potential to satisfy, planning to eat them will actually make it easier to be self-disciplined enough to stick to your diet. Some people will find it helpful to start their diet off by throwing themselves into some kind of big commitment, like a cleanse or detox for weight loss. Others will be able to lose weight more efficiently by gradually weaning themselves off of foods that are full of fat and calories, replacing them with more nutritious things. If something doesn’t feel right to you at any stage of your plan, go ahead and change it. As long as you’re making a point to up your intake of healthy food and decrease unhealthy ones, you’re on the right track!
Keep your Goals Realistic
One of the biggest mistakes people make when they’re trying to lose weight is setting themselves lofty goals; wanting to fit into certain clothing sizes that may take years of dedication and strict diet control. Try to remember that losing just 10% of your body weight can have a profound impact on how confident you feel, wean you onto healthier habits, and most importantly, make a huge improvement to your all-round health. Research has shown time and time again that losing even a small amount of weight can improve our overall health, lowering our blood pressure and cholesterol levels. If you set your standards too high, work yourself too hard, and still don’t hit the targets you wanted to achieve, it can put a real damper on your mood, and make it harder to stay dedicated to your plans for healthy eating and exercise.
Reward Yourself More than You Punish Yourself
Credit: Public Domain Pictures
When we make mistakes while working towards our goals, whether they’re to do with weight loss or anything else, the tendency is to beat ourselves up over it. This, in turn, means that we have less faith in our ability to get back on the wagon and work towards those things that we want so badly. Try to work on keeping your motivation high, by rewarding yourself for hitting your milestones, rather than punishing yourself. If you’ve lost five pounds or had a session at the gym four times in a week, you’re doing much more than you used to, and more than countless other people are doing, despite wanting to lose weight. Accept that you made mistakes, then move on!
*This post is not meant to give medical advice. Please consult a medical professional before starting any diet/exercise plan.