I think all of us can agree that making the decision to lose weight is one thing, but sticking with it is not always that easy. It has often been said that making the decision to go on a so-called diet or to lose weight should be looked at more as a lifestyle change rather than a short-term band-aid solution to dropping weight quickly.
None of us start out with the idea of losing weight intending to fail. However, the statistics tend to show that most dieters don’t follow through with whatever plan they started out with, and of course, they never realize or see their ultimate goal. Most people tend to think that a lack of willpower is the primary culprit behind quitting their diet. But the reality according to weight loss experts is that most people fail in their weight loss program due to disappointment and unrealistic expectations.
The Problem Is Disappointment, Not Lack Of Discipline
Disappointment frequently occurs because we begin our weight loss journey with hope and enthusiasm that is simply not realistically attainable for the long-term. Once disappointment sets in, motivation begins to drop and false hopes inevitably give way to quitting altogether. The problem with this scenario is not that you didn’t work hard enough or that you weren’t disciplined enough… the problem generally lies in the fact that your planning was either non-existent or very unrealistic.
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What weight loss experts do agree on is that anyone who takes the time to plan out their dietary program and their exercise regimen have a much better chance of success than someone who doesn’t plan accordingly. Taking the time to plan out how you intend to reach your fitness goals will not only provide you with a roadmap of what you are supposed to be doing each day, it will also educate you as to what is realistically achievable.
In this article we are going to look at some general ideas to help you get started with planning and goal setting, so you can reach whatever fitness goals you want for yourself. If we are all in agreement that a good plan and achievable goals are crucial to success, let’s now take a look at some ideas that will help you to do what it takes to properly research, plan and establish reasonable expectations for yourself.
Make sure that you have established for yourself what your final weight loss goal really is. Take the time to think through and identify what your ideal target weight should be. It doesn’t matter if you want to lose 10 pounds or 100 pounds; now that you’ve made the decision to plan your healthy new lifestyle properly, the number ultimately doesn’t matter because your plan will get you there no matter what.
Think Long-Term and Short-Term
Your long-term goal should provide you with a realistic and achievable time frame for you to reach your target weight. Establishing your short-term goals will provide the foundation and the length of time that it will take you to reach your target weight. Being too optimistic with how much weight you intend to lose each week is not only unrealistic, but it will set you up for failure because most of the time it’s impossible to maintain a rapid weight loss pace week after week.
Medical doctors and weight loss experts all agree that a realistic goal is one to two pounds of fat loss per week. When you first begin your diet, you’ll likely lose more than that in the first couple of weeks due to the loss of water weight. This in turn can set up false expectations if you’re not prepared for this. The overall consensus by the medical and expert community is that two pounds of fat loss per week can be achieved while still retaining muscle. This short-term target for yourself is very important, because it’s been established that losing no more than one to two pounds per week is not only healthy, but dramatically reduces the yo-yo syndrome and the chances of gaining your weight right back.
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Understand and Prepare For Your New Way Of Eating
If you’re going to lose weight then you have to reduce calories and change the way you eat. Take the time to understand how and why your new dietary regimen is different from how you were eating before. Become familiar with the calories and the foods required for this new way of eating. By educating yourself, you will become an active participant in your new lifestyle, instead of just blindly following some diet plan that you’re trying because somebody told you it would work. Be proactive in the foods that you buy, and what you order at a restaurant. This is crucial to achieving long-term success and reaching your target weight.
Make An Appointment For Exercise
Sure, anyone can lose weight by starving themselves, but any well-planned, long-term weight loss program should include exercise. Not only should exercise become a part of your weight loss strategy, it should also become a part of your daily life. If exercising on a daily basis is new for you, it can seem a little overwhelming to imagine finding the time and energy to commit to this every day. Even if you have not exercised a day in your life; take the time to schedule it into your day just as you would an appointment, and stick with it for one month. It will become routine and will develop into a habit… and fortunately for you, this is one habit that is good for you and will pay dividends down the road.
By taking the time to plan and set realistic goals for yourself, you can avoid the disappointment and loss of motivation that prevents so many people from achieving their dreams. And not only will you become trim and fit, but you will now have the confidence to know that you are capable of planning and achieving goals in other areas of your life as well.