It was Yoda who said, “Do or do not. There is no try”. What a powerful statement. When it comes to weight loss, so many of us think, “I am going to try my hardest to lose weight”. In spite of our most valiant efforts, we come up short time and time again. It’s not that we don’t know how to do it, but doing it is the hard part. We just can’t seem to jump over the mental hurdles that hold us back. Perhaps the key to successful weight loss isn’t just in the “diet and exercise” part, but also in the psychological part. Before you tell yourself you’re going to try and lose weight, consider taking a different approach.
How many diets start on Monday? We all think that by Monday, we will have some newly-gained willpower that we don’t possess today. Before Monday approaches, any and all junk food is fair game, right? I mean, if you can’t have it next week, you might as well have it today—and twice the amount you would normally consume.
The truth is, you aren’t going to be a different person on Monday. Food isn’t going to suddenly become unappetizing. There isn’t going to be a miraculous pill. It won’t be any easier or better if you start on Monday. Real power lies in making a decision now and committing to it. And you know what – there is no time like today to be the people we fantasize about being tomorrow.
Lose the “All or Nothing” Mentality
It is incredibly difficult to go from eating completely unhealthily to eating healthily. Not only will your taste buds need some time to adjust, but your mentality and habits will, too.
Instead of trying to eliminate all of your kryptonite at once, do it bit by bit. If you set small goals instead of BIG goals, you are much more likely to triumph! For instance, if you are hoping to cut out all junk food, it’s going to be extremely difficult for you if you never cook. However, if you set small, achievable goals, like cooking at least two meals a week, you will see subtle and drastic differences in no time. Gradual changes will be much easier and more effective than harsh, startling ones.
Prepare For Success
Before you commit to any diet or healthier eating habits, wrap your head around what it’s really going to take to make it happen. A healthy lifestyle requires commitment, cooking knowledge, time, dedication, and willpower. The key to real success is all in the planning. Now that you have made the commitment, make time for it.
Prioritize yourself and your health. At the top of each week, plan out your meals and snacks, and then follow through. If you don’t know where to start, there are several online resources and applications like Yummly that can help you pick out meals, and even cater them to your specific dietary needs.
Without proper planning and preparation, you will find yourself unprepared, hungry, and reaching for fast food or a vending machine. Or even worse, with nothing at all to eat – which could lead to bingeing.
Don’t Expect To Be a Super Model Overnight… Or At All
All too often, we have a vision in our head of how we would like to look when we hit our dream weight. Typically it goes something like this: your face on some celebrity’s body. Perhaps you hang “thinspiration” photos all around and even strategically place one on your refrigerator to resist your urges towards junk food. Let’s be real: have you ever looked like these photos? Do you know many people who do? Instead of setting your standards so incredibly (and discouragingly) high, use more realistic and attainable motivation.
Most celebrities and supermodels are paid to look good. Their health and appearance standards must be at levels of perfection. They can afford private chefs, nutritionists, personal trainers, and a team of hair and make-up people. Most normal, everyday folk cannot. Instead of using some pole-thin celebrity as motivation, use none other than yourself! Think of a time when you were a happy weight, or when you felt good about yourself, and use that as your end goal!
Know Your Motivation
Why do you want to lose weight? It might seem like a simple question, but knowing the answer could predict your success before you ever get started.
According to Psychology Today, there are four main motivators for losing weight:
- External Motivation (You feel you must to make others happy)
Example: Maybe my husband will be more attracted to me if I lose weight.
- Introjected Motivation (You want to because you think you should)
Example: Most fathers are way more active than I am, I should lose weight so I can play with my children more.
- Identified Motivation (You want to and choose to)
Example: I want to fit into my wedding dress and I’ll do whatever it takes!
- Intrinsic Motivation (You choose to because it is of importance and value to you)
Example: I am sick and tired of being overweight and unhealthy. I am committing to my health and my life by shedding some pounds.
The first two are primarily viewed as external reasons and the last two are internal reasons. If your motivations fall in line with one or two, then perhaps you should think a little longer about whether you are really ready to commit to a personal weight loss journey. If you could relate more with the last two, then your chances are great because you have a real internal desire to change.
In conclusion, you are the ultimate key to your success! You know what to do and you know how to do it. No one besides you can make it happen. So, as Yoda said, “Do or do not”. Which option will you choose?
Weight Loss Goals, Set Yourself Up For Success, Mayo Clinic