Are you trying to lose weight? Here is the key to losing weight – successful weight loss is usually achieved by making lifestyle changes, not temporary fixes. If you change your lifestyle to be more active and eat healthier, weight loss comes naturally. On the other hand, no matter how much initial weight you may lose with a 90 day diet and exercise program, your weight will bounce back if you do not adopt a healthy lifestyle after that 90 days.
Here are some strategies for successful weight loss:
1. Commit and decide – Know that losing weight permanently requires a commitment to higher standards of health. There is no overnight success. It takes time and effort, and lots of discipline. Commit to yourself that you are going to “gain health”, not “lose weight”.
2. Have realistic goals – Losing weight too fast is not only unrealistic, but also dangerous. Set goals that are attainable (as far as your standards are) so you don’t throw the towel and give up even before the end of the first leg of the race.
3. Learn to love healthier foods – Reducing your calorie intake does not necessarily mean needing to give up all your favorite foods. In fact, you can still have your favorite dark chocolate cream cakes, as long as you stick to good healthy foods most of the time. Remember, its a marathon, not a sprint.
4. Get active – Pick exercises you enjoy, and start prioritizing time to workout daily. “Workout” does not mean you have to run 30 minutes on the treadmill. Even spending time playing frisbee with your kids can constitute as a good workout. Do a little everyday, but do it. No exceptions.
5. Get support emotionally – The last thing you want to hear from your wife when you get back from your workout is “Stop wasting time, it ain’t gonna work!”. If possible, get a partner for your daily workouts to give you emotional support. That not only gives you more motivation, but also makes the workouts more enjoyable.
6. Change your lifestyle gradually – We all avoid change, whether it is conscious or subconscious. Take changes gradually. For example, if you normally wake at 8am and would like to wake up 2 hours earlier to workout, start by waking up 30 minutes early, then another 30 minutes, then another. This way, your change will become more permanent, and you will find that the active lifestyle becomes a habit.
Remember, permanent weight loss is a commitment to better health standards. By changing your lifestyle, your healthy weight will come naturally.