Deciding to embark on a healthy eating regime really is the easy bit. The hard part is sticking to it. Often people struggle with finding the motivation to carry on, after the initial enthusiasm wares off. So how can you ensure that you stay inspired?
Set realistic goals
Set realistic, attainable goals so you don’t get frustrated and give up before reaching your target weight. Prepare yourself for the fact that you’re not going to lose a stone overnight. A healthy sustainable weight loss is about one to two pounds a week. So you need to come to terms with how long it will take you to achieve your goal. Even if it feels like an eternity you will get there, so long as you stay motivated.
Break it down
Break your overall goal into small realistic goals. Make a list of how your overall weight loss goal can be broken down into 1 or 2 achievable targets each week. This could be “I’m going to exercise for 30 minutes 5 days this week” or “I will eat my 5 portions of fruit and veg everyday this week”. By crossing these small aims off your list as you achieve them you will be encouraged to carry on.
Truthfully examine your eating habits
Most people are pretty good at following a diet in the early stages, however once the novelty wears off they begin to slip back into old habits. They lose some weight and start to relax and think that they deserve that extra treat. But rewarding yourself with food destroys all your hard work. This type of unhealthy relationship with food will only cause you to become frustrated with your diet and your weight to yo-yo. So next time you feel like rewarding yourself have a nice bubble bath or a manicure.
Fail to plan and you plan to fail.
It’s an old saying that is particularly true of dieting. You need to ensure that each week you print your shopping list, do your grocery shopping, without picking up any unhealthy extras and stick to your meal plan. Look to the week ahead and think about any days that you might find it hard to stick to your plan. If you are aware of the obstacles that lie in your path then you can plan how you will overcome them.
Find healthy alternatives
Sticking to a diet means that you need to make it work for you. It’s unrealistic to think that you’ll never have a bar of chocolate again, so the key is to find low fat alternatives to your favourite foods, allow yourself a small treat every now and again. So when you have a little indulgence you don’t need to feel guilty about it, so long as it’s not a regular occurrence.
What's your inspiration?
What was the motivating factor that resulted in you embarking on a weight loss plan? Maybe you saw a photo of yourself that you weren’t too happy with? Do you have an event or holiday coming up that you’re slimming down for? Keep this reminder somewhere obvious where you will see it everyday. It was enough to inspire you to begin your weight loss in the first place, so it will be enough to motivate you to continue.
Don’t be too hard on yourself
If you have a bad week then so what? Next week will be better so don’t waste precious time and energy beating yourself up over a small setback. If you stay focused on what you will achieve then you will get there.