Key Tips You Can Count On
By Maire Brody
When it comes to weight loss, motivation always plays a major role. In fact, for many people, it’s the single most important element of all. While information is always useful, it’s not hard to find nowadays.
If anything, there’s so much information on diets, exercise, and other habits that either help or harm your weight loss efforts that it can be confusing, leading to information overload.
Yet even information overload is only a problem when it interferes with your motivation. That’s the real key – to have a certain goal and move towards it, despite any obstacles. For many of us, this is a very inconstant factor. Our motivation varies from day to day.
Yet this can present a real problem, because to make progress with a goal like weight loss (or almost any goal, really), consistency is a must. If you only stick to your diet or exercise when you feel like it, which might be every other day, your results will be disappointing.
Let’s look at some helpful tips that can help keep you motivated to lose weight.
This can be a tough one, but it’s the starting point for any type of self-improvement. Even though you may want to change, you have to be accepting of where you are right now. This may sound like a paradox, but if you think about it, it can be resolved.
Consider the analogy of driving a car to a destination you’re anxious to get to. You may wish the trip would go by faster, and you may be looking forward to arriving, but you don’t have to hate where you are now. In fact, you can actually enjoy the drive, savoring how good it will feel when you get there!
It may not be quite as easy to do this with a goal like weight loss, but it’s possible. Think that every day you’re getting closer to your goal, whether it’s visible or not. If you feel frustrated or impatient with yourself, you’ll only be making it harder.
If you have a real problem with self-acceptance, use whatever tools you can find, or get help if necessary. Ultimately, it’s even more important to feel good about yourself than to lose weight, though you can have both!
Connect With Others
While it’s true that you have to do the work when it comes to making changes to your diet and lifestyle, others can help. Usually, what you need most of all is moral support. This can be very simple things, like a conversation when you feel especially challenged.
There are many ways to do this without being a burden to other people. Just let people know you’re trying to lose weight, you don’t have to make a big deal about it. If you can find a friend who has the same goal, you might work out together or discuss strategies, but even if you can’t find such a partner, it’s still helpful to have people to talk to.
You can even find quite a bit of support online. Join a forum or two that’s devoted to fitness or weight loss. Ask and answer questions, meet some people. This will give you a sense of connection that can make a big difference in your long term motivation!
Focus on Positive Habits, Not Deprivation
This is an interesting one, because it involves both your actual diet and your state of mind. Most diets tell you to eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains and avoid sweets, junk foods, unhealthy carbs and the like. This is all good advice, but there are two basic ways you can look at this – from the point of view of what to do, or what to avoid.
No one likes to feel deprived. Many people who have weight problems are in the habit of “emotional eating,” using food to feel better. Actually, almost everyone does this to some extent. Using will power to stop yourself from eating “bad” foods is usually not very successful in the long run.
Yet if you focus mainly on the other side of the coin – eating more healthy foods – a real shift can happen. For example, make up your mind when you go shopping that you’re going to buy the healthy foods first. If you use shopping lists, put the fruits and vegetables at the top of the list. Make healthier foods the main focus of your meals, even if you’re also eating less healthy items.
One result of this is that, as you add more healthy foods to your diet, you’ll have less room in both your stomach and your budget for unhealthy and fattening foods. Additionally, as you make a transition in your diet, your tastes gradually change.
This doesn’t mean that if you love sweets now that your sweet tooth will totally disappear. But, believe it or not, it can become less extreme. Junk foods, especially sugar, salt and fried foods, have addictive qualities, so as you eat less of them, you crave them less.
So focus mainly on what you should eat, and you won’t feel as deprived from your diet.
Make Your Exercise Fun!
This is a tip you may have heard before, but it’s an important one. Forcing yourself to do workouts that you hate is counterproductive. No matter how much will power you have, it’s next to impossible to push yourself week after week to the gym if you consider the treadmill to be akin to a Medieval torture device.
Almost everybody enjoys some type of sport or strenuous activity. This is usually enhanced by finding a partner or doing a group activity, like walking with people, taking a dance class or playing a sport you enjoy.
Try to combine exercise with practical activities so you have more time for it. Walk or ride your bike to the store. This won’t work if you’re stocking up on groceries for the whole week, but you can fit a few essentials into a backpack or basket that’s attached to your bike. If it’s practical, ride your bike or walk to work or school.
Make use of visualization
This is something you can do all the time – visualize how you’ll look and feel at your ideal weight. However, it’s especially effective with exercise. When you’re not exercising, imagine yourself doing a workout and really enjoying it and feeling yourself getting fitter, healthier and thinner. There’s evidence that this changes your brain chemistry and effects the body. And it will very likely carry over into your actual workouts, making them more enjoyable!
These are just a few tips to help you stay in a positive frame of mind as you lose weight. There are many other things you can do as well, of course. The main point to remember is that if you want to be motivated for weight loss, don’t dwell on what you think is wrong or lacking in you now, but on the benefits you’re seeking.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert=Maire Brody