One of the most common issues I help clients with is weight loss. Generally, when someone comes to see me it’s after several attempts to lose weight. They’ve tried various diets, exercise regimes and weight loss plans but haven’t been able to keep up with them and the weight has crept back.
The reason for this is often a combination of unrealistic expectations, unsustainable weight loss plans, and entrenched self-defeating habits and behaviours that make losing weight and keeping it off even harder.
In modern day society, people like to feel instantly gratified and tend to lose interest if losing weight takes too long. But most people lose weight slowly and keeping to a diet plan is a difficult and a lengthy process. Normally it is advisable to lose 1-2 pounds of weight per week and if we lose weight fast we lose lean tissue and water but not fat.
Keeping to a weight loss plan over time is hard. This is why it is really important to address what’s going on in your head, as much as what’s happening to the rest of your body. If you can change those self-defeating habits, how you view food and install some positive behaviours that will help you stick to your plan; you’ll have much better chance of losing the weight for good.
Weight Loss Strategies: Install Positive Habits And Behaviours
So here are 10 mental strategies for weight loss so you can achieve your weight loss goals and think yourself thin.
- Imagine yourself thin. Visualise yourself being thin 3 – 6 months in the future and how great you look wearing the clothes you want to wear. Find photos of you when you were your thinner self and this help motivate to achieve your ideal goal weight. Make a list of the different ways you can incorporate this into your life. Think or imagine you are eating less and not indulging in unhealthy foods.
- Break your old habits and see a positive image of yourself. Choose activities like a new yoga or Zumba class that will distract you and give you a new focus and a new you.
- Have realistic expectations. When setting your weight loss goals make sure they’re realistic and achievable. Losing a lot of weight quickly is not healthy and is often incompatible with daily life. If your exercise and diet plan does not fit in with your lifestyle, you’re more likely to fail. Of course, any weight loss plan involves making adjustments and compromises to your unhealthy lifestyle, but a balance needs to be achieved to ensure you can stick to it.
- Set small goals that are (SMART) specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. Make a list of these smart and small goals that would improve your health and lifestyle and change your attitude to weight loss completely. Eating healthier meals with fruits and vegetables, getting 30 minutes of exercise per day, drinking less alcohol, eating healthy snacks, eating a salad instead of potato chips will help you to succeed in your goals.
- Accept support from your family and friends. Enlist friends and family to support your weight loss plan and help make you accountable. Even better lose weight with a friend so you can both motivate and support each other. Alternatively get an app that will send motivational messages and keep you on track when you have cravings. If you do have a day where you have indulged in a naughty treat then don’t beat yourself up but think of it as an off day and start again. Make this your one splurge of the week.
- Setting your action plan in motion. Create a programme for your exercise regime and a weekly healthy meal plan and you will see results. Make this a priority so can start building healthy behaviours from the offset so these become second nature.
- Give yourself a reward. A massage, a day at the spa, movie with a dear friend, this will help you feel good and grow your confidence. Reward yourself for accomplishing your goals you will feel good about your weight and celebrate your healthier self.
- Get rid of old habits of eating junk food if you want to succeed in losing weight. Identify the times when you are most likely to eat unhealthy foods such as cakes, biscuits and crisps. Swap them for healthy alternatives like a glass of water, fruit or nuts. Clear out the unhealthy snacks and replace them with better choices so you have less temptation to reach for the things that will cause you to put on weight.
- Keep a record of meals and snacks. Make a note of when and what you eat so that you can see how well you’re doing and also spot any triggers that cause you to eat unhealthily. For example, you may notice that if you haven’t eaten a proper meal at lunchtime you end up snacking on unhealthy food later in the day. With this information, you can plan your meals better, and avoid those unhealthy habits. By keeping a record you will also stay accountable so you less likely to go off track.
- Visualise you have a magic pause button inside you that stops you from reaching for the junk foods. If you feel like indulging in naughty foods ‘Pause and Think’ for at least 5-10 minutes before you make that decision to eat the chocolate bar. By not immediately giving in to your cravings you will realise that you do have the willpower to take control of your diet and weight.
For more support with losing weight download my eBook 10 Simple Steps To Weight Loss Success.