By January 18, 2012

Why Losing Weight Starts with Your Mind — Not Your Stomach

If you don’t believe that you can lose weight then you’ll never stick to a healthy diet or exercise plan. Why should you? Getting motivated is the first step to any diet. In order for your diet to succeed, you need to both believe in your capabilities and you need to want it bad enough that you will go through all the hassle. Dieting can be hard, and it certainly isn’t going to work if you don’t believe you can make it work.

There are lots of ways to get motivated. Try to focus on what you will achieve by dieting, and keep that in your mind throughout. Looking great, feeling great, and living longer are well worth all the effort. You just have to keep reminding yourself how much better you will feel and look after you’ve lost the extra weight.

Also remind yourself that many people have been where you’re at, and succeeded. Read about other people who have lost weight for inspiration. This doesn’t necessarily include celebrities who have been paid to say how much weight they lost on certain diets; they have motivation to exaggerate or outright lie. Look online for real people who have lost weight. Seeing that it’s possible for everyday people, who can’t afford in-home gyms or personal trainers; can be a big help. Lots of people keep blogs of their fight against body fat. Reading them may also give you some great tips on how to progress with your own efforts.

Finding a friend to diet with works well, also. Make an agreement to lose weight together. It’s easy to cheat on a diet if we’re only letting ourselves down by doing so. But if we have a friend who’s also working hard and expecting us to do the same, it makes it harder for us to just give up on a whim.

Keeping your own weight-loss blog can also help. Post your progress and what methods of diet and exercise you’ve been using. Like the friend tactic, this gives you a sense of accountability. You don’t want your readers to check your blog one month, and find that you’ve suddenly gone silent. Anything that will keep you from quitting on your diet will help you and your readers as well.

Don’t talk trash to yourself. You would never tell a friend, “Why bother dieting. You know you’ll never stick with it!” But yet we talk to ourselves in exactly that tone. Be as nice and encouraging to yourself as you would be to a friend.

Offer yourself rewards at certain milestones. Keeping yourself motivated is key, and it will remind you of the progress you are making. The reward can be anything from a special treat to a mini vacation. Some people put a pre-determined amount of money in a jar for every pound they lose. Once their final goal has been reached, the take the collected money and buy themselves something really nice. Maybe a new pair of jeans or a dress that fits their new figure.