In order to truly succeed in your weight loss goals, a mental change must come before a physical one. If you do not have have a mental action plan before you begin, it is very likely that you will quickly regain any weight you manage to lose.
The following are four items that should be on your ‘mental prep’ checklist before you set out on a weight loss mission.
Make a commitment to yourself and to your health
This does not mean deciding on the amount of weight you wish to lose. Instead, it is about making a sincere pact with yourself to get healthy and stay healthy, and to not give up even when times become trying. Choose a day to start, and perhaps have a celebration for yourself to mark the event.
Keeping a weight loss journal is a great way to chart your progress. On the first page, write down your goals for yourself. You can include an ideal weight if you wish, but this is not nearly as important as a stringent commitment to your overall health. Write down your dietary goals (i.e. no more processed foods, no refined sugar, etc.) and your exercise goals for the day or week – in whichever form makes most sense to you.
Make sure that the goals you outline are realistic and not overly difficult to attain at first, because it is much better to start small and reach all of your objectives than to miss your targets. You can always write new goals as you go along and are ready to take bigger steps.
Ask your family and friends for support
Starting and sticking to a weight loss plan is a big step in your life, one which is much easier if you do not have to do it alone. Tell your family and friends about your goals, and involve them in celebrating both the beginning of this change in your life, and any milestones you reach along the way.
For example, if your loved ones know what you are up to and the challenges that you will face, they can support you by not having tempting foods around when you visit. Perhaps they will even jump on board with your plan, and choose to exercise with you, or enroll in an organic cooking class by your side.
If you can find a weight loss buddy, this is an ideal situation, as with many of life’s challenges, strength in numbers is an excellent strategy.
Revamp your ingredients list
Before committing to a healthy, organic diet, you need to get culinary offenders as far away from you as possible, and replace them with delicious, whole ingredients. First, do a sweep of your fridge, freezer, pantry and cabinets, and get rid of anything that you will no longer be partaking of.
Then, make a list of the foods you would like to eat on a daily or weekly basis. If you need inspiration for how to prepare these foods, look around on the Internet for creative and healthy recipes. Note the ingredients that you will need for these recipes on your list.
Now, it’s time to go shopping, and replace all those processed foods and carb-filled nutritional sinkholes with fresh, organic foods. You may even find some recipes that you love so much that cooking and eating healthy feels like a fun adventure.
Find a healthy ‘comfort activity’ to replace comfort foods
For many people, certain foods can provide a sense of comfort. When these foods, which are usually unhealthy, are eaten for emotional reasons such as a stressful day at work, the pounds can add up quickly. Simply cutting out comfort foods is not effective, as you still have the emotions to deal with that make you want to indulge in them.
Instead, think of a non-food-related activity you can do to make you feel better when you become stressed, down, or simply get the urge to munch on snack foods. Perhaps it is reading a good book or talking to a close friend. Even better, if you are able to exercise during these times – biking or walking outside, for example, you can kill two birds with one stone.
If you absolutely need to snack sometimes to get past the cravings, have an arsenal of healthy, organic snacks at your disposal. A handful of raw nuts, or sliced, organic fruits and veggies with homemade hummus are excellent choices.
When you truly set your mind to your weight loss plan, the physical actions involved will seem much easier to perform. It may still be quite challenging, which is why keeping a notebook or journal is a great help.
Reading over your initial goals, journaling your progress and entering new goals as you go along can help keep you stay focused so you do not stray from your chosen path.
– The Alternative Daily