Motivation can be one of the trickiest parts of dieting. Here are a few tips on how to stay motivated while dropping pounds and inches.
Diet Motivation Tip 1: Set Realistic Goals for Diet Success
The first step to maintaining your mindset should take place before you cut a single calorie. In fact, one of the strongest predictors of long-term diet success lies in setting the right goal at the start. You’ll be more likely to stick with a diet if you focus on your health and create sensible eating strategies. Setting smaller, attainable benchmarks, like losing 5 pounds or a single dress size, will give you the confidence to continue.
Diet Motivation Tip 2: Go Slow
Diet success means making real lifestyle changes, and that doesn’t happen overnight. If you cut back 200 calories a day, you won’t even realize it and the weight will come off and stay off. Also, if you keep in mind that optimal weight loss is 1 to 2 pounds a week, you’ll be less frustrated.
Diet Motivation Tip 3: Expect Setbacks
Everyone is bound to give in to temptation from time to time. The danger isn’t a single splurge but letting it become an excuse for an all-out binge.
Diet Motivation Tip 4: Don’t Be a Perfectionist
What do you do if you’ve scarfed down a pint of ice cream before noon? A 100-calorie indulgence is just that. But if it’s perceived as a failure and a reason to give up, it can turn into a thousand-calorie indulgence. Bottom line when you slip up: Forget about it. Tomorrow is a new (healthier) day.
Diet Motivation Tip 5: Use the Buddy System
Finding other people with similar goals can greatly improve your odds of diet success. When your spirit, or willpower, lags, having people to call on can provide the support you need to continue.
Diet Motivation Tip 6: Be Patient
One of the biggest diet motivation-busters is the dreaded weight loss plateau. You’ve been doing everything right and the numbers on the scale have been steadily dropping. Then suddenly, the scale stays stuck for several days in a row. When you hit the plateau, you may want to try something slightly different to jump-start your diet. Commit to expending an extra 100 calories a day walking. A few minor adjustments and you’ll soon be back on course.
Diet Motivation Tip 7: Reward Yourself
Dieting is hard work and it’s not always a whole lot of fun. Small rewards can provide an incentive to keep going. But make sure your rewards are not food-related. Set mini-goals along the way and reward yourself when you reach them. Your reward could be a massage, a new pair of jeans, or a hot bubble bath.
Diet Motivation Tip 8: Have a Maintenance Plan
For many people, losing weight is far easier than keeping it off. It’s important to remember that healthy eating is a lifelong goal, not a one-time project. If this has been a problem for you in the past, devise a maintenance strategy ahead of time. An expert can help you get off on the right foot and maintain your healthy habits even after you’ve reached your ideal weight.
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Good luck on your journey!