One of the most common statements I hear from women I coach is, “I was doing so well, but somehow I got off track, and I don’t know how to get back on again.”
If you’re tired of starting the weight loss process over and over again from the beginning, I’m going to give you some ideas for getting your diet back on track so that you can make this time the last time you ever try to lose weight.
Make a Commitment
The very first thing you need to do is make a commitment to yourself. Make a promise to yourself that you will do whatever it takes. Motivation is usually high when you’re just getting started, but that eventually tapers off and feelings of complacency set in. You have to be willing to push through and ignore your rationalizations no matter what.
Take One Small Step
It can be overwhelming to think about all you have to do to get started and then realize you’re going to have to do that for the rest of your life. Yikes!
The key here is that you don’t need to focus on the rest of your life. In fact, that’s the quickest way to fall back off plan. The only moment you need to worry about is the one you’re in. The only choice you need to worry about is your very next one. Commit to making your very next choice a healthy one.
Instead of completely overhauling what you eat and how much you exercise, try adding in one small habit at a time.
There are 5 specific small steps you can start with:
1) Drink water (Take your body weight and divide it in half. Try to drink that many ounces per day.)
2) Add either a fruit or vegetable to every meal or snack.
3) Start being aware of how much processed food you’re eating and come up with cleaner choices. (For example, instead of soup out of a can, make homemade soup. Instead of instant oatmeal out of a packet, make steel-cut oats.
4) Focus on eating only when you’re hungry, and stopping just before you feel satisfied (since food takes a while to settle in.) Sometimes this means stopping before your plate is empty.
5) Be kind to yourself. It’s not all or nothing. Try to eat clean 80% of the time, but give yourself a little wiggle room as well. Don’t focus on the long term. Instead, just focus on the very next choice you have to make, and make it a healthy one
Get More Active In Any Way Possible
People tend to get caught up on the exercise portion. They want to know what’s best for weight loss. How much they should be doing and when. For basic health and fitness, there’s really not a “right” answer. Just move!
Your goal for the time being is to focus on creating healthy eating habits and getting more active. That might mean walking more, playing more, cleaning more, or generally just moving more. Try to take more steps than you did yesterday.
Get Rid of All or Nothing Thinking
All or nothing thinking is the biggest problem I see with the members in my groups. They think they have to be perfect, eat perfect, and never miss a day of exercise. When they can’t do that (because nobody can) they want to give up and say it’s just too hard. You can’t expect yourself to be perfect. In fact, perfection is a myth, and it’s really an excuse.
Instead, find happiness in the middle. It is better to take your time and stick with your program than lose 10 pounds in the first two weeks and give up due to overwhelming physical and mental exhaustion.
START, Even If the Time Isn’t Right
Finally, probably the most important tip of all—START! If you’re waiting for the time to be right, you’ll never begin. You have to take action. Wishing and thinking and planning will only get you so far. So take one small step. Make your very next choice a healthy one. Move a little more. Make yourself a priority, because you’re totally WORTH IT!!
Healthy Habit Tracker
I’ve created a Healthy Habit Tracker to help you get started. You’ve heard that it takes 21 Days to create a habit, right? Using this simple worksheet, pick 1, 2, or 3 healthy habits to begin today. Mark off a circle each day you follow through, and come up with a reward for after you’ve completed 21 days.
I’ve found that I can usually add one more small new habit each week. Just think, if you did this for an entire year, you’d have 52 new healthy habits!!