7 Ways to Give Your Plan a Fresh Start
Learn some tips for winning the weight-loss game.
Committing to a healthier way of living by starting a new weight-loss plan—especially one you've never tried before—can be overwhelming. The number-one thing to watch out for is losing sight of the reason you're trying to lose weight, says Jackie Raha, Behavior Specialist with Weight Watchers. Being clear about your goals is your greatest weapon against getting derailed.
Sure, to say "I want to lose 30 pounds" is a plan. But does that get you going? Can you picture that success? Make your goal work for you rather than the other way around. Try: "I want to lose 30 pounds in time to feel comfortable going to the beach this summer."
How could you give up on a great goal like that?
Practice Makes Perfect: Tips for Beginners
It can take a while to get the hang of a particular diet plan. As Laura, a Weight Watchers meetings member from North Carolina, put it, "It's okay if you make mistakes. You just pick up and keep going. Persistence is probably the most important mental attitude." Once you've got your mindset in gear, these other tips will help keep you on track as you get started:
Create a menu plan for your first week, suggests Raha. "It gives a certain structure that can sometimes help you set a very tangible goal. It's a fine first step toward getting yourself focused on control."
Make sure you have healthy, low-calorie foods on hand. And experiment with foods you've never tried before—exotic fruits, grains, etc.
Keep track. Tracking your food intake is crucial. "The greatest predictor of ongoing success is monitoring yourself and your progress," says Raha. Write down what you eat and drink every day. The amounts may surprise you!
Know you will be satisfied. Don't be too restrictive with your diet or you'll feel deprived, and be more likely to quit. With a reasonable weight-loss plan, you can lose weight and still feel satisfied.
Watch out! Former Weight Watchers leader Ann Lombardo suggests keeping an eye out for the following beginner blockades:
- Make sure you're not getting into a "diet" mindset. You should be satisfying yourself, not limiting yourself.
- Be prepared for old "eating buddies." Either change the activity you usually do with them, or come up with alternative foods you can enjoy that will allow you to stick to your weight-loss plan.
- Plan in advance for eating events, such as holidays. And remember, says Lombardo: "Every time you successfully stick to your diet during an event or something that could have torn you away, you're one step closer to your goal."