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8 Diet Motivation Tips for Success

Can't lose weight? Try these diet motivation tips for success.
By Susan Seliger
WebMD Feature

If you've dropped and regained so many pounds it would take a Harvard PhD to do the math, then here are some diet motivation tips that can help.

Sure, you've tried to diet before. You've gotten rid of the cookies in the cupboard, and virtuously refused the cake at the office party. And then, a few weeks into it, your motivation begins to flag. Maybe you hit a plateau in your weight loss, or you're bored with steamed vegetables for dinner night after night, or, tempted by a special dessert, you decide that just this once can't hurt. A few slip-ups and you're totally derailed, physically and emotionally.

If this isn't the first time that losing weight was one of your New Year's resolutions, then maybe you just haven't had the right diet motivation. It turns out that the key to losing and keeping weight off isn't simply a matter of what you eat or how much you exercise - it's your attitude. Lasting weight loss is a slow process and it's all too easy to give up before you reach your goal. With the right psychological tools your chances of diet success can be greatly improved. WebMD consulted experts for diet motivation tips that will keep you, and your diet, on the winning track to losing.

Diet Motivation Tip 1: Set Realistic Goals for Diet Success
The first step to maintaining your mojo 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. "If you set unattainable goals, such as losing 30 pounds in just a few months, you're setting yourself up to fail," says Ann Kulze, MD, author of Dr. Ann's 10-Step Diet: A Simple Plan for Permanent Weight Loss and Lifelong Vitality. Instead, you'll be more likely to stick with a diet if you "focus on your health and create sensible eating strategies," says Kulze. 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 entails making real lifestyle changes, and that doesn't happen overnight. "You have a better chance at keeping the weight off if you lose it slowly. People who are starving get irritable and have a higher failure rate," Kulze tells WebMD. "If you cut back 200 calories a day, you won't even realize it and the weight will come off and stay off." 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 (hello, hot fudge sundae) from time to time. The danger isn't a single splurge but letting it become an excuse for an all-out binge. Call it the "I've already blown it so I might as well eat the entire bag of Oreos" syndrome.

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