8 Diet Motivation Tips for Success
Can't lose weight? Try these diet motivation tips for success.
Diet Motivation Tip 4: Don't Be a Perfectionist
So what do you do if you've scarfed down a pint of ice cream before noon?
"Perfectionist thinking gets in the way of success more than anything I
know," according to Vicki Saunders, RD, who oversees the inpatient weight loss and lifestyle program called
Transformations at St. Helena Hospital in Napa, Calif. "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
"It's hard to make major lifestyle changes when you're swimming upstream by
yourself," says Saunders. Finding other people with similar goals can
greatly improve yours odds of diet success. When your spirit - or willpower -
flags, having people to call on can provide the support you need to continue.
Saunders recommends looking for people at your local gym or Y, Overeaters
Anonymous, or an online support group. "Having a support group to turn to,
whether it's your family or people in a weight-loss chat room, can make all the
difference" for diet success.
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, exercising and eating well, and the numbers
on the scale have been steadily dropping. Then suddenly: nada. The scale stays
stuck for several days in a row. According to Ann Kulze, this is perfectly
normal. "Turn it around and congratulate yourself on the diet success
you've had so far," she urges. "This is a natural part of the weight
loss process." When you hit the plateau, you may want to try something
slightly different to jump-start your diet. "Commit yourself to expending
an extra 100 calories a day with walking, for instance," Kulze advises.
"And look honestly to see if you're backsliding in little ways with your
eating." 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. (Translation: Rewarding yourself for losing 5 pounds with a box
of chocolates is not what we're talking about.) Set mini-goals along the way
and reward yourself when you reach them. Your reward could be a massage, a
round of golf, a new pair of jeans, or a hot bubble bath. "Celebrating your
diet success will fortify your resolve to continue," says Kulze.
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. Vicki Saunders says you may want to consult an expert
to help create a diet or exercise plan that works for you. "Plan an
appointment with a professional, whether it's a nutritionist, a counselor, or a
trainer, for an added boost," she says. An expert can help you get off on
the right foot -- and maintain your healthy habits even after you've reached
your ideal weight.
Published January 2007.