We all have been there, wondering why we just finished that last slice of pizza, and chucked it down with a coke. “It’s not that bad, after all it’s your birthday”, you say.
Well okay then, now that we have enjoyed life’s leisures it is time to plan for life’s tough challenges. It has been proven that the very best way to arrive at your goal of losing weight without gaining it back in a few months down the road is to change your mindset. Here’s how a new attitude can help you think yourself thin.
First off you have to start identifying your habits which inhibit your success. I have struggled with losing weight and I could not figure out what I was doing wrong until I stopped drinking on a can of soda bottle twice a day. Those extra calories were easily replaced with a fresh sip on zero calories soda water.
See what habits you have which hinder you. If you can cut out the “mental fat” you will also reduce your waistline with less effort than say an additional hour of exercise.
We all have our reasons to break our resolution to lose weight. After you set your goals you may stick with it for a few weeks until life happens and you encounter stress at work or at home. A family emergency, a birthday or a wedding all give ample reasons to bail on our plan. We tend to let short termed events discourage us and fall back into our old ways. After all watching TV is so much more relaxing than going to the gym … or is it ?
It will take about 30 days of doing a certain action on a daily basis before it becomes a habit. If you can break through this timeframe your chances of success are exponentially higher than before.
Be patient and think yourself thin
The worst thing you can do is to hasten things and to want to see too much progress in too short of a period. You did not gain all those pounds in a single week, so losing this weight will naturally take a bit longer as well. However I can tell you from experience that his process does not have to be brutal and you will not have to feel hungry all the time.
Small habitual changes will help along the way as do some clever ways of when to exercise, rather than how long to exercise. losing weight this way will be less dramatic in the short term but more dramatic in the long term.
When you lose weight too quickly, you will usually lose water and lean tissue and not fat. In that case you get slammed with a slowdown of your metabolism, which makes losing weight even harder.
Eight strategies to think yourself thin.
The first thing you can do to change your habits is to “start thinking like a thin person”.
#1 Picture Yourself Thin.
The human mind is a fascinating machine with almost magical powers. It is truly mind over matter in that you can visualize your future self to be thin. Think about how you look and more importantly how you feel three, six, or twelve months in the future after you have lost all those extra pounds. Also think about activities you will be able to do then which you are unable to do today.
This visualization reaffirms to your brain the goals you have. The visualization of how you feel will give you the reason why you want to lose weight. There is no better reason to change your habits than to have a clear vision of your personal goals and what they mean to you.
#2. Set realistic expectations.
The human body burns through about one pound of fat each day. In other words, the max weight loss per day is around one pound per day for the average person. However this would require you to stop eating all together and drink only water. Certainly not a sustaining way to lose weight for most people, and honestly it does not sound like fun either.
Most people have realistic goals with regard to their weight goals. It is best if you pick a weight range which will mark your success. The numbers should be set in a way which make you happy if you get to the higher number but will make you ecstatic if you reach the lower number. The time frame should be at least three months up to one year out.
#3 Set intermediate Goals
Make a list of smaller goals on the road to your final weight loss goal. These steps in between should be significant enough to improve your lifestyle without interrupting your life too much to get to them.
- Eating a fruit and/or vegetables every day.
- Ordering a side salad instead of french fries.
- No alcohol during the workweek.
- Being able to walk up a flight of stairs without gasping for breath.
- Physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day.
Making too many changes at once is a sure fire way to give up early on. So make small incremental changes over time and make them a habit. Once they become a habit it will require inertia to change them again.
#4 Solicit support.
People who have support from others are more likely to stick with the set goals. Find a family member or a friend and talk about your goals and follow up on a regular basis. You can talk to this person about the hardships and the successes you encounter. You have also the option to find support online now, as there are plenty of communities out there which have the same goals.
Using an online group which is active on a daily basis and supportive of their members can be a very important help for you when you struggle. YOuwill also find that you are not alone in your struggles and you may get good tips on how to overcome those issue.
#5 Create an action plan.
You can plan your meals and activities for the next day the night before. If you plan ahead and you set your mind right before you go to bed you have already won 80% of the battle for the following day. No excuses that you forgot to pack the right food for work or that you did not find the time for your run at lunch time.
Setup a meeting for your exercise times and make it as important as your most important customer. After all, you are working on yourself and what could be more important. Also as the old Romans used to say :
“mens sana in corpore sano”
Make your health a priority by building these habitual steps into your life. You can’t help but become successful if you follow these steps.
#6. Reward yourself
Celebrate your successes. The intermediate goals you set for yourself should be celebrated. Something to look forward to when you accomplish them. This could be a trip to the movies, a manicure, or a small cheat-meal or an extra rest-day.
Achieving your goals along the way are important phases of your journey and you can be proud of achieving them.
#7. Ditch Old Habits.
The same way you create good habits there are bad habits which you can ditch once they are broken.
For example if your new habit is to replace one meal a day with a Salad and your old bad habit was to have ice cream after Lunch, then it is important to break the ice cream habit and forget about it.
I found that it is easier to lose a bad habit than it is to start a good habit. After all stopping something you do usually requires you to spend less effort.
Throwing out junk food and getting good organic replacements is a planned effort and once the temptation is removed from the house you can’t help but break the bad habit of the late night snack.
Old habits die hard, but you can’t continue to do things the way you used to if you want to succeed at weight loss.
#8. Keep track.
Finally you want to keep track of your progress. Mobile apps can hep you track calories and regular weigh ins will help you plot your progress. Studies have shown that keeping track of this information helps promote positive behaviors and minimize the unhealthy ones.
It will also help you develop a awareness of the calories of different food sources. For example a burger meal can be between 500 and 1000 calories, whereas a large salad can be between 200 and 400 calories.
10 Simple Habits to Lose Weight Naturally
Here are some additional tips to help you on your way.