Although there is a definite jump in weight loss resolutions at the beginning of every year, millions of people make these promises to themselves all the time. But, as most people have discovered, beginning the weight loss process can prove both difficult and daunting. The success rate is less than ten percent despite the number of individuals who join gyms in hoping to reach their ambitious health goals.
So how can you achieve your long-term goals? Remember that long-term weight loss is a function of life changes that result in a healthier you. As easy as it might sound, changing your daily routine can be one of the most difficult challenges in your life. Most of us follow our habitual routines without so much as a thought. Trying to change these daily rituals causes more discomfort than most people realize. As a result, people generally fall back into their comfort zones and wonder why they failed.
By committing to weight loss, you commit to change. You must realize that long-term weight loss requires you to adapt new behaviors that incorporate what you eat and how you move. These can be drastic changes if you're diet consists of sugary and fried foods in front of a television. Since making huge changes can be daunting, make small changes instead. Long-term goals need to be broken down into smaller steps. Don't look at all of the changes you'll be making over the next year. Look, instead, at the changes you'll make today and tomorrow.
Here are some suggestions to help you keep (and achieve!) your weight loss goals:
· Write down your goals - make a written list of what you want to achieve. Write down your long-term goals first and hang it somewhere where you can reference it regularly. Then write down short-term goals to help you work through every day.
· Small steps - Don't be too ambitious with short-term goals. Make sure these are realistic and achievable. You need to walk a mile before you can run six. Start with getting to the gym and go from there. If you live in the suburbs, utilize the resources of your community, whether you have tennis courts or a walking trail, these are easy ways to help you meet others who can help motivate you to lose weight. You also need to choose an activity you like.
· Small changes - Don't think you are going to change everything in one day. Comfort zones and habits are hard to change. Make small changes at a time. Once you get used to those changes, start incorporating new ones into your life. Start by eating baked fish instead of fried chicken, or start walking up the stairs instead of using the elevator. Making one change at a time will help them stick. And, for long-term weight loss, you need these changes to stick.
· Gear - You need to make sure you are well equipped to perform your desired exercise. Heart rate monitors [http://www.myonesource.com/articles/127/1/The-Secret-to-Losing-Weight/Page1.html] will help you maximize your calorie and fat burning exercises (not to mention some of them come with GPS to help you map your course and plot points!) and proper attire keeps you safe and healthy during the activity. Expensive gear isn't necessarily better, but spending money on equipment can help motivate you to use it.
· Detox and Cleansing rituals [http://www.myonesource.com/articles/134/1/Detox-and-Cleansing-Programs---What-and-Why/Page1.html] - These short-term programs can help cleanse your system and make you feel "cleaner" and healthier over the course of a few days. Although they are not designed for weight loss, they can help jump-start weight loss programs by making you feel lighter and more energetic.
· Be accountable to someone - Exercise partners are ideal for weight loss. You're more likely to perform an activity if there is someone there who needs you and vice versa. Whether you recruit a friend or hire a professional trainer, you're more likely to find motivation to leave your home or office if you are meeting someone. If you have neither, then set up a calendar or schedule at home or the gym that gives you set times (and therefore a routine) to exercise.
Weight loss requires discipline, but is not impossible. By taking small steps and realizing that weight loss is a life change rather than a short-term goal, you'll begin creating a healthier, lighter you.